Review: Wicked Monsters Blast! HD
Choose your cartoon animal and go on a shooting rampage with up to four players using any combination of Move motion controllers or Dualshock 3s. Wicked Monsters Blast! HD uses an eye catching art style with a colorful cast of quirky animal deviants with a conscious for our planet. While the theme of the game succeeds at delivering for all ages, the basic shoot gameplay does not. The minigames offer plenty of variety, most of which are spin-offs of a basic shooting gallery.
Wicked Monsters Blast! HD is a PSN digital download port of a Wii game featuring cute characters. Each character has their own story as to why they wish to be the leader of the international crime syndicate called Wicked and take over the world. Some character stories are written better than others and I’d go as far as to say that a couple are downright hilarious. Parda is the Panda character available without the need to unlock, and his story is one of the lamest.
There are three menu game modes, but initially only Arcade mode is accessible. All modes can be played with either Dualshock controllers or Move controllers, but its more fun and way more accurate with the Move controller. In Arcade mode, one to four players compete in a series of minigames. Arcade mode is where you unlock more characters and minigames, discover the stories behind each of the characters, unlock their endings, and unlock the remaining modes. Most of your time will be spent in Arcade mode if you intend to chase trophies.
In Family mode, one to four players can choose the minigames they want to play by shooting up to seven hot air balloons. Each balloon has an icon representing a minigame. The only probably is the tiny icon is the only way to tell which game is which. If you’ve been playing for a while, then you will likely recognize most of the icons the developers have deemed as fitting graphical representations of that particular minigame. Otherwise, this is a trial and error learning game of its own that is completely unnecessary had they simply included text.
Survival mode is unlocked once you’ve beat the game with each of the four default characters effectively unlocking four boss characters as well. Survival mode is played by one player only, with one life only. Meaning if that player fails to reach the minimum score goal for any one particular minigame, then the game is over. All other modes allow three failed attempts before ending the game. You’ll basically need to fail almost half of the minigames you’ll play to lose entirely and start all over again. This is really easy to do in the Hard difficulty.
The multiplayer is local only and is really only fun in the easy difficulty. The medium and hard difficulties have higher score goals and more frantic gameplay which, when there are four similarly colored crosshairs on screen, can be crazy. Additionally, power-ups can be deployed by shaking the controller to boost your score or mess with other players like jamming their gun. There is one game where the object is to shoot squares in numbered order. The squares flip over for just a second or two to reveal the order before flipping back. The contextual indicators are color coded for each player to shoot.
You must shoot your number 1, before shooting your number 2, 3, and 4. Its yours if it matches the color of your move controller and crosshairs, but what if the PlayStation Eye designates your color to be light green and your mom’s controller color is light teal. Now you have a dilemma where these numbers and even your crosshairs looked very similar. This particular minigame can be next to impossible to play without everyone just shooting wildly at all the squares. With four Dualshock 3s, everyone’s crosshairs are either red, green, blue, or yellow just as they are in Wicked Monsters Blast! for Wii.
Wicked Monsters Blast! HD is advertised as a game for all ages. Not to sound too much like the ESRB, but there is one minigame where you must shoot a gallery of moose that are robbing a bank. Many of them are wielding real looking guns and taking female animal characters hostage, forcing you to shoot cautiously. Other than that, every time the trigger is pulled a realistic gunshot sound is heard. My five year old daughter did play with me, but after a few games I realized that some of the minigames were not easy enough for her even in the easy difficulty. The reaction timing needed and the passing requirements were out of her reach. Reminded me a lot of Lights, Camera, Party!
There are a couple games that are not played as traditional arcade shooters. Instead of pointing at the screen and shooting down “the barrel” of the controller, the camera tracks only the position of the glowing ball in a 3D space. One game will have you popping bubbles with the silly concept of adding clean air to the polluted water. Pushing in toward the screen will move the bubble popper in and out allowing you to adjust for the closer and further bubbles. Another game has you firing a boxing glove attached to a spring (Acme style) at kamikaze UFOs. Both require unorthodox movements when compared to the rest of the game.
Overall, Wicked Monsters Blast! HD is a mostly family friendly shooting gallery experience with minor issues with the Move motion controller tracking which is made worse with many players over the course of many games. The music is befitting but ultimately shallow. The hand drawn characters and colorful storylines add an entertaining layer to the game. Picking your character may have no effect on the gameplay, but is necessary for trophy progression. There is no online multiplayer even though that would have been a welcomed feature and four Arcade mode completions are required before all modes become available. For $9.99, it may be worth it if you’re looking to get this type of game to play with you older children.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Colorful art
- Entertaining story lines
What I Dislike:
- Gameplay not for young kids
- Some games impossible to play due to Move color assignment
- Game gets confused when multiple controllers connect and disconnect
- Move controller calibration did not stay true