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This game is the follow up to the Drawn to life game that was only released on the Nintendo DS, so now having completed its transfer to a full gaming console how good is it? This game is a platform game but is actually very different to most of the games out there at the moment and almost reminds me of Rayman due to the characters movement and how the game is laid out.
Before starting the game you have to create your character which we are seeing more and more often now in Role-play games such as the elder scrolls games and many others. What separates this game from others though is that instead of selecting your character from pre-sets like on the Sims and other games you actually use the Wii controller to draw your character in a way that reminds me of Microsoft paint. This painting interface allows you to do whatever you want really and is great fun for small kids, though you can actually be very accurate with it if you want which is handy and allows for great customizable gameplay.
To set the scene this game is centred around the small village of Raposa that's in dire need of your help. Everything is made from a magic book that has been drawn by the creator (you) and you need to draw your character (the hero) and go through the game helping people and trying to find one of the villagers that has been kidnapped. On your adventure you must traverse many different levels and find many different things on the way to your main goal.
After drawing your character you start the game and after some dialogue you are set free in the village with a walkthrough that is integrated into the game so you can learn how to do things as you go and you meet new things all through the game and are taught how to do more and more. Basically you just have to do what you are told to do which is great for kids as it makes the game challenging to pass obstacles but doesn't make the game too hard or boring as you are always working towards a quest and you know what you are meant to do.
The first scene is the Raposa village that has many doors, people to talk to and entrances to different levels. Each entrance has about five different levels to complete and each entrance is set in a very different scene to vary the gameplay; so some are forest and some mountains etc. As you find out in the walkthrough you will come across many blank spaces on your quests that you have to use the Wii remote to draw and fill in things to climb upon to progress through levels. If you're not good at drawing you don't have to worry as there are many templates that you can use but I find that this integration of drawing is a very good idea that changes the gameplay and lets you really play in a game that you have helped to design and create. You can also alter any of your drawings in one of the places in the Raposa village at any time which can be very handy.
In each of the levels there are many things to collect such as gold coins which can be used to buy new bits for your character when the shop opens later. Certain things like glasses or hats can be bought to make your game yet more customized. Different templates can also be bought and you can find collectable stamps in levels too. Each level also has an extra achievement that ranges from completing it in a certain time to other tasks like coin collection to give you even more hours of fun.
Like most platform games you normally start at the bottom left of the level and work your way up or to the right to finish the level and you collect items and coins on the way and have to jump/swing or draw your way there while avoiding or killing enemies. Basically you can either be killed by enemies or fall to your death but you have lots of lives and can collect more on your way through each level.
There is no multiplayer option on this game which is a slight disappointment and there is only one actual game play mode so the game is a little repetitive after a while but as it isn't the kind of game that would suit inline gameplay I feel that has been made very well for its type and is actually very addictive for most ages even though it is aimed at the younger generation.
---GRAPHICS AND SOUND---
The game is actually quite simple and cartoony styled but it works very well and your character moves quite realistically seeing as you have drawn him yourself. The only slight annoyance is that on some obstacles you seem to 'float' above the drawn object. Most of the time the drawing interface works well yet there are just a few subtle glitches. Templates make the game look a lot better but if you zoom in and spend time drawing you can make the game look very good and theme it to however you want.
In terms of the sound in the game the sound effects work very well and are much more fitting than some of the games I have played that are aimed at this kind of age range. You cannot change the voice of the character but overall I think the sounds are very good and don't get too repetitive and boring/annoying.
In terms of how long this game takes, well it depends on how long you spend drawing things but there are well over 20 levels and many more additional quests to complete so it will keep you going for at least 30 hours which is really good for a Wii platform game in my opinion. In most levels the enemies are easy to avoid or kill but seeing as this game is aimed at younger children this is acceptable and expected.
All in all this game is very good and very different to most games on the market. If you enjoy drawing and customizing things then this game will surely appeal to you and provides lots of fun. I actually enjoy it a lot myself even though I am a little old for this game. I bought this game for around £7 online but it can probably be found cheaper now and I would certainly say that it is good value for money.
