Wii! (huh-yeah) What is it good Thor?
Welcome back for another review of a Thor game, this time on the Wii. I’ll admit, I have yet to sink my hammer into the Thor craze. I haven’t seen the movie, nor have I tasted the 7-11 Slurpee (though my guess is it tastes like the color blue). However, I can claim to have played the Wii version of the game. How does this version fare compared to the DS and HD console versions? Let’s (insert Thor reference here) and find out!
Graphics and Sound
Often, when a movie adaptation comes about, one expects for a more realistic graphical approach. Colors are usually more subdued and things often look more gritty, to match the realism of the releasing movie. While Thor: God of Thunder’s graphics fail to push the Wii into any sort of impressive territory, I have to say that I was quite impressed with the variety of colors used throughout the game. Just take a look at the above screens. What the game lacks in polys, definition and textures, it makes up for with comic book-like colors. While gameplay is largely the same throughout the game, the varying environments keep things fresh. Playing through Thor, I was reminded of my time spent playing through the Wii version of Sonic Unleashed and realized how much the werehog stages would have benefited from this sort of variety. While I may be bashing my three hundredth enemy, at least the area looks vastly different from the one I was in an hour ago.
Sound is passable. It does its job, but nothing is really memorable. Music is the expected heroic orchestral stuff, voices are hit and miss. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston reprise the roles of Thor and Loki and do a great job. However, the other actors drag things down a bit to B level standards with the usual overacting snarling bad guy voices. The best thing I can say in regards to the sound is that I never got sick of any aspect, nor did I turn down the volume.
If the DS version of Thor was an “above average 2-D side-scrolling fighter”, the Wii version is an average 3-D brawler. You play as Thor (obviously), fighting your way through villains to reach a boss. Defeat the boss, clear the stage and move onto the next. As this sort of game has been done time and time again for years, Thor would have to have something unique to catch people’s attention. Does it? Well, sort of. Red Fly Studio, the developer of the Wii version, did an apt job in implementing a variety of moves, both button based and motion based. Before even booting up the game, I knew it MUST have the ability to slam down the Wii remote to execute a hammer attack. Thankfully it does, and then some. Players are able to do a number of Mad World-like moves that do anything from swinging your hammer, to bashing bosses left, right, up or down.
One of the most exciting aspects is the combo system. As your combo count climbs higher, more powerful moves become available. This leads to some pretty epic screen clearing moves. I found this element of the game to be an excellent method of inserting a superhero into a game. Usually, fans argue that a video game character feels underpowered compared to their comic book/film persona. However, should the “real” Thor exist in a game like this, the stage would be complete within a few minutes. The combo method is a great compromise. You might feel underpowered at first, but after a dozen combos you are able to unleash superhero level attacks. I wouldn’t mind seeing such a system applied to a future Superman game.
Bosses offer up challenging and exciting combat, which is great as they are your end goal for each stage. Often, bosses are massive and there is a good variety in the combat. So no fear of feeling as though you’re fighting the same enemy reskinned, stage after stage. In fact, the bosses are possibly the best combat the game offers. Shame there wasn’t a bit more of this, perhaps mid-stage sub-bosses would have helped?
Overall, Thor: God of Thunder for the Wii is a fun game. It doesn’t push the limits of the genre, but it is not offensive. I’d recommend it to fans of Thor (the comic or the movie, or both) and to those who can’t get enough of 3D brawlers. To the neutral gamer I’d say rent it for now, but it’s worth a purchase down the line once the price lowers.
- Combo system unlocks more powerful moves
- “The colors, Duke, the colors!”
- Bosses are better than expected
- Samey stage progression
- Less than exciting graphics, the Wii can do better than this
- Been there, brawled that