Meet the Robinsons Review (Xbox360)

Inevitability in the videogames industry is a common occurrence, and perhaps there is no finer example of this than the “anticipation” of a game conversion of the latest Disney movie. The latest of this is, of course, a videogame instalment of the recent Disney flick, Meet The Robinsons. In typical fashion, the game takes the basic components of the movie, and distributes them among a series of events for the player, most of which do not occur in the movie itself.

Meet The Robinsons pits players in the shoes of Wilbur Robison, a cocky, street-wise time-travelling kid, who in actuality, was not the star of the film, but rather a side character. This time around, however, the developers have put Wilbur at the front of the pack, taking the games lead. After a brief introduction sequence, you are taken back to the Robison residence, which acts as a sort of “hub” area to base your missions on.

Unlike the movie, Wilbur takes centre stage for the videogame adaptation
The dissembler is just one of many gadgets you can use

The game has you travelling throughout a series of locations in the Robinson time machine, and traversing various dungeons while fighting off its indigenous inhabitants and collecting various gadgets and treasures. Everything here has been done before, so it’s not going to blow the socks off players wishing for something different than your average movie – game adaptation. Thing’s don’t exactly get off to a positive start, however, with Wilbur been given the monotonous task of discovering the code to the garage. Ostensibly, however, its really the games chance to allow the player to familiarise his or herself with the games control and gadget system, taking you through a series of tutorials.

The most appealing aspect of Meet The Robinsons is its control system, which is oddly enough mirrored quite largely around the Zelda games. Wilbur has the ability to “lock-on” to an object or opponent, before strafing around his target. While it’s been done to death, its definitely a simple scheme to get the hang of, and pretty useful for combat. Each dungeon, meanwhile, has a variety of puzzles and other obstacles for you to overcome, although they’re not all that intimidating, and can be solved with little effort. The game also incorporates a rather amusing “Blue print” system, where you are able to construct a variety of gadgets and other useful equipment by collecting component parts and throwing it all together in a special machine back at the lab. Interestingly, in order to obtain these various components, you must zap objects and enemies using a disassembler, allowing you to then collect a number of different parts used to create whatever gadget is required.

The game uses a Zelda-style “lock-on” aiming system
Spry little fellow, our Wilbur, isn’t he?

Other weapons include the Chargeball Glove, which is a basic projectile weapon, to other useful tools including the Robinson scanner, allowing you to locate hidden objects and find enemy weak points etc. Suffice to say the game is fundamentally like any other cartoon adventure, but there’s some interesting additions that keep the premises fresh and entertaining. In terms of length, the game is pretty big for what it’s worth, offering up over 40 missions to take part in, and there are plenty of collectable items on offer, such as concept art, bonus footage and more. The challenge is pretty tight too, especially the boss creatures, which require a certain level of tact to defeat, though most of the game is relatively straightforward.

Visually speaking, the game holds true to the movie throughout. Characters retain the look of their movie counterparts, and sport some lively animations, as you’d expect. The in-game cut scenes in particular are quite impressive. Environments are colourful and fairly detailed too, although a few basic textures do tend to get a little bland up close. Still, there are dozens of locations to explore, nullifying any chances of repetition. On the audio side of things, again, the game stays true to the movie, with the films full cast lending their voice talents to the game. This also benefits the games cut scenes nicely, which have been built from the ground up specifically for the videogame incarnation. Other assorted sound effects are pretty mandatory of any platform romp, although the game score contains some nice, jaunty tracks worthy of mention. Children especially should find it more than comforting.

Each location has its own boss enemy to defeat
Simple but oddly satisfying is the best way to describe Meet The Robinsons

Overall, Meet The Robinsons isn’t necessarily breaking any boundaries, but (perhaps surprisingly) it’s a decent conversion of the movie worth playing if you’re a fan of the film or indeed Disney in general. Kids in particular are going to lap it up. There’s plenty of content to unlock and the main game is pretty meaty compared to most games of its kind out there, so it’s not a bad choice overall. But we all know that, inevitably, it’s going to sell, don’t we?

Top Gaming Moment:
Some of the more expansive locations are a treat for the eyes, and you’ll probably be duped into believing you’re watching the actual movie.

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