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Nintendo Wii Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

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Entirely different than it’s next generation counterpart, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End sports a far better fighting system, with a more fluid sense of sword fighting that benefits the game greatly. While the production values feel significantly cut, this is the better game at its core. The slapped together Wii controls sadly bring it back down from other comparable versions.

Cinematics are the first impressions gamers will have with this summer movie based title, and it’s a rough start. The character models are sloppy, animation feels unfinished, and the dialogue lacks any of the sly wit of the films. The first few challenges are dull as well, performing a mundane rescue by saving prisoners by flipping switches.

Combat begins and this engine has a chance to work. It’s still rough around the edges, but at the very least, the player feels as if they’re causing damage and actually landing strikes as opposed to the miserable Xbox 360 edition. Fighting multiple enemies can prove problematic, as there are far more offensive options than defensive, though the combo system does allow for a few quick shots on other foes than the one you’re focusing on.

On the Wii, this is all handled with the Remote. Swinging it side-to-side releases rapid strikes, up and down delivers more powerful blows. These can be strung together to create various moves to keep the repetition down. With the number of enemies, playing becomes an issue of stamina as your wrists wear down halfway through a level.

If there was any benefit to this, it might be acceptable. However, you’re not making sword-fighting motions (which would actually be worse in execution). Wildly flicking the controller is no more intuitive, exciting, or involving than hitting A on any other console. Additional acquired weapons, such as daggers or bombs, are handled with a button press, further alerting the player that the motion controls are tacked on.

As with other versions, brief film like moments are handled through some quick time events, something we have Shenmue to thank for. These instill some of the over the top fun of the movies, and are typically reserved for boss fights. In addition to the standard duel, various objects can be tossed or dropped on your enemy by timing the buttons presses as they appear on screen.

At World’s End follows the plotline of the second film, Dead Man’s Chest for a rather large portion of its game play time. There’s little excuse for it, and it’s a frustrating design choice for fans looking to dive into the third portion of the Pirates saga. Non-Pirates fans won’t know the difference.

What the Wii needed was a Pirates game of its own. Simply taking the PlayStation 2 game and porting it is unacceptable. With the motion controls, a true sword-fighting engine could have been a blast if done carefully and properly in moderation. If you’re willing to create an entirely new game for each generation of consoles, than there’s no reason Wii followers don’t deserve the same treatment.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Simulated Gambling, Violence. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, 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.
  • Ryan

    Hopefully the success of the 8.5 million selling Wii console will help it diverge away from being a PS2 port in other games – any film based, or any game in that matter.

  • jnt

    uuuuuuuuu gatta switch

  • http://wedigital.blogspot.com MeOmee

    I like THE Caribben.