Welcome to Disney and Pixars latest game based off their newest Movie "Brave". The game follows a Scottish lass named Merida who is quite skilled at shooting a bow and who is quote a firey redhead. As I do not want to spoil the movie, here is kind of a brief overview of the story of the game (with the spoilers hidden).
Story: Warning: This game contains a lot of spoilers (I will hide any spoilers. If you plan on seeing the movie and do not want anything spoiled, do not even start this game as the game starts about half way through the movie. With that being said, the plot of the game is different than the movie (I know that sounds contradictory, but it’s true). Neither story is bad, but my wife and I disagree which is better (with my vote going to the movie), so I will leave it up to you to decide. Video games based off movies are either close to the movie, adding some things to make it more something you play instead of something you watch, OR they are completely different from the movie. This game steals the major plot points from the movie, but is still drastically different.
Also, this game does allow for Coop play. The coop partner plays as a wisp and has all the same powers as Merida but has less health. Luckily for your coop partner, if they die, they come back 15 seconds later.
Controls: I really liked the controls; they were straightforward and easy to use. To fire your bow, you just push right thumbstick in the direction you want to fire. You do not need to press a button, so firing your bow is super easy (and holding the thumbstick causes you to fire very rapidly). Switching the bow ammo is easy as well; you just use the and to cycle through. You can also do a charged shot which you fire by holding down . The coop character has the exact same controls. My only complaint was that, although the game was advertised as move-compatible, the actual game play did not have move capabilities. Instead, the game creators had just added an archery “training” game that used the move. This is completely outside of the game and has no trophies related to it. It even looks like different graphics (it looks like the Archery from Cabela’s Adventure Camp). To me, it looks like they added this one for that “Move Compatible” label.
Graphics: Overall the graphics were very nice. Some of the cut-scenes, which told the background story, were done in a cartoony comic style and were done well. Also, each level took place in a different location and they did a good job making each one look original and well designed. The only complaints about the graphics were that Merida’s head looked a little weird at times and Merida’s legs would go through her skirt during some of the scenes.
Camera: The camera for this game is great unless you play coop. There is no way for you to move the camera without moving your character forward, but the programmers do a wonderful job of making sure you can see what you need to see. The camera is set away from Miranda facing down. It is a third person point of view but more zoomed out. I never had an issue where I could not see something or the scenery getting in the way. Now, everything that makes the camera great if you are Merida, if you are the coop Wisp, the camera is the worst thing ever. The camera is so focused on Merida, that if your coop partner is not next to her, they cannot see what they are doing. Granted, for most of the game your coop partner should be right next to you (don’t they know they are just the sidekick and have to follow the single player), but in boss battles you have to keep moving from one side to the other constantly or else you die. Because they can’t see, your coop partner becomes someone shooting randomly, praying that they do some damage. Now in the game’s defense, the only way they could have fixed this would be to make the game split screen, which may or may not be an improvement.
Audio: They managed to get Kelly MacDonald to voice Merida; she also voiced Merida in the movie. This is the only person that talks through the entire game, so no one else from the movie talks in the game (if they were supposed to talk, Merida would quote them). I understand they were trying to make the game from Merida’s point of view, but it would have been nice for a few scenes to have someone else talk. The music was very repetitive, but it fit with the story and was not something that got caught in your head. Merida has filler lines that she says as you kill enemies and pick up coins, but unfortunately only has about 10 of them. For a ten-hour platinum, you will hear them A LOT. (You will hear “Many a nickel makes a buckle” several times as you pick up coins).
Trophies: This is a short platinum and a moderately easy one; it can be very frustrating in some places. Most trophies are either “Get X number of kills” or story related. There is a “Beat the game on the hardest difficulty” trophy, and this one makes the game a little challenging. The game is very nice and has checkpoints before every fight, and dying does not penalize you at all, besides taking you back to your previous checkpoint. So if you go into a fight with half health and die, you will start right before the fight and have full health. The real challenging parts are the boss fights. There are a couple of bosses that can two hit kill you. I found having a coop partner can help you take down the boss’s health faster. This trophy can be very frustrating still. There is also a trophy that requires a little bit of grinding. You have to buy all of the upgrades, which will require you to play for a few hours after beating the game to get all the required coins.
Rating: no trophy=worst (1), =best (5))
Controls: (4) (Them adding the Move cambatible part seems like a cheap way to increase sales)
Camera: (4) (Only because it really sucks for your coop partner
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