Nicktoons Unite Review

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Developer: THQ Publisher: THQ
Release Date: February 3, 2006 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2, and Xbox

I must admit that I fail to see the reason for the popularity of the cartoons on Nickelodeon, but then again, I am an adult so I have no real knowledge of what is going to entertain kids. Whatever the reason for that popularity, THQ is only too willing to capitalize on it by releasing a slew of games annually featuring the characters in those shows. It also is no major shock that the idea finally came to them to take multiple of these characters and put them in the same game. Unfortunately, Nicktoons Unite is a game that is obviously intended to sell because of the characters in it rather than the competency of the game itself, as the game is generic and unexciting.

The high point of the game, sadly, is probably the graphics, which are at least passable. They look decent, although, considering the capabilities of the DS, they could have been done far better. The four player-controlled characters look the best, but the backgrounds are a bit bland and suffer from a lack of the finishing levels of detail. Even the sound effects are not much better, sounding a bit off of what would be expected in this type of game. Everything sounds cartoony, a bit cartoonier than it really should, and the music is neither inventive nor particularly varied.

So far as the gameplay is concerned, you have a combination of a generic platformer with nothing of any significant creativity and a third-person shooter with automatic aiming and enemies which either lack projectiles or have projectiles which move too slowly to be any major threat if you stay on the move. Each of the four characters has a weapon, with three of the characters’ weapons being straightforward attack weapons and the fourth character having a defensive weapon that hides himself from enemies.

The only differences between the characters is that each of them has a character-specific special move. These moves, granted, are appropriate for each character, and you will have to switch characters often to accomplish everything. Each character also has a super-special move that can be done upon picking up a special item, but these are neither particularly useful or necessary as they tend to be powerful attack maneuvers, and the normal shots are more than enough in most if not all cases.

Why do I say that? Usually when you enter an area, you can take out most of the enemies before moving much, quite often being able to kill off most of them before they even know you’re there. This eliminates most of the usefulness of the super-special attack maneuvers. Once the enemies are eliminated, you generally have to pick up so many homework pages or other such items before you can move on to the next section of the game. Most of these are not too hard to spot, but occasionally there will be one or two in an area that will be difficult to either find or get to.

On top of all of these problems, this game is neither lengthy nor difficult, especially since you get infinite lives. I understand that the game is aimed at children, but there is still something to be said for getting your money’s worth in terms of length if nothing else. The conclusion is this. This game is too generic to keep anybody but hardcore Nickelodeon fans entertained. There are far better 3D platformers out there, even on the DS, for other people to consider who are in the market for a platformer.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 4.8
Written by Martin Review Guide

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