Published on November 13th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Wreck-It Ralph Review
Genre: 2D Side Scrolling Platformer
Platform: Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS [Reviewed], Nintendo Wii
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph is a movie featuring some of the most iconic characters in video games. In turn, Wreck-It Ralph, the game, is the adaptation of the movie. The game’s story takes place right after the events of the movie. Without ruining the movie with any spoilers of the game, Cy-bugs are back and are now infecting Mr. Latwik’s arcade.
It is up to Ralph and Felix to defeat the CY-bugs and restore the games.
There is little difference between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii versions of the game. The Nintendo Wii version tells the story with the mixture of videos and still image voice acting while the Nintendo DS version tells the story only in still image voice acting. Other differences control options for the Nintendo Wii.
The game offers two control options for the Nintendo Wii. You could either play the game with the Wii Remote turned horizontally, similar to how you would play some of the classic Wii Ware titles, or you could attach the Nunchuk and use the analog stick to move instead of the D-Pad. With a classic side scrolling gameplay, this is one of the rare games where you might prefer to play with the Wii Remote turned horizontally. There is no support for the Classic Controller, which is an odd choice on Activision’s part.
Other than these above differences, the games are identical between the platforms.
The controls are simple. You have a jump, attack, super attack buttons and a button that allows you to switch between Ralph and Felix. The switch between Ralph and Felix depends on the puzzles. When you need to wreck things, fight enemies, or move heavy objects, then Ralph is your guy. Felix is there for fixing things, precision jumping, and quickly moving past timed doors.
The level designs and the platforming gameplay brought me back to the days of playing Mega Man 2 and Mega Man X. Mix in some puzzles, Cy-bug enemies, and occasional boss battles reminiscent of early 90s games, Wreck-It Ralph will bring a nostalgia to any gamer who grew up in the Super Mario Bros. era. You can even collect coins while going through the level. Collect 100 coins and receive 1-UP. The heavy influence of the 90’s gameplay made this game both enjoyable and boring.
The current releases of HD remakes of our favorite games often get criticized for not being able to stand up the test of time. The games are short, easy, and simply bring those feelings back. This is what Wreck-It Ralph falls victim to. The game is easy…really easy.
You might miss-time a jump causing you to die, but the second attempt is smooth sailing, unlike Mega Man 2 where your timing has to be perfect. With three environments having five levels each, coupled with the easy difficulty, you could finish the game in one sitting and in around two hours. The three levels are themed after the three games Ralph visits in the movie; Fix-It Felix Jr., Heroes Duty, and Sugar Rush. However, after completing the game the first time around a new mode becomes available, Game Mode+.
Game Mode+ helps redeem Wreck-It Ralph. Game Mode+ includes three features that drastically change the difficulty of the game. Levels are now timed and have to be completed in less than six minutes. In addition to the new time limit, enemies are three times tougher and there are no more check points throughout the level. Die and you have to start the level from the beginning. The new features in Game Mode+ change your approach to the game. Game Mode+ could be challenging for children and adults.
The Final Truth
Despite Game Mode+, there is simply not enough content in the game. The game should have been released digitally with high definition graphics and below $20 USD. With the Nintendo DS version costing $24.99 and the Nintendo Wii version being $39.99, it is hard to see any reason to pick up this game with such little content.
This is especially true for the Wii version with no relevant additional content to offer. Wreck-It Ralph is an excellent game for anyone who played video games in the late 80s and early 90s. For gamers who grew up with the LEGO games, Little Big Planet franchise, or even The New Super Mario Bros. games, Wreck-It Ralph does not offer what we would expect from a disc/cartridge based game. I would have loved to see the Fix-It Felix Jr. game to be included as additional content, but sadly it stays available only on mobile phones and the PC.
Wreck-It Ralph will be a great pick up once the price drops below $20, but even Felix “Fix-It” Jr. cannot fix the flaws the game has.