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Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure Review - Wii

7.5
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 6 stars 6
Innovation: 9 stars 9
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Introduction

Isn’t it interesting that Capcom has come out of nowhere to suddenly hold the position as premium third party developer for the Wii? Ubisoft seemed like an early leader with many titles hitting the system early, but unfortunately many were a little lacking in polish. Activision also gave it a shot with Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, and EA put in a respectable effort with SSX Blur and MySims. But Capcom? Capcom enjoyed great success with well over a million sales of Resident Evil 4, and now they’re bringing an original IP to the system: Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. Is it another exemplary addition to the Capcom family, or does it miss the mark?

Gameplay

It’s another exemplary addition to the family. Yeah, I’m not that good with creating suspense. So, the story goes that Zack, a young pirate, is going treasure hunting with his flying monkey friend Wiki. Unfortunately, while travelling to their destination, they get shot down by a rival gang and land on a mysterious island. Karma’s a bitch, though, and as a reward for narrowly escaping death by falling from a burning plane, they land right next to a treasure chest containing the golden skull of that classic pirate of legend, Barbaros. You strike a deal to collect Barbaros’ missing body parts, and in return he’ll take you to the fabled Treasure Island. It’s simple, it’s cutesy, but it works.

So, Zack & Wiki is a point and click puzzle solving adventure title. I use the ‘adventure’ tag in a more literary sense, because really the whole game is just puzzles – there is no platforming or overworld to explore. You just pick an available location from a map and then get transported to the puzzle. This is fine, but if a sequel ever happens (please!), a more RPG-style open world environment where you gradually work your way through puzzles with bits and pieces you find across the map and new tools you uncover might be worth investigating.

Here’s how it works. You start off a stage with a quick camera pan around the level to check out the various traps and features, and then it zooms in closer and you start. You control Zack by pointing where you want him to move and pressing A - it’s a simple point and click setup. There are two buttons in the top right corner. One lets you see the whole map if you’re stuck or can’t remember where you dropped an item, and the other lets you examine the item you’re holding in closer detail, which may provide hints as to how you can use them (some items will require button presses to activate). The environments are very interactive, filled with the plenty of things to examine. This is done by holding the pointer over them (it turns from yellow to pink if you can click on them) and pressing A.

That’s the basic adventure and puzzle solving mechanics explained, but there’s one more complication to add a bit more ...

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