Latest Game Reviews

Boom Blox: Bash Party Review - Wii

8
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 5 stars 5
Multiplayer: 8 stars 8
Innovation: 9 stars 9
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Introduction

As one of the first games from EA built from the ground up for Wii with a dedicated team and direction from Steven Spielberg, Boom Blox deserved all the praise it received. With a concept that rekindled that childlike yearning to destroy things and an accessible design, it was an ambitious title that appealed to all ages – and for once, that statement is meant without any qualifications, or sarcasm. It’s been eighteen months or so, and a sequel has arrived, but how does it stack up (sorry) against the original?

Gameplay

Once again, EA has managed to pack in a ridiculous amount of content. It all fundamentally revolves around hitting blocks with thrown objects, but there is a vast amount of variety within that basic framework. It’s worth getting out of the way right at the start that it all controls pretty well (for a game without MotionPlus). It did seem to struggle more than the last game at picking up my throws, which require a flick of the remote, which is odd, but that’s only an occasional frustration. The new slingshot addition that has you pulling away from the screen can also be a struggle. Everything else works pretty well.

So what modes do we have this time around? There are standard puzzles where you have to knock down the tower in as few throws as possible, using bowling balls, tennis balls, or even the slingshot to grab and release component blocks. There are puzzles involving rockets, and explosive chemical blocks, as well as new virus blocks that spread and set off huge chain reactions. There are levels in zero gravity (although blocks do slow down and stop, so it’s not really zero gravity; it’d be too easy if one throw made everything would float away!) and underwater.

There are tons of character blocks based on animals that help you out, like hens that lay bombs for you to use. There are lasers, water hoses, timed challenges, funnels that need to be emptied, blocks that change in point values, air hockey/golf, point zones to knock crystals into for multipliers and so much more. Each of these has its own subsection of several levels, among larger themed areas of the fun park overworld. There really is tons and tons to do.

Sure, some of these are more interesting than others. Your mileage may vary on the underwater levels that have you picking up one piece at a time and throwing them to the surface, or with the hockey/golf games where you slingshot rounded blocks into point zones. Nevertheless, the sheer variety of levels means there’s always something else to try after you get tired of a particular game. There’s a lot of creativity stuffed into this package, and you have to admire EA for trying just about anything, even if not everything is a smash hit.

When completing levels you are graded on how well you do, be it by using as few throws as possible or reaching a certain point level. The better ...

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