April 17th, 2007, 03:44 Posted By: wraggster
This summer, Eidos will unleash Escape from Bug Island, a US localized version of a little-played Japanese game by the name Necro-Nesia. In this quirky B-movie style action adventure, players wield the Wii remote and nunchuk to explore this creepy island and stomp and whack enormous bugs that get in the way.
Eidos knows that it's got a pretty campy story to work with in Escape from Bug Island, so it's cranking up the kitch level to over-the-top levels and letting the action speak more than the characters. The original game's introduction's been reworked with English voice over work, but once in the game the dialogue's toned down to simply text cutscenes. In all, Escape from Bug Island has about five minutes of spoken dialogue, and Eidos freely admits that the voice over work isn't going to win any dramatic awards. It's meant to be that way.
After the game introduces the three characters and gives the player a hand in a training mission where the Wii action controls are learned, the story begins: at its most basic, your weapon-happy buddy and your girlfriend go missing. Where'd they go? That's for you to find out. Escape from Bug Island has a bit of inspiration from Silent Hill and Resident Evil, but only in the sense that the game's creepy, moody, and hopes to squick you the heck out with horrifying images of bugs grown to abnormal proportions. There's an adventure focus where you'll have to explore the island and its specific locations, as well as find objects that will give clues to your next point on the map, but in all honesty this games all about squishing bugs. Tiny bugs that swarm all over you, huge bugs that tower more than twice your height...and everything in between.
Escape from Bug Island uses the Nunchuk/Wii Remote pairing, with players maneuvering their on-screen persona using the analog stick. To attack, players hold down the B trigger on the Remote and whip it. In our early playtest, we could create light and powerful combos by whipping the remote in a sort of rhythm, with the last hit either whipped normal or hard depending on if we wanted to add a little "oomph." Pushing back on the analog stick will attack low, forward on the stick will attack high. To roll out of the way waggle the Nunchuk for a left evade, waggle the Remote without the B button for a right evade. Players can hop into a through-the-eyes first-person view by holding the A button on the Wii Remote, and look around using the controller's pointing function. This ability comes in handy when you're trying to whack at bugs up close with your stick, or when you want to throw a rock at a specific target. Incidentally, if you "throw" the remote with a whipping motion while in this first-person mode, it'll toss a held item.
The original Necro-Nesia game has been altered to improve the gameplay experience. The Wii motion controls have been tightened up, and elements such as secondary objectives have been added to give players more reward in swatting bugs. Unless you've played the Japanese game you won't even know that these elements have been added, but their inclusion definitely beefs up the production with more stuff to do and a more intuitive way of doing them. If anything, our early playtest didn't turn us off -- the game does have its quirks but it's still pretty fun.
Escape from Bug Island supports the Wii system's widescreen mode and includes support for progressive scan through component cables. The game doesn't look all that bad for Wii standards, pulling off a smooth framerate even when the environments fill with dozens of bugs or gargantuan insects that loom overhead.
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