I gotta do a wee first...
Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
I love Simon Pegg. Ok, maybe not LOVE Simon Pegg, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every movie I’ve seen him in. So when I found out he was going to lend his voice for EA Bright Light’s new downloadable title, my excitement was overflowing. Marrying one of my favorite performers with my favorite entertainment medium sounded like pure bliss to me. However, once I was able to stuff my inner fanboy back into his hole, the clear headed critic emerged, reminding me that it takes more than voice talent to make a great game. Let’s see how the rest of the Spare Parts package came out, shall we?
Spare Parts is a platformer, through and through. You step into the metallic bodies of either Mar-T or Chip, a pair of robots who’ve been literally dumped onto a foreign and somewhat hostile planet like yesterday’s garbage. The moment you arrive, you’ll meet Comrade (voiced by the afore mentioned Simon Pegg), an AI being who resides within a large ship that crash landed on the planet sometimes ago; and could possibly be the key to getting the stranded duo off world. First though, repairs need to be made. Comrade will give you the basics in a mini-tutorial within the ship. Then he sends you out across the landscape in search of the replacement parts. You’ll jump and punch your way through several areas made up of multiple stages and face off with not only the local wildlife, but a powerful enemy of Comrade’s - who happens to also be on this planet - as well.
As a platformer, it meets all the requisites. Platforms? Check. Multiple, upgradable attacks? Check. Various collectibles? Double check. EA Bright Light has built a solid foundation that should have paved the way for a great entry in the genre. Unfortunately, it never really reaches beyond the requisites. The set up was rife with opportunities for enduring characters and loads of quick one-liners, yet it never really opens the door more than a crack. There’s glimpses of the humor here and there and every once in a while, you get a quick spark of cuteness from Chip and Mar-T, but it never really blossoms enough to meet its potential.
Not that Spare Parts is a bad game. Far from it. It offers both online and local drop in/drop out co-op - which is a bonus in itself these days - and the levels play out in such a way that you won’t find everything without a buddy giving you a hand. Speaking of which, the designs on the whole are solid as well, providing some variety and challenge without becoming thumb numbing in the process. They look nice too. The cartoony art style and vibrant color pallet is sure to appeal to all ages, with nary a glitch or tear to be found anywhere.
The camera can be a bit of a pain at times (since you don’t have any control), but finding a platformer without some kind of camera trouble is a rarity anyways. Controlling Mar-T and Chip also exposes some minor problems - mostly related to depth and the 3D presentation - but beyond that, everything was simple and intuitive. Each baddie has different weaknesses that require you to swap between attack methods, though if you want to just spam the basic attack button, you could.
While it’s lacking in personality, Spare Parts still isn’t bad. It’s unfortunate that the script work didn’t use Simon Pegg as well as it could have, but there is an acceptable platformer underneath. A couple of nagging issues did stand out to further dampen things, but it was an enjoyable, if not forgettable five hour romp. Just don’t come in looking for this to be the new “it” franchise in the genre. You’ll be let down if you do.
+ Built for Co-op
+ Looks great
+ Simon Pegg!!
- ...and not much more than that
- Not enough humor/charm
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Release Date : 2011/01/19
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Electronic Arts
Developer : EA Bright Light
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10