Reviewed: December 20, 2006
Released: November 14, 2006
I remember when I was a lot younger than I am now and playing the game Rampage in the arcade. It was such a simple game, but it was really fun and addictive. Well, fast-forward about two decades and bring along the Wii with its novel playing style and youíve got Rampage: Total Destruction for the Nintendo Wii.
The game honors its roots by maintaining that sense of simple, gratuitously destructive fun by placing you in a very familiar setting with familiar creatures to control, but updating it all to the 21st century.
You even start off with a nice little entertaining introduction movie that takes a little extra time to explain where the mutant building-crushing monsters came from and why theyíre so angry that theyíre just going around wantonly destroying anything in their sight.
I recall the control on the original arcade game being simple, but sometimes frustrating because you couldnít get the monster to punch exactly where you wanted them to, or jump exactly onto what you wanted. This new version is a little better, especially since it takes place in a three dimensional environment, so you are much better able to see how to get from one building to another, but there is still some frustration, at times, when you are wanting to reach into an open window to grab an important item for bonus points, but you accidentally punch the wall right beside it and end up knocking the building down, destroying your precious bonus item in the process.
This ultimately doesnít matter, however, since the name of the game is to destroy and blow up as much as you possibly can, however you figure out to do it. Some of the power-ups are really fun, also, adding a new layer of enjoyment to an already tried-and-true game.
There are also boss fights now, where youíll have to take down enemy tanks and jets and more that are trying to gas you back into human form and cure you of your mutant fun.
Using the Wii remote, you really get to get into the game by punching and swinging your arms around like a mutant, yourself, in order to bash and demolish all the things on each stage, which definitely makes the game a lot more enjoyable than just a button masher like it used to be. Otherwise, it would get really old, really fast.
The graphics, as I said, are definitely a step up from the old-timey arcade game, but theyíre nothing to gawk at, either. Since the only things on the screen that are of any scale are your characters and the buildings, the other, human characters and vehicles are so small that you donít really get to notice their detail very much. The game designers did definitely take the time to add many nice little details to their environments that you ultimately tear down anyway, but that add an enjoyable touch while itís there.
There really arenít that many things to be said about the sound in this game. I found that they were sometimes lacking and subtle. Luckily, the Wii remote rumbles, because its vibration was sometimes the only clue to me that the building that I was whacking away at was getting ready to collapse. I donít know if the game designers felt that if you were a fifty foot mutant monster, the only things you would hear would be really loud noises, like gunfire and explosions, but that seems to be pretty much the only thing as far as sound effects go.
Other than that, there are the occasional voice-overs of radio or TV announcers talking about your progress of destruction, but it only helps add a little bit to the overall feel of the game.
I found that Rampage was entertaining only as far as you would expect from a revamp of an old arcade game from the mid-80ís. The good thing is that the game doesnít pretend to be anything more than that, so you get what is advertised: total destructionÖ. and thatís it.
The replay value isnít very high for the game. I found that it was only really enjoyable for longer periods of time when played with at least a second. It would be a good party-game, or a good weekend rental, but I donít really foresee anybody playing it by themselves over and over again for any particular reason.
Overall, I found myself initially really enjoying the game, mostly because it was so simple and mindless that you didnít even realize how long you had been playing for. After playing it once, though, I didnít really have the urge to go back and play any more on my own, even though I had plenty of levels and characters left to unlock. As I said, I think this gameís real value lies in the simplicity and accessibility that would be really good for an enjoyable party game or as a rental.
As I just mentioned, there are plenty of new creatures and levels that definitely add a little more fun and replayability than the original, but itís still basically a supped up version of the basic smashíem-up arcade classic. So, if all you want is a little mindless, simple, fun, easy, gratuitous destruction, this gameís for you. If youíre looking for a thinking manís game, Rampage: Total Destruction probably isnít for you.