Game: "Little Red Riding Hood Zombie BBQ"
System: Nintendo DS
Published by: Other
Review: Once upon a time there was.... a game called Little Red Riding Hood Zombie BBQ. It's a fast paced top-down shooter, where you have to defeat waves of zombies and which makes use of the touch screen features of the Nintendo DS Lite. In the game you take on zombies but also undead versions of the Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio.
What's this about a BBQ in fairyland?
The story's premise is the fairyland world that Little Red is familiar with has gone to hell in a hand basket. It's overrun with zombies and it's up to Red to find the source of this outbreak of flesh dangling horror. The opening sequence is full of beautiful watercoloresque art that exits to a nice blend of 2D characters and 3D levels. The colors are eyecatching and surroundings are steeped in typical b-movie and creepy Candyland motifs. The zombies are the stuff of O'Bannon (i.e. Return of the Living Dead film).
The player has two character options: Little Red and a kludge of all Japanese heroes, some guy named Momotaro.
Little Red specializes in guns while Momotaro's weapon shoots ninja stars. Momotaro is anything but special. He's just an aesthetic choice.
Little Red or Momo can be moved by pressing left and right on the d-pad. When game play begins, your character is at the bottom screen moving left and right along one of seven spaces, advancing through the level as enemies and obstacles come at them.
To shoot enemies, the player uses the touchscreen feature of the Nintendo DS. Touching the screen allows Little Red to shoot her enemies. Touching the character will cause them to crouch while using the stylus to aim. Double tapping lets her launch grenades. As you play, you can also select special weapons (i.e. flamethrower) located to the left and right on the bottom screen.
To reload the default weapon just lift the stylus from the screen. The basic weapon has unlimited ammo.
If for some reason an enemy grabs hold of you, tap them and Little Red will wrestle them off in a melee attack. If a barricade comes your way, tap Red or Momo to slide under it.
The gameplay builds up steam and eventually it gets progressively harder. However, this is a nice selling point since it won't be like that game that we highly anticipated as the video gaming event of the year only to find out we could beat within the span of a few hours. You derive a sense of accomplishment earning victory from this game.
Like many other games, to unravel the complete story you are going to have to play this game on hard mode. However, your diligence is rewarded with some new modes : a Boss Rush mode and a Survival mode.
While the graphics are not the best, it's a fun game.
The game's music is nothing to praise nor is it catchy. Many who found Ladyhawke's soundtrack by Alan Parsons Project(I happen to like the soundtrack, thank you!) might find the rock soundtrack set to a fairytale-gone-wrong good for laughs.
My three biggest gripes with the game are (1) how the gameplay slows down when there are too many enemies on the screen and (2) there isn't a score kept. Keeping score gives purpose to a game, helping to mark progression and encourage replay. (Though certainly not always necessary.)
A great example of score keeping is the relatively new American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns. Madness Returns is a platformer that offers up a variety of score keeping features that encourages a gamer to pay close attention to their surroundings in order to complete the challenge to collect all objects and weapons upgrades in order to complete the game in entirety.
Simply put, it's fun to find things, solve puzzles, and complete a mission.
The third and last gripe is movement - I really would have enjoyed being able to freely advance and drop back instead of only moving side to side.
A minor complaint I have is Momotaro. It's way too obvious that this was an attempt to pander to Japanese gamers.
Actually, it was a lame attempt. There's nothing different except what comes out of his gun. He comes off like an afterthought.
Overall Thoughts on the Game
Despite my gripes, I really enjoyed playing the game. Around the second world, it did get a little frustrating, but I recommend just sticking with it.
The title is amusing and if you like metal slug or contra, or b-movies and zombies, you should enjoy this game.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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