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Nintendo DS Review: Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom

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Death Jr. And The Science Fair Of Doom, developed by Backbone entertainment, is an all-new adventure on the Nintendo DS. The Konami released game is the third in a series featuring Death Jr. (DJ), the son of the grim reaper.

The Death Jr. series originally started on the Sony PSP (Death Jr. – released 2005 and Death Jr. II: Root Of Evil – released 2006) and now has made way to the dual screen wonder made by Nintendo. The series was highly anticipated upon the original release, in fact I remember my friends talking about it. Sadly once Death Jr. was released on the PSP, nothing was further mentioned. This goes with this release as well, it’s nothing special once you get into the first mission.

The story to the game is just like a Saturday morning cartoon. Thanks to DJ and his silly looking gothic friends, the evil Moloch has been released and needs to be stopped. If it weren’t for the joined-by-the-head twins Smith and Wesson and their strange science experiment, none of this would ever have happened. With help from his friend Pandora, who is kind of stuck in the afterworld thanks to the experiment gone wrong, DJ is in for an interesting adventure.

The game looked promising once I turned on my DS and started a new game. The 3-D graphics look really nice on the two screens but once I actually started playing the game I was bothered with the side scrolling movement. There was a ton of dialog at the beginning of the game, which resulted in me pressing the “A” button as fast as I could.

Using the touch screen during game play became confusing at times resulting in me trying the first level over and over until I could master the “slingshot” effect. I could not for the life of me figure out how to get Pandora to hold the souls. Switching between DJ and Pandora during the adventure was nothing new and at times rather annoying.

The weapons were not very impressive either. Throughout the game you mainly use your scythe and also have the option to use the pistols, a shotgun, and C4 hamsters. The scythe proved to be the most effective weapon and the pistols were worthless. The scythe could be used to grab on to edges or moving platforms where you could then pull yourself up but when I did this I brushed up against an enemy and to my surprise I was not harmed. Can you say glitch?

The game may be more entertaining to the younger crowd, as the dull humor did not even come close to making me smile. I felt too old playing it. The enemies were not difficult to defeat thanks to the button smashing moves. Overall I did not find the game too much of a challenge and was disappointed. I have not seen too many adventure games for the DS that kept my attention and I really thought Death Jr. And The Science Fair Of Doom was going to.

The best part of the game, I thought, was the mini games – however in order to get to those you have to finish the actual game. The two mini games consisted of Reaper Ricochet, a mixture of the classic Breakout for the Atari and also Pong. Instead of a ball you used a hamster to break what looked like tombstones, not too unique if you ask me but fun. The other mini game was called War, a typical battle between players. Regretfully if you wanted to play these mini games with your friends on their DS’s they would need a copy of Death Jr. as well.

I do not recommend this game to anyone looking for a challenge. This game could very well be the “death” of the series. It looked so promising, too. I am thinking that the focus was too much on the graphics instead of the game play. This experiment of a game was without a doubt not even close to being the runner in this science fair.

Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language.


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About Brian McConville

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    hi hi bored