A shooting gallery game aimed at the little ones.
Wicked Monsters Blast!, from PQube, is a “point the WiiMote at the screen” shooting game for the Wii which seems to be brimming with enthusiasm. The bulk of this enthusiasm comes from the cast of quirky characters that present themselves with such confidence that I feel I should already know them. Did I miss the memo? Am I falling behind with my knowledge of popular kids culture? Whether they have appeared in other media before or not, I don’t know. But what I do know is that these guys have star quality and I would not be the slightest bit surprised to see these guys pop up as the stars of more games in the future.
The game is a collection of shooting-based mini-games, in a similar manner to the classic Point Blank series. The player, or players as the game supports up to four people playing at once, will find themselves pointing their WiiMote at the screen and spamming the “B” button as they shoot bottles in a bar, feed a whale from a conveyor belt, or follow a sequence of numbers on a target board. The mini-games all work incredibly well and are simple enough for anyone to get in on the action.
The mini-games are all tied together with three different game modes. Arcade mode is perhaps the most interesting as the player picks a character and then works through a story revolving around that character. It is here that players can get to know the stars of the game and it is a great incentive to come back and play more. The player then has three chances to achieve the required score on a selection of the mini-games, fail to get the score three times and it is game over.
The Family mode allows the player to choose which games they want to include in their own collection, the choosing of which is a game itself. Balloons float across the screen containing icons representing the games that the player has unlocked, and they must be shot to include them in your selection. Although this is a bit of fun, some of the games can be difficult to identify and it all seems a little bit busy for a simple game selecting menu.
The final mode, Survival, has to be unlocked and is more or less the same as the Arcade mode, except that it is only for one player. Whilst enjoyable and certainly handy for practice, Wicked Monsters Blast! is much more suited to multiplayer fun with friends.
It is with friends that the game really takes off. Things can get quite chaotic with four aiming reticules moving around the screen at the same time, but there are also power-ups that can be activated, such as flicking bombs at your opponents or making their aiming reticule disappear completely. The variety of the different mini-games ensures that things get very competitive and before long your living room will be filled with jovial screaming and shouting.
The presentation of the entire game is great. The game is aimed at the younger gamers, so everything is kept bright and simple, and the charismatic characters engage the kids right from the start. Wicked Monsters Blast! also has a humour running through it which will appeal both to children and any adults that wish to join the fun.
But now for the bad news – the game only has 12 mini-games included. In this day and age when mini-game collections are pretty much everywhere, even a budget-priced title really needs to provide more than 12. There is a lot of enjoyment to be had from playing the games, but part of the fun is wondering what will be coming next, and with only 12 it won’t take long before you have seen all the game has to offer.
But still, it is not that big of a deal. Wicked Monsters Blast! plays incredibly well and will engage the young ‘uns for hours on end. As before mentioned, the game is at a budget price, although I would pay the couple of quid more just to get the pair of blasters that come in a very reasonably priced bundle, and watch the kids eyes light up. If you are looking to entertain the wee (wii) ones, or just enjoy blasting your TV screen, then Wicked Monsters Blast! is a worthy purchase.