Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And so it begins...

Imagine sledding down a hill. But not just any hill. This hill is enormous. And it has loop de loops. And it's completely impossible. And don't expect to live through the ride. At the very least, expect to hurl all over the place when you finally stop. Or while you're still moving. It's your choice, really.

Alright, so if you were reminded of Line Rider, nice job! If not, then... um... good try? Either way, I finished the game this morning, so chalk up the first beaten game for 50 by 4-19.

Line Rider 2 Unbound for the DS is actually a really cool game. It takes all the coolness of the original and adds a bunch of new stuff. Like new lines, such as speed up and slow down lines, trap door lines, and my personal favorite, trampoline lines. Also, the rider is much harder to kill, which lets you have much crazier tracks.

The DS Line Rider is much more than just a toy, however. There is a fairly well-thought out story mode that puts you in the role of Bosh, the world's best sledder. But how could a story mode be any fun when you can just draw whatever lines you want? The trick is that you can only draw in certain areas. Most of the level is already drawn. But that doesn't make it easy. In fact, it makes it very difficult. There are some levels that can take close to an hour to beat, even though it only takes a couple of minutes to ride the whole level.

In story mode, the point is to get Bosh (or whichever character you choose) to the end of the level, collecting targets and optional coins along the way. Collect enough coins to unlock new characters. The final unlocked character is pretty cool, actually. In any case, guide the rider to the end and keep him alive the whole time. It's a tall order, I know.

After every 5 levels, you get to view a cut scene, featuring Bosh saving the day from Chaz, a jerk bully who wants to be the better sledder. The movies also feature Bailey, a girl line rider. So yeah. There's a girl you can play as, too. The movies are actually quite cool. They are 3-D rendered, with a style similar to Jimmy Neutron. I was actually surprised at the production quality. Usually games like this don't have cool things like that.

In any case, the best part of the game is obviously free mode, where you can just draw lines all over and let Bosh (or Chaz or Bailey) ride them forever. Plus, you can make your own puzzle tracks and share them with friends over Wifi. Awesome! I'm surprised at how much flexibility there is in the drawing tool. You can draw freely, or use the curve tool, which lets you draw a line and then really fine-tune the curves (or straightness) in said line. Well done, I say.

The game isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn good. The music ranges from really good to really weird, so I usually just play with it off. Also, it would have been nice to have checkpoint flags in story mode, along with the ability to save replays or the whole track.

But really, other than that, the game has very few flaws. It's one of the cheaper DS titles, but still one of the better ones. There are games published by major production houses that are less fun that this. So, all in all, I think they did a great job and kept the classic Line Rider spirit of fun intact.

  • It's Line Rider!
  • Save and share crazy tracks
  • Cool cutscenes and a very good level editor
  • Kinda weird music
  • A couple of really hard, confusing levels
  • The physics can get slightly wonky at times
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:


Rachel said...

This was a fun game to watch you play :) I'm glad you waited for me to wake up so I could see the last level, it was awesome! Just like you :) I think you did a great job figuring out all the levels, even though some of them were pretty crazy. Now on to the next game, #49 here we come ;) I love you, Ben!

Devin said...

Dude... That's awesome!