== DRAWN TO LIFE THE NEXT CHAPTER ==
Drawn To Life The Next Chapter is a follow up to the previous game Drawn To Life that was released for the Nintendo DS only. The Next Chapter is available for the Nintendo DS as well as the Nintendo Wii. Drawn To Life The Next Chapter was developed by Planet Moon Studios and published by THQ for the Wii. Drawn To Life is a platform game but its very different in many ways and its one of the first that I have played and actually love. By far the best thing about the game is the ability to draw your own hero using the Wii remote. You can have him look how you want him to look. Also the story leads on multiple paths which is great for a game like this.
You create your own character before starting the game. You can draw him or her from scratch or you can use an already made template. After creating your character your game starts in a small village called Raposa that's in dire need of your help. One of the villagers has been kidnapped and you must find out where she is. On your journey you will encounter many other quests that take you on different adventures. Finding the girl is the main quest. Can you help restore Raposa village and save the villagers that have been taken and can you put an end to the mysterious person responsible for everything.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
In Drawn To Life The Next Chapter you can play as the character you've created and if you like you can edit your character at anytime. I think this is a fantastic idea to a game allowing the gamer to create their own unique character. The game is like a normal 2D platform game but with the Wii remote you can draw lots of different bits to help on your journey. The main aim of the game is doing what your told to do and drawing what your told to draw but you can pretty much explore the whole village area and see what you can find. In the village there are so many openings or entrances to numerous levels. Each entrance has about 5 or 6 different levels. Each entrance to a set of levels are very differently designed. For example one set of levels is set in a forest and another is set in mountains. There are a lot of different settings for the levels and some of these levels are really long and beautifully designed.
As you progress through the levels you will come across blank areas. Blank areas are very easy to spot and these areas require you to draw something in order to progress. Things like bridges or platforms need to be drawn to progress further. If your not very good at drawing, especially on the Wii then you don't need to worry because the game does offer so many templates to each item. I myself cant draw a single thing on the game because the Wii remote is really sensitive. There are a few items to collect like many platform games. When your in a proper level there are lots of gold coins scattered all over the places and when I mean lots there are possibly thousands on some levels. You can buy new bits for your character when the shop opens later. Certain things like hats, glasses or other bits can be bought and added to your character. You can also buy new templates so you can change your character if your not so great at drawing them. Other bits can also be bought in the shop.
The game plays like most platform games. You start from the left hand side of the screen and work your way right to the end of the level. You can go backwards for certain quests as well. Also there will be doors that can take you to other parts of the level. You will also gain a monkey tail later in the game so you can swing from branches and stuff. One of the most enjoyable parts in the game for me was having the ability to ride in the main characters car. Its really tricky to handle at first but soon as you get the hang of it you can zoom through the levels. In the village there are numerous villagers that require your help and will offer side quests for you to complete. Some of these include collecting certain objects or completing a level quicker than what they actually finished the level in. Also every time you take a hit from an enemy you lose a bit of clothing until almost everything has gone then you lose a life. There are hearts scattered through the levels and one of these heals you completely and restores your clothes. Also there are extra lives to collect but in my opinion there are way too many of them scattered through the whole game.
There are a lot of different enemies on the game and they are all far too easily beaten or avoided. The game is fantastic especially for kids. It gets them involved in gaming and drawing at the same time. Its fun and very addictive. One of the problems I had was the fact that there is only one proper game mode available but it still doesn't disappoint too much. I do feel the game could of benefited more with an additional game mode or a couple more drawing sequences. There is no multiplayer on this game but its not the type of game that can be played online or as a co-op. I do like the game though, even if it is aimed at the younger generation.
=== GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
The game is one of the best designed 2D platform games I have ever played. The level designs are simply perfect and fit right into this game really well. Also I think the fact the game lets you draw almost everything is really good but if you cant draw them right it does affect the graphics slightly in terms of quality. Using the templates is the better option and it makes the game look a lot better. Other characters are nicely designed and stand out really well. They look better than what other aspects look like. The scenery is fairly good in this game as well. Considering Drawn To Life is a 2D game the graphics are really good in my opinion.
