Published on January 29th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Stonekeep: Bones of the Ancestors Review, Wii Ware
Platform: Wii Shop Channel
Price: 500 Wii Points
Truth be told, I never enjoyed First-Person Dungeon Crawlers until I played an unknown gem called Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain on the Nintendo DS. I remember reading on one of the biggest video game websites that the reviewer couldn’t not get past 20 percent completion–simply because it got too hard. That motivated me to play and beat the game, which I did. I found myself enjoying it, and it led to me playing Orcs and Elves, Oblivion (which has a lot of dungeon crawler elements), Etrian Odyssey, and more. So when I saw Stonekeep on the Wii Shop Channel, I had to play it. Unfortunately, this is the worst game I have ever played in my entire life.
The most important thing in a game is being able to play it and control it. Stonekeep will make you think your Wiimote is broken–but it’s not. Whoever came up with the control scheme deserves to be fired, because it is the most backwards thing I’ve ever witnessed. To attack, you hold the ‘A’ button, swing the remote in a direction, then release the ‘A’ button. So basically, by the time you complete this action, you are being attacked. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? It defies logic. How about, you press the button, swing, and then you’re done? Since this is a first-person game, one would assume that like every other Wii game that is in a first person view, you would move with the control stick and aim with the Wiimote. Ha, this game DEFIES LOGIC. To walk, you do indeed use the control stick, but to look up, down, and move to aim–the nunchuck is used, tilting it up and down. WHY?! The Wiimote has an IR pointer for a REASON. It is ENTIRELY too awkward to look up and down with the nunchuck tilt and move with control stick.
The ‘C’ button is your shield, and of course you cannot move with your shield out. You must be standing still to use it. The game also tells of a legendary map, that pressing the B button will bring up. It doesn’t work. I assume they left that out because they want you to have no idea where you are going. I mean, who needs a map in a dungeon crawler anyways, right? Another fun thing is the spell casting. Why press a button when you can hold a direction on the D-pad, tilt your Wiimote in some absurd direction, and cast your spell IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE? One spell had me hold the right direction, tilt the Wiimote so it was pointing to the floor, and move in a circle. I’m supposedly to do this while I’m fighting three skeletons that will hit me four times because I have to hold a button, swing, then release a button to melee? I must have become a wizard.
The rest of the game isn’t as bad as the controls, but that’s like saying eating dog feces isn’t as bad as eating a live 5-inch maggot. Neither is really desirable. The graphics are decent, but monotonous. All I ever saw were skeletons, coffins, and the same ugly corridors. I chose the above picture because that looks neat, but the game would never let me get that far with its poor game mechanics. The only color changes I saw were the different colored doors you had to unlock, but good luck remembering where they are since the map is non-functioning. Oh yeah, there’s a story too! This dungeon belonged to your ancestors, and now everyone is dead and there’s a dark spirit over it. That’s the story. Move over Nicholas Sparks, there is a new writing king!
Avoid this game. It doesn’t work, it is terrible, it is ugly, it is utter crap. I don’t care that is a redoing of a game from 1995, I’m sure the one from then is light-years better. Interplay, I want my Clayfighters for WiiWare, not this monstrosity. For USD $5, you are better off buying a pen and piece of paper and drawing some dogs mating. If after that, you still want to play Stonekeep, you can use the pen to stab your eyes out, because trust me–you will want to.
[xrr label=”Rating: 1/10″ rating=1/10]
+ The game will turn on
– Everything else