Phineas and Ferb DS Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.8
Graphics 7.8
Sound 7.5
Value 8.0
Distributor: Madman
Classification:
G
Reviewer:
Ho Wong

7.8


Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb are two stepbrothers, forever busy working out how to spend their summer vacation (There's 104 days of summer vacation apparently), as the story goes in the Disney Cartoon of the same name.  To pass the time, they have outlandish adventures and build magnificent contraptions, with their sister Candace attempting to tell on them to Mom all along the way. The DS version of the game is based around several episodes of the show with cutscenes faithfully recreating scenes of the episodes.

This is a 2D platform game and not such a bad game at that. You control Phineas and Herb and must traverse through the neighbourhood collecting different items.  These items allow you to build powerups (to jump higher, for example) or build a vehicle and track, the ultimate goal of each level. Arrows appear to indicate stylus gestures to start specific actions on different objects and there are numerous minigames (such as tracing a shape without hitting the side or hitting the nails as fast as possible) that are needed to progress through the level.  The minigames are wide and varied such that they don't get too boring even though they are repeated often. Different objects require either one or both characters - Ferb is the more gadgety and technical of the two while Phineas is the brains and a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. After building your vehicle and track, you get to ride it (it's a rollercoaster on the first level) whilst avoiding paint, oil and collecting stars, and the destinations that these tracks lead you to are as outlandish as the series itself (One can't help but smile when you get to China).  Candace is forever watching and certain actions will increase her meter while other items you pick up along the way will decrease it. When the meter fills up, she will chase you around the yard while you pick up screws, in a simple amusing pacman style minigame. 

The show bases itself around the fact that both adults and kids can watch but the game itself requires reasonable dexterity so the frustration factor for much younger kids may be too great.  The platform element is ultra forgiving but some experience with other platform games will help the younger players.  The music and graphics are cheerful and the levels are stylishly realised to keep with the look of the show.  The levels are varied and the minigames keep the game interesting.  Snippets of voiceovers improves the experience and the aforementioned cutscenes will amuse viewers who have watched the respective episodes.

Fans of the show will be pleased to see familiar faces and catchphrases (like Isabella saying "Hey Phineas, watcha doing?"), but the humour of the show seems to be slightly lost along the way.  Gone are the James Bond-esque adventures of the pet platypus Perry replaced with allusions to his capers in the backdrops.  Candace plays a bit-part, as a perpetual bogey-woman while the regular characters are there as window-dressing, just responding with one liners.  This is fine, as it's the gameplay that makes this quite a delight. The game keeps the player motivated with the different levels, items to build and wanting to get just a bit further. The difficulty level though is a little too easy for adults and the story may be a little simplistic which makes this a recommended play for the kids and for fans of the show.






 
 



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