Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Phineas & Ferb: Across the Second Dimension

 Phineas & Ferb: Across The 2nd Dimension Review

Kid Safe: Very High (9.5  / 10)                             Game Quality: Very High 8.5 / 10)

Genre: Action/Adventure
-          This game is identified by its action-based tone of gameplay that focuses on one or more characters being faced with a challenge and going on an adventure to solve it through puzzle solving, avoiding obstacles, and battling enemies with multiple forms of weapons and attacks.

Internet Requirements: None
-          Phineas & Ferb, to the best of the reviewer's knowledge, does not feature any kind of internet-based service. It does not feature any online multiplayer, "score keeping"/leaderboard, or downloadable content services.

Story Summary: Phineas & Ferb: Across The 2nd Dimension is a direct pick-up after the film, Phineas
& Ferb: The 2nd Dimension. The title is meant to be a tie in and picks up with the characters of the Phineas & Ferb television show; including Phineas, Ferb, Agent P, Dr. D, and many more...plus an exclusive character "Agent T", a turtle-type character. From there, players will lead the team through a diverse set of "other dimensions" as they work to defeat the Evil Dr. Doofenshimirtz and his legion of robot minions.

Kid Safe: Very High (9.5 / 10)
-          Foul Language: None
o   While I'm sure that the chatters and mutters that the Platypus Perry make are something horrible in the Platypus language, to the best of the reviewer's knowledge , Phineas & Ferb does not contain any kind of foul language.

-          Violence and Gore: Very Low
o   Phineas & Ferb features a very low amount of violence with no gore what-so-ever. Using a wide range of inventive and unrecognized weaponry, players will fight a variety of enemies including a number of different robots, farm animals, and gelatinous beings. These weapons include the Carbonator, a weapon that shoots a spray of orange soda, the Baseball Launcher that, as the name implies, shoots baseballs at the enemy, the Anti-Gravity Gun, that can pick up and hurl enemies at each other, and more. Enemies, when attacked and defeated, will often fall apart or simply disappear within a ball of smoke.
-          Sexually-Related Content: None
o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, Phineas & Ferb does not contain any kind of sexually related content, reference, or nudity.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: None
o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, Phineas & Ferb does not contain any kind of drug, cigarette, or alcohol usage.

Game Quality: Very High (8.5 / 10)
-          Graphics / Visuals: High
o   Despite what you might have presumed, Phineas & Ferb actually delivers in the graphics and visuals. For anyone that is familiar with the cartoon, you may suffer a couple of annoyances, however these are far and few between. The developers did an excellent job in moving a 2-Dimensional cartoon into a 3-Dimension video-game representation, allowing players to move around accurate representations of all their favorite characters from the Phineas & Ferb cartoon show. Generally, the game feels very much like you are controlling the cartoon and the only real dilemma comes during cutscenes when characters are talking and interacting without your control. Sadly, these scenes offer some slightly broken details and fuzzy visuals, making it regrettable that the developers didn't decide to simply animate these scenes versus using the computer animations.

o   On the contrary, the level and "dimension" design are absolutely superb. While playing through the levels, I never once felt like something had been forgotten or "left out"; the developers generally considered everything about the overarching world. It's not often that you or your child get a chance to explore a world that has been overrun by gelatinous monsters, made up entirely of balloons, or converted into a 1950's era cartoon. Each level and dimension felt as real as the next and I must commend the developers for the thought that was put into them.
-          Audio: High
o   For Phineas & Ferb, I both can and can't claim that the audio is "top notch" like I do many other games for one sole reason: the game utilizes its original voice actors. While this is all well and good, you don't need to be a fan of the game's original show to really appreciate their work. The actors really help in just about every aspect of this title. Not only do they assist in playability by helping players know what they should and should not do, they also constantly keep the dialogue running and witty and up-tone beat as well as adding their own commentary here and there. There was more than once that the game's simple puns and childish humor had me laughing right along with them, reminding me much of a Looney Toons cartoons that uses humor that appeals to all rather than something that "only kids will get".

o   Secondly, the music in this game is simple and well-done, but not used enough. Most levels tend to be either silent or music tends to be re-used from prior situations, really negating from the overall enjoyment. Nonetheless, those pieces that are present here and there deserve praise for their simplistic yet enjoyable beats.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Very High
o   Much like the show that the game stems from, Phineas & Ferb and features an INCREDIBLY high amount of both gameplay and playability. Starting off, as always, with playability. This game does EVERYTHING it can to adhere to just about every player. Any veteran player that is familiar with most action/adventure games won't even have to blink an eye; they know almost instantly both how to handle the character and use the majority of the moves and attacks. However, for those players that don't know how to play the game or how to play games in general, Phineas & Ferb helps them along every step. Not to mention that this game will generally display almost any button that a player needs to push in order to use an item, Phineas & Ferb also highlights any section that players need to interact with and, should a gamer take too long, will prompt them with an auditory/subtitle cue to inform them of what or how they need to act to continue through the level.

o   As for gameplay, I have to say that I was blown away. I expected the simple, yet solid gameplay that featured players running around fighting a wide-variety of cartoony enemies. What I didn't expect was the sheer depth of it all; making it akin to other games of a much higher caliber. As players fight their way through Dr. Doofenshimirtz's legions of monsters and robots, their weapons will actually level up; progressively becoming more powerful. As these weapons become more powerful, players will be able to work on them at a "workbench": literally opening them up and improving things like their damage output, rate of fire, available ammunition, and even sound effects and colors. These factors are all reminiscent of very famous and very adult games like Mass Effect or Borderlands.

o   Not even counting weapons or fighting, the game also caters to its audience by constantly breaking up gameplay and offering more than one might expect. While the game generally keeps a linear path, following the Phineas & Ferb group as they explore through dimensions and battle Dr. Doofenshimirtz, it will always have something to do for those players that might not have the longest attention span. Every level is broken up by little mini-games like "Perry-Ball" (also known as Skee-Ball) and the Claw Machine that allow players to use special gold-tokens that they found throughout the levels, win prizes, collect tickets, and even buy a variety of special items like extra playable characters, exclusive sounds and colors for their weaponry, and even trophies and statues that the players can admire when they aren't fighting the Doofenshimirtz Legions.

o   Finally, if all of this isn't enough, players will be able to unlock and play a wide variety of different characters that all have their own specializations and favored weapons. Utilizing these characters will provide very different gameplay experiences as each one will handle a little bit differently and, without a doubt, your little gamer will prefer one over the other.
-          Dollar-Value: High
o   Overall, Phineas & Ferb: Across The 2nd Dimension actually has a pretty high dollar-value. While it does not have anything to offer in the way of additional content or multiplayer, the gameplay itself is very enjoyable; especially for younger gamers that are just getting into gaming. The game will offer the majority of players somewhere between 8 to 11 hours of gameplay; which is on par with the majority of adult-titles that are released to date. Even then, if you have a PlayStation 3 console, you will also be able to enjoy 4 episodes of the Phineas & Ferb cartoon show right off of the game-disc. I will admit that I had never seen Phineas & Ferb and I loved it. All in all, especially if your child is a fan of Phineas & Ferb, this is a solid choice.

-          As a highly child-friendly title, we do not have any other recommendations.

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