Enjoy the movie through the power of mini games.
Movie tie-in games are a thorny subject for any experienced gamer. Nine times out of ten they are rushed out simply to cash in on the release of the movie, offering a substandard experience that does nothing but reinforce the gamers determination to never again buy a movie tie-in video game. It is true to say that these games are rarely any good, but for the target audiences of young movie fans they can offer a chance to escape into the world of their most current favorite movie.
With the release of Rio, available on both Xbox360 and PS3, THQ have taken the less traveled road by releasing a collection of mini games rather than the usual platform adventure debacle. Whilst mini game collections may well be the other pet hatred of many experienced gamers, there is no denying that they serve a purpose, especially at family gatherings or after a night on the town. It can also be said that, unlike the Wii console, Xbox360 and PS3 don’t have so many mini game compilations to choose from. So already Rio has managed to raise itself above the usual movie tie-in games.
So the game contains a reasonable 40+ different mini games for players to enjoy. These mini games offer a decent variety of different gameplay types, all revolving around the locations and characters from the movie, giving the fans of the film something to be excited about. It is filled with clips from the movie which will induce squeals of delight from the younger players out there. The basic story, from the movie and the game, revolves around a rare parrot that is taken to Rio De Janeiro to be matched up with a female of his species. However, the parrots are “bird-napped” and proceed to have an amazing adventure, as they do.
There are a number of different modes in the game, and different difficulty levels ensuring that players of all levels can enjoy them. The main mode, story mode, follows the story of the movie and offers games that fit in with the locations visited. Up to four players will compete in a couple of mini games and are scored depending on their placing. Unlocking the next chapter of the story is dependant on the player being top of the leaderboard for that chapter. They will then be treated to a clip from the movie before moving on to the next batch of games.
The party mode can be played individually or in teams and sees the players being able to choose which mini games they wish to play. Within party mode it is possible to choose a quiz submode that will actually test the players with questions about the movie and the locations in between games. Garland Gala sees the player competing across ten random mini games with garlands given as prizes. These garlands are then used in the final game. Carnival mode sees the player rewarded for their mini game performance with Marmosets, the goal being a line of 20 to win. And finally there is Carnival wheel where players spin a wheel to determine the game and the points value for the winners.
All things considered, that is a fair few different modes to play through. The mini games themse3lves offer some variety, but many of them offer a different theme surrounding the same gameplay. Some games will see the player targeting marmosets, whilst others may involve dodging missiles of different types. There are chase games and rhythm games and players will find themselves flinging mud and throwing snowballs. There is some repetition to the gameplay types, but all of the games are easy to pick up, with very uncomplicated controls, and good, clean fun.
The presentation of the game leaves nothing to complain about. The visuals are all well polished and the cutscenes are as bright and colourful as you would expect. The voice work within the game is of a high standard, although the original actors are not used, and the soundtrack is suitably upbeat and cheery, putting the player in carnival mood.
Rio is a good, solid mini game compilation, which begs the question “do you want a mini game compilation?”. With no online support of any sort, it is a game for groups within the confines of their living rooms. Youngsters who have watched the film, and even those who haven’t, will enjoy the upbeat atmosphere and the different characters and will have no problems getting the adults to join in their fun. But if mini games are not your thing, then there really is nothing to see here.