The sound effects are really good as well. You cant change the voice of your character. So no matter what they look like their voice will be the same. I loved the actual overall sound effects to the game. I also loved the music to the game because it fitted in perfectly with this type of platform game. Most of the sound effects really stood out in this game and definitely made me enjoy the game a little bit more.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
Without a doubt the drawing is the hardest part of this game. The game is aimed at kids but even I cant draw a decent thing with the Wii remote. The drawing is far too sensitive and awkward. After creating your character the game is incredibly easy throughout. Its easy to do side quests and they don't really offer a huge challenge. Also the levels are very easy to complete. I think the game gives you far too many extra lives. The platform elements in the game aren't at all challenging but they are good. The enemies are easily beaten or avoidable and basically the game overall is very simple and suitable for most. The controls are very easy to adjust to as well.
The game is fairly good in terms of length. Whilst there is only one game mode to play it actually does last a decent amount of time and you will definitely be revisiting previously completed levels to do side quests. There are well over 20+ levels in the game and some can take you about 20 minutes to complete if your collecting everything that's available to collect. With everything the game has to offer your looking at 25+ hours of gameplay which is very reasonable for a Wii platform game.
=== GOOD BITS ===
*One of the best things is the ability to be allowed to draw things in the game.
*The platform elements in the game are really good and the game is 2D which is fantastic.
*Draw your own unique hero and follow multiple stories to find the answers your looking for.
*The game is very simple and can be enjoyed by many different types of gamers.
*The game is lots of fun and is decent in length plus the levels can be played over and over again.
*The game can be found really cheaply online and in most games shops.
=== BAD BITS ===
*The drawing in the game is really hard with the Wii remote and its very sensitive.
*The game can actually get quite addictive as you play it more and more.
*Some may see the game far too easy.
*There is only one proper game mode and it lacks any type of multiplayer!
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Drawn To Life is a game not many would of heard of but don't let that put you off. Its one of those games that are really good despite not selling really well. Its a fantastic platform game with a lot to offer. With the drawing it does make this a completely new experience to platform games and in my own opinion it works really well.
Drawn To Life The Next Chapter is better than previous Drawn To Life games. I'm not a huge fan of platform games but this one really did impress me even though it didn't take me long to complete it. The game manual is okay to the game and offers just enough information.
I would really recommend the game if you have a Wii and kids. They will love it and you will too. The game has an age rating of 3+ and is suitable for everyone. I bought the game from eBay for £3.50 but that was an auction I had won. The game usually retails around £5 which is definitely value for money and the game is worth every penny!
Definitely one of my favourite platform games ever. I would give the game an 8/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
I was bored one night and rented this game out as I thought it would be fun and give me something to do for the night. Unfortunately this was not the case.
The whole concept of the game is that you draw your very own superhero and go on a quest in a land you have also drawn. I found it extremely boring and very time consuming if you wanted to get any kind of decent result out of it. I found that using the wii remote to draw on the screen was made more difficult than it should have been and navigating through the game wasn't great either.
The game is clearly aimed at children as it has an age rating of three but to be honest I don't think children of that age could navigate through the screens too easily or correct mistakes that they will have made which obviously means you would need to sit and play the game with them. This clearly isn't an option as after ten minutes you will be bored out of your mind and wandering what you are doing playing this extremely dull game that your child doesn't even like.
As the whole aspect of the game involves creativity through drawing I felt that I was extremely let down. If you want to draw a sketch of a hero in a quest I suggest a better option, paper and drawing utensils or an etch a sketch.
The only good thing I can remember about the game is being glad I actually hadn't bought it and only rented it out. On leaving it back I almost felt the need to tell the member of staff in the rental shop never to let anyone rent it again.
Terrible game and I'm insulted they would try to charge you to buy it at all