Spyborgs suffers from a bit of an identity crisis
- Great graphics (for the Wii), controls like a traditional beat-'em-up (but with some unique motion controls), feels like a highly polished game from yesterday
- The great graphics might be spoiled for some who think it looks too childish; The story is pretty forgettable; Feels like a game from yesterday
While Spyborgs' target audience might leave a few scratching their heads, it really shouldn't deter those who remember and enjoyed repeatedly beating up various things through the use of combos and co-op teamwork. Because ultimately, this rare Wii game has a lot more going for it than its questionable target demographic.
Putting your finger on the Wii's most substantial demographic can be a difficult task. Is it mainly preferred by young children, the elderly, parents, or that often-referenced and mysterious "casual gamer"? It's this conundrum that seemed to give the makers of Spyborgs the biggest pause, and it's evident once you begin playing Spyborgs that the game is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis.
What's Old Is New
Spyborgs plays like a game straight out of the early 90s -- a time when beat-'em-ups ruled the Earth. And while its archaic gameplay might be a turn off to a newer generation of gamers, the grizzled old-schoolers may be reminded of their favorite golden oldies. The thing is, Spyborgs definitely looks like it was made for someone who was born in the year 2000, not 1982, and it's for that reason that it may have a hard time finding a suitable audience. Today's youth will quickly find the combat antiquated, and yesterday's gamers will scoff at the somewhat kid-friendly art design. That's an unfortunate thing, because as far as beat-'em-ups go, Spyborgs never really does anything wrong. In fact, it has quite a lot going for it.
Graphically, Spyborgs is a pretty sharp title, especially considering what the Wii is capable of, not to mention its previous visual history. Some might complain that it looks too simplistic, but that's really more of a stylistic choice, and certainly isn't a reflection of its quality. Again though, it should be noted that the "stylistic choice" for Spyborgs' aesthetics is to appear as if the player's experiencing a modern Saturday morning cartoon, and that certainly won't appeal to everyone. However, those previously referenced "older" gamers -- who prefer guns with chainsaws attached rather than an old-fashioned laser -- deserve to give Spyborgs a look, especially since it's a type of game so infrequently represented on the Wii (or any contemporary system, for that matter).
Its Own Two Feet
It should also be noted that the makers did a decent job of giving the game a unique Wii spin. This was accomplished with the inclusion of some motion controls interspersed with the beat-'em-ups' traditional combo-based, button-mashing mechanics. Not only do these help break up some of the monotony of the venerable combat, but they also add the personality that has become a staple of Wii titles.
So while Spyborgs' target audience might leave a few scratching their heads, it really shouldn't deter those who remember and enjoyed repeatedly beating up various things through the use of combos and co-op teamwork. Because ultimately, this rare Wii game has a lot more going for it than its questionable target demographic.
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