Support Rowan, click to buy via us...
Oh dear, another movie game, I thought as I saw Bolt. We all know about movie games... don't we? Cheap, quickly made games with badly laid out levels and bad gameplay. This is the type of game I really hoped Bolt wouldn't be.
The game opens with a nice little cinematic from Disney, not really explaining much (though it features a talking hamster!). Talking hamster aside, this seemed to me a slightly clumsy way to set up the game.
To start off with, the gameplay is quite nice. You can play as one of two characters: Penny or Bolt. Both play very differently in terms of moves and movement, though you do not get an open choice about who to play with: certain levels are for Bolt, certain levels are for Penny. Sometimes annoying though this is, it has its purpose. It means the game can offer a balance of creeping around and using various stealth moves as the ninja-like Penny, and then using powerful, destructive moves as the super dog Bolt.
Anyway, back to the point. Movement is as you would expect, and the controls for actions and fighting are pretty much the standard for most Wii games. Things like repeatedly hitting C to wrench down switches or pry open doors is a nice touch. Combat in Bolt is surprisingly good for a kiddy Disney game. It's almost like fighting in a arcade game, as you get to rack up combos as you use your various moves in sequences to produces neat attacks. Trying to use the potential of the Wii remote, Bolt features some (and by some I mean two) Wii remote movement in it's controls; it's a pity they gave up at that and stuck to plain controls for everytihng else. Having said that, the variety of moves is quite big, though only for Bolt, and there are some nice touches to it in places, such as being able to upgrade your powers with items you find.
When I did start to get bored of the slightly repetitive levels, the game offered up new challenges and things to do in the story mode, like a new cool enemy to fight or missile disarming.
Bolt plays like your average adventure game: a variety of weak enemies to fight in abundance, a few little sub-bosses to battle it out with, and several powerful bosses to beat. It has very well laid out levels and includes lots of simple but sometimes tricky puzzles to solve along the way. When I did start to get bored of the slightly repetitive levels, the game offered up new challenges and things to do in the story mode, like a new cool enemy to fight or missile disarming. It also distributes some nice arcade style computer hacking levels at various points in the game, which start off easy and get harder and harder. Also, the cinematics do deserve a mention. They're funny, good quality and entertaining.
I was disappointed the Bolt offered no extras, besides the option to re-play the little arcade games. Things like bonus levels and other minmigames would of been nice. Also, the game seems to have a surprisingly dark touch to it in places, but this tends to happen only occasionally. I also found the game a bit to easy, as nothing seemed designed to really challenge you.
Bolt is a generally all round fun and great game to play, and will keep you entertained for hours. Bolt is a good adventure game, but above all very much what you would expect from Disney.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: