Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension Review - September 22nd 2011

Based on one of Disney's most successful television series of recent times, Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension is a third person action adventure with combat, puzzle solving, and campaign co-op. It might seem unremarkable to the average gamer, but there's a playful sense of humor and solid gameplay mechanics brewing under the surface here. And besides, any game that has you fighting alongside a hat wearing Platypus has to be doing something right.


We played the Playstation 3 version of the game in co-op, which supports Move as an optional control input. A lot of work has gone into making this game feel as pick up and play as humanly possible, and it didn't take long to get to grips with the default set up. This is important, because as a seasoned gamer, learning new button layouts is a piece of cake. But for the younger audience, this needs to be kept as straightforward as possible or they'll lose interest fast. Your primary attacks come in the form of a gun that shoots homing baseballs, and a spin kick attack that is used to push enemies away. Along the way, you'll be granted access to new tools like a gravity gun and a fabulous weapon that melts gelatin based enemies with orange juice. It's all appropriately ridiculous, and young fans of the show will feel right at home here.

Co-op is a blast.

From a gameplay perspective, there are a few annoyances. Invisible walls are a constant problem, and the restricted camera beams "Player 2" back to "Player 1's" location whenever they stray any more than a few feet away. I suppose this ensures that those unfamiliar with video gaming in general aren't going to get lost or left behind, but nonetheless it is still frustrating. Then of course you have the overall difficulty. Children will breeze through this game in no time at all. The lack of challenge presented here, in both the puzzles and combat, is disappointing.

However, I have to admit, playing this in co-op is still a lot of fun. You're able to select which character from the show you want to control at various checkpoints throughout the game. And there's just enough variety in the missions themselves to keep things from getting too predictable. One minute you'll be fighting off waves of sloppy jelly monsters, and then you'll be sliding around grabbing collectables, before grabbing a jetpack and shooting down invading inter dimensional creatures.

The character animations are superb, with distinct personalities to enemy types that can't help but bring a smile to your face. Bosses battles are varied and mix up the action even further (Deus Ex, take note). One early fight sees you dodging sticky blocks hurled from a giant blob that can trap you, impeding your progress. You have to wriggle your way out by shaking the Move controller (or the Wii-mote, depending on which version you're playing), and then you're back in the action. The motion controls are used in a fairly limited way, but having them as an option is a nice touch.

Watch out for Gnomes.

Despite what you might think at first glance, Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension is actually a cut above most children's titles in almost every way. Yes, it's far too easy, and it doesn't use the advanced motion sensing capabilities of the Playstation Move to their fullest extent. But as a recreation of a popular television series, it's spot on. The co-op is smartly implemented, and there's a certain charm to the graphics and presentation. The team at High Impact Games have also done well to incorporate as many characters from the TV show as possible. Phineas and Ferb aren't going to be giving Mario or Sackboy a run for their money any time soon, but I suppose they don't really have to. There's definitely some fun to be had here, and at a budget price, Across the Second Dimension might be worth a look.


Jon Titmuss

 

Gameplay:

There is a variety of things to do, but it is not very challenging. Definitely one for the kids.

Audio:

The voice acting is appropriately cheerful, but the soundtrack is far too repetitive.

Graphics:

There is colors aplenty as the look of the show is faithfully represented.

Longevity:

The campaign co-op makes the game, but it is very short.

     

Final Score:



Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension is definitely one of the better games out there for the younger generation.

 

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