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Wall-E


Published by THQ, Wall-E is the video game adaptation of the popular summer Pixar film. The game essentially mirrors the narrative in the film. Wall-E is a story about a trash collecting robot that resides on the giant landfill that is Earth in the distant future. A reconnaissance robot named Eve arrives on Earth to search for proof of sustainable life. Wall-E provides the proof and the two robots set off on a journey that leads them into the far reaches of space.

The presentation of the title uses a variety of well crafted cutscenes to piece together the narrative. While the robots communicate through facial expressions and beeps, there is a large amount of human speech from the Buy-in-Large consoles. It offers a decent amount of authenticity to the in-game environment and sells the overall presentation of Wall-Eís desolate, garbage-filled landscape.

Gameplay

Wall-Eís main purpose is compacting trash in his little metal body. The player uses this ability to compact different types of trash and uses the trash to navigate the levels. Wall-E can create a simple cube of trash near any trash pipe. These cubes are used for throwing at switches or enemies. Wall-E can also create three more types of trash cubes at vending stations. Vending stations are activated with items in the environment.

The heavy cube of trash is used for weighing down levers or knocking down heavy items like a bridge. The charge cube is used for providing power to stations around the trash heaps. These stations can activate new travel tubes or simply turn on nearby objects like a fountain. The magnetized cubes attract metal objects, many of which are in Wall-Eís way. The concept of switching out different types of cubes can become confusing and often leads to frustration for younger players.

Eve is gained within a few levels of the game. She has the ability to fly and offers a laser gun for shooting enemies. She can also pick up Wall-E briefly and fly him to higher elevations. Unfortunately the feel of the flying controls for Eve are a bit clunky. Transporting Wall-E is a chore and often leads to death when misjudging the next platform.

There are a few local multi-player modes to jump into after completing the single player campaign. The maps are unlocked by completing the completion quests in the game. All the mini-games are really quite basic and they only warrant a brief look. The achievements in Wall-E are designed around level completion, gathering quests and time-based objectives. The 45 tasks arenít overly tough to complete, but the ďNo DeathĒ achievements are challenging for even the most seasoned gamer. The collection quests are also occasionally puzzling and require a bit of time to search the entire level environments. Overall, the achievement set offers rewards for both the younger crowd and the older players that enjoy platformers.

Graphics & Audio

Visually, Wall-E is extremely subpar when compared against the rest of the 360 platformers. Textures are quite blocky for a 360 title and there is a huge problem rendering the environment on Eveís flying levels. Many times I found myself smashed against an invisible wall, but it actually a texture that hadnít rendered yet. It makes completing a timed level for an achievement almost impossible without route memorization.

The camera location is also a major problem. It swings around Wall-E and Eve too quickly. It uses horrible placement points as an overview for the action and correction is a constant battle. The audio reinforces the design of the game, but the sound effects are incredibly repetitive after the first few levels. The music is entertaining, but there should have been more tie-in with the music in the movie.

Conclusion

Wall-E is yet another movie tie-in game that doesnít meet the quality of the Pixar film. It really doesnít meet the standard of a quality kidís game either. The entire single player campaign takes about seven hours to complete, perhaps more if the puzzles stump younger players. The multi-player adds very little to the overall value. Rent it on a rainy day if you must, but Wall-E not worth the time it takes to play through it.