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The Croods: Prehistoric Party - Wii Review

Game Info
The Croods: Prehistoric Party

Wii | D3Publisher / Torus Games | 1-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer/sideways)
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12th April 2013; By KnucklesSonic8

The Wii U still has some way to go, but party games really thrived on the Wii, both in terms of the genre regulars (Rabbids, Mario Party, WarioWare) and some occasional left-fielders. The Croods: Prehistoric Party, while an affordable family offering, does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as these recognized successes. D3Publisher enlisted Torus Games to manage all iterations of this same product, and while the handheld versions have been treated differently, the Wii version, for better or for worse, doesn't present any substantial differences in execution. As such, there isn't a wide range of matters to further discuss. However, for those who have an interest in the game but haven't invested in a Wii U (or prefer to go for the cheaper version), know that the Wii version is identical in just about every way. The "just about" is what this review will focus on.

    As expressed in the review of the Wii U version, The Croods: Prehistoric Party follows a formula not unlike the successful Mario Party series. Roll-and-move mechanics guide the game's emphasis on a board game design, but the purpose served by the mini-games in actually does away with the somewhat measly role served by the board component. All players hold their Wii Remotes in a vertical position as a standard, rolling dice with the A Button as opposed to controller shakes, and using the D-Pad and pointer cursors to scroll through and isolate selections. In actually, motion controls aren't used at all in the affair; it's entirely operated by button controls, inputs that happen to be rather approachable across the field.

Nearly all mini-games will flip the controller on its side, where the D-Pad controls movement, 2 is to jump, and 1 is to attack or perform some other interaction. There are some that maintain the vertical setup, sometimes to weird effects -- the button-mashing mini-game (Dinner Time) being but one example. But generally speaking, the chosen schemes are appropriate for the given activities. Performance is another matter altogether, of course, but because mini-games call for simple movements and actions, no grave offenses are ever made. One exception to this is Ramu Ram You, where the control response feels terribly jagged. But it's an outcast, really.

    So with logistics being identical, the only thing left to evaluate are the lighter details -- those that relate to presentation. Unsurprisingly, the HD version experiences a graphical boost that has brought with it better lighting and textures, but the Wii version is only a downgrade by very small margins. The Jungle board, for instance, doesn't showcase its altitude all that well in comparison to how it's presented in the Wii U version. It's also not as dark and features less shadows -- attributes that, in the case of its graphically superior twin, paint a more scenic atmosphere containing a fair amount of canopies. Then there are some select mini-games where environmental aspects and visual effects are more transparent, as is the case in Dandelion Dash. But again, these are all slight differences. The framerate, which could be a cause for worry, remains securely at a steady pace (barring a rare case or two) and pretty much all other aspects are intact, simply running at a lesser graphic setting.

In short, the Wii version of The Croods: Prehistoric Party plays exactly like the Wii U version, minus a few nitpicks that hardly make a difference in a negative way. There's no big contrast in quality or consistency, but even so, the formula is still concerning in whatever format you choose to explore it. Granted, it's not hard to contest its worth as a budget offering against the current roster of competition. But frankly, you should save your money for an entry belonging to one of the brands spoken of earlier. With a catalogue of better options at the ready, there's really no reason (not even an admiration for the film) why anyone should settle for this.

15/30 - Below Average

Gameplay 4/10 - Responsive button controls with no off-putting motion use, flat formula, questionable board component, mini-games don't fare too well
Presentation 6/10 - Of a lesser quality but far from bad, no notable framerate issues, some thin aesthetics, graphical boost in the HD counterpart shows
Enjoyment 2/5 - Ultimately of lesser value than other party games it could be compared to, sluggish, uninspired activities that carry few positives
Extra Content 3/5 - Same amount of boards on offer, artwork and other unlockables to spend Prehistoric Points on, more affordable option

Equivalent to a score of 50% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

The Croods: Prehistoric Party