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Zombii Attack - WiiWare Review

Game Info
Zombii Attack

WiiWare | Gamers Digital / Motiviti | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
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22nd February 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

Pretend for a moment that you're a game developer who is fed up with Nintendo's quality control on WiiWare -- an understandable concern that you, as an actual consumer, can surely relate to. Wanting to be part of the solution, you decide to challenge Nintendo's QA team and develop a game so bad that you know it couldn't possibly pass inspection...but it does. And now, not only did you position yourself as being part of the problem, you also have to deal with the brunt of stern criticism towards your team for a game you slapped together to prove a point, but hadn't intended for it to go public. This is about the only logical explanation I can muster up as to why Zombii Attack even exists. Otherwise, no self-respecting developer with any kind of game design background or dignity would feel that a game this horrid would be okay for distribution.

    In a few words, Zombii Attack is about using a giant slingshot to knock out incoming zombies. The game plays out like a third-person tower defense-style game, albeit an extremely rudimentary one. The game starts off with an introduction from Doctor Z, who welcomes you to the Zombii Attack Force. Cutting to the chase, he quickly informs you of your immediate recruitment to assist in a major zombie pandemic. Your main weapon of choice is the ZC 4000 -- the large sling just mentioned that also doubles as a tractor beam for lifting stubborn enemies off the ground. The goal in nearly all levels is to collect certain coloured zombies for the Doctor to experiment with and see if he can use them to create some sort of magic formula for the outbreak. To do this, you'll fling the correct zombies towards a basket or net hanging from a helicopter that hovers in the air back and forth. At the same time, you need to prevent the small number of zombies from destroying your barricade, for it will mean Game Over if they manage to break through. If this sounds pretty lame, that's because it really is.

To play, all you have to do is simply point at the screen with the Wii Remote to direct shots, holding the B Button to pull back the sling and let go of the button to release a shot. By holding it down all the way, you can execute a Power Throw which is more effective than that of a normal toss. In the eighteen levels this game goes on for, this really is all you do in the game. By the 5th level, you'll start to wonder about this scientist's credentials as nearly every single time he expressed confidence that this new formula will work, it continually backfires and makes more work for you. You're constantly getting introduced to new zombies that have even stronger body armor, thereby requiring more hits to defeat. Even though this wasn't meant to be even slightly realistic, that doesn't stop you from getting pretty ticked off at the guy's incompetence and the fact that the game tries to extend gameplay in such a thin manner. Honestly, it's a really lame attempt to artificially try and switch things up this way when, in actuality, the game feels very predictable with the next mission feeling little different than the last. In certain situations this might be appropriate, but here the tedium reaches a high point very, very fast.

    Whether this flinging mechanic is a nod to Angry Birds or not, I'll leave that up for you to decide. Personally, I couldn't detect any clear inspirations for this project, and when it comes down to it, the gameplay doesn't feel that reminiscent to other games. That does not in the slightest mean, though, that this is a completely new never-before-seen concept, or even a familiar idea made fresh with zombies tacked on. Zombii Attack simply feels like a shoddy attempt at tower defense principles, and that's without any kind of challenge, depth, exciting new elements, and everything else that makes these kinds of games enjoyable (to some, anyway).

As a means of showing the execution isn't paper-thin, successfully landing attacks on zombies will gradually add energy to the meter on the left of the screen. When full, the music will change and Fever Mode will activate, bringing with it even more enemies than usual. Some reward that is! This combo system, if you will, only works with projectile attacks; always knocking zombies into other zombies won't get you very far (plus it'll make the game feel even more shallow than it already is). The box at the bottom right of the screen indicates the strength of your barricade, while on the left is a counter that keeps track of the money you earn over the course of a level for enemy defeats. You can redeem money for items at the Shop before the start of each mission. Some of the upgrades you'll be given include Dynaboxes which can destroy buildings in the background, barricade reinforcements, electric laser-shooting mines, and more.

    But you know, no matter what you may try to say to make light of the situation, there's absolutely no way to sugarcoat it: Zombii Attack is dreadfully dull to play with no sort of refreshment or fun whatsoever. It is such a bore waiting for the right zombies to come along while you must fend off against a bunch of enemies in the meantime that pose such a little threat that you gain no satisfaction from defeating them, even when you do so using different methods. New zombie types that come into the picture will appear a lot less frequently than the smaller and much more common blue- and brown-coloured creatures. However, it gets to a point where if you have only one zombie left on your list and you actually miss the helicopter target, you'll really kick yourself for having to let the game go on a minute (or more) longer than it needed to. Plus, it doesn't help that the main track fuels the feeling of boredom even more.

Right after you complete a couple of the missions, you'll be instantly shot into a stupid bonus mini-game where you use the D-Pad to control a car on a highway, trying to knock any zombies off the road along the way, whilst also avoiding parked cards. I'm not sure that this has anything to do with the main game, and it just seems like a total last-minute decision they threw in to say they tried to add some variety. In actuality, it just further demonstrates how poorly put together this game really is.

    One other thing that will not go unnoticed is the game's presentation. I kid you not, Zombii Attack has to be one of the ugliest games to ever hit the WiiWare service! The zombie character models have nasty-looking faces and blocky figures that look warped at different points during gameplay. Using the tractor beam to grab one of these zombies up-close and watching it jitter back and forth is really disturbing. On top of that, both the backgrounds and the stage props look bad, and there are cases where glitches do occur. While I was on the Pause Menu one time, a piece of the zombie shown on-screen detached itself from the model and suddenly decided to move along with the pointer. As well, the game's framerate reaches a really bad point at times, particularly when using an item that knocks down multiple zombies in the same shot, or when a building explodes and the large pieces temporarily make their way onto the field. Yikes!

Besides just looking bad, Zombie Attack is just a terrible game. Getting through a few levels is tough as it is because of how incredibly boring the gameplay is, never mind completing the darn thing! In all honesty, as bad as it is, the gameplay could've been even worse had it not been for one or two things. The presentation, on the other hand is just so atrocious, I don't even want to think about the game looking even worse than it already does. With no kind words to be said to describe the quality of this game, no one in their right minds should ever think twice about turning this game down.

    There is absolutely no possible reason why someone would find value out of this game, and furthermore, it really bothers me to think that anyone would pay money for something so clearly bad. (Sorry, but an obsession with zombie games doesn't count.) Zombii Attack is pure shovelware; a game so boring, it will leave you feeling sapped of energy. Unless you have a sick longing to find out what it's like to be brain dead, don't even think about giving this a go.

03/30 - Simply Awful

Gameplay 3/10 - Rudimentary tower defense principles, thin attempts to extend gameplay, Fever "rewards" you with more enemies, poorly put together
Presentation 0/10 - Atrocious, poor-looking backgrounds and props, boring audio, glitches, framerate gets really bad, disturbingly ugly models
Enjoyment 0/5 - Incredibly dull, high level of tedium, you'll kick yourself if you have to spend more time on a level than necessary, stupid design choices
Extra Content 0/5 - There are multiple levels to complete but you definitely will not want to stick around that long, absolutely no one should pay for this

Equivalent to a score of 10% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

Zombii Attack
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