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Nintendo Wii Review: Open Season

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Open Season is a title that continues pushing forward with the notion that licensed titles are generally unplayable. It’s the worst kind of licensed dreck, riddled with blatantly annoying fetch quests, dull goals, and a difficulty level that only an infant would find challenging. With about a five hour quest, it’s almost as if the developers were making the pain push through quickly.

The movie Open Season follows a pet bear tossed into the wild without a clue as to how to survive. It was funny. The game Open Season has a pet bear tossed into the wild to throw around animals and search for various objects. That’s not funny. Over half the game is a training segment, introducing the player to new powers that feel exactly like the old ones.

The game is extremely linear, taking place mostly in closed forests that allow for little freedom. It might as well be a 2-D platformer. Mission goals are nearly always highlighted by a small set of moving stars. Getting there never requires much in the way of skill.

A bland, drab graphics engine has a single highlight, which is the main character model. These character animations carry with them some amusement, most of which can only be viewed by moving the camera into an unplayable position. On the Wii, the camera is controlled by the D-pad, and while somewhat more controllable than attempting to point with the Remote, it’s out of reach and slow to react.

Typical slapped on Wii controls include flicking the controller down to pick up an object as opposed to pressing a button which would work every time. The only benefit is first person aiming when tossing an animal or object. The accuracy is great, though unfortunately unneeded in a game as forgiving as this.

Missions are prefaced by dialogue, and almost always end with “Let’s find X number of those!” Objects are never hidden or hard to find. It’s not harder to pick up one as opposed to five. Even the games true “hidden” objects are right in the front of the player.

Kids looking for an adventure with their favorite characters from the movie will wonder why they’re stuck picking up worms for a group of skunks. Adults looking for some new Wii software will wonder why they didn’t pick up something more inline with the hardware’s capabilities. Everyone else should know better in the first place.

Open Season is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Crude Humor and Cartoon Violence. This game can also be found on: GBA, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Ken Edwards

    Congratulations! This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States.

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