Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Thor: God of Thunder

(Image taken from:

Is Thor for the Wii a great game? No, of course it isn't. We already knew that. It’s a movie tie-in game, and movie tie-in games, besides The Chronicles of Riddick are notoriously bad. You can count on it. But is Thor for the Wii at least a good game? Well, yeah, I’ll give it that, as Sega has managed to make a movie tie-in game that doesn’t fall into awful territory. It might be repetitive as all hell and sometimes even annoying with its “epic” boss encounters that you’ll encounter more than once, but I’ll say that Thor is a decent title. It definitely could have been worse.

And the reason why it doesn’t suck is because Thor, like Ghost Rider before it is a God of War rip-off. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If there’s any franchise worth ripping off, it’s GOW, as there’s just so many different directions that you can take it in. Thor for the Wii, unfortunately, doesn’t take it in all that many directions, as bosses get repeated, enemies get recycled, and a lot of the territories look the same. That said, there’s enough variety in this game with the progressing events that take place that most of it is forgivable. Most of it, I said.

The story involves Loki tricking his brother Thor into a world of trouble because that’s what Loki does. But the story can be put to the side. Personally, Thor has never been one of my favorite Marvel characters, but I would think that he has a bigger rough gallery than is presented in this game. Aside from the bosses, you face very similar foes that can mostly be dispatched by just tapping the attack button over and over again. There are other attacks available that can cut through the monotony, but there actually might be too many attacks, as you’re sometimes given so many different commands that you forget special attacks in key moments when you need them the most. But the moves are at least all there, like lightning attacks and slamming the ground with Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjollnir, so you definitely feel like the God of Thunder (And, as I mentioned earlier, like the God of War, too, what with defeating the seemingly endless waves of enemies before you can progress to the next section).

The combat system is based on combos, which you can link together to create even stronger magical attacks. The combo system is interesting in that you can continue with them even after you’ve been knocked down if you’re quick enough to leap right back into battle. The game may consist of a whole lot of button pounding, but the combos add a bit of strategy, especially with the boss battles where you can get creamed if you continue the same strategy of just tapping the attack button in close quarters. There are also some flying sections where you can shoot lightning and deflect projectiles to send them back at who fired at you, which is similar to Kratos’ Golden Fleece. But the hit detection in this game is a little off, which leads to it feeling more like luck than skill. Overall, Thor for the Wii is a decent title but it’s nothing memorable. If you like the comic or movie, then you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your money if you purchase this game. If you like, either, I said. If you don’t, then you’ll probably just peg it off as another generic GOW clone, so only pick this up if you’re a fan of the Son of Odin.

Now, the DS version of the game, which I was also sent a copy of, is a whole different story. Relying on both screens for combat, Thor for the DS is a 2D side-scroller that also relies on combos, but in a far more interesting way. Thor has a wide-arsenal of techniques like hurling his hammer and shooting out lightning, but it just seems to work better in 2D. I feel like this game is just superior to the Wii version. The story isn’t anything to write home about and it’s also about Loki deceiving his brother, but ripping apart columns and picking up baddies, only to hit others with them, is a total blast that harkens back to the good old days when beat-em-up’s were actually fresh.

br> With both screens to play on, Thor can jump to either screen and take out his foes in a variety of ways, by hammer or by picking up objects in the level, including other bad guys, and slamming them into each other. The only problem that I have with the game is that it may be even more repetitive than its next-gen brethren. But again, Thor just seems to work better in 2D. So add an extra half star for the DS version if you plan on getting it. It’s better that the Wii version, but it’s not a massive leap or anything like that. By Odin’s beard, they’re decent! And for movie-tie in games, that’s actually quite an accomplishment.

Players: 1
Platform(s): Wii (Reviewed) Playstation 3, X-Box360, Nintendo DS (Reviewed)
Developer: Wii (Red fly Studios) Nintendo DS (WayForward)
Publisher: Sega
ESRB: Wii (Teen) Nintendo DS (E10)
Rating: Three stars out of five


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