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  • Worms: A Space Oddity Wii review

    30 March 2008
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    Worms: A Space Oddity for WiiWorms: A Space Oddity‘s title is a clear pun on 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the game you take control of a team of four Worms that ended up in space. The goal of the game is to defeat the opposing teams by reducing the health points of enemy Worms to zero without losing all of your worms first.

    You can do this by using different types of weaponry and tools. You can also create your own maps using the level editor. The turn-based strategy game also includes six real-time Mini-games.

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  • In addition to the classic Deathmatch mode, the game also includes new single and multiplayer modes such as Training, Story and Fort modes that challenge players to use new strategies and teamwork to defeat their enemies.

    System: Wii
    Genre: Strategy
    Release dates: March 17th 2008 (USA), March 27th 2008 (AUS), March 28th 2008 (EURO)
    Players: 1-4
    Developer: Team17
    Publisher: THQ
    Origin: United Kingdom

    Worms: A Space Oddity screenshot
    The Worms have returned with a Big Bang, and this time they’re quite literally out of this world. After a mix up at the controls of their spaceship they’ve found themselves stranded a long way from home in the murky depths of outer space. A whole galaxy of trouble stands between them and the way back to Planet Earth, but with an arsenal packed to the brim with new space age weapons and utilities at their disposal, as well as their characteristic strategy and tactics at hand, the Worms mean war! Nothing in the galaxy will stand in their way in their quest to repair their broken ship and begin the long journey home.

    In Worms: A Space Oddity, you get to enjoy a blend of classic Worms game modes and re-invented single-player missions, as well as multiplayer modes for 1-4 players that include a host of all-new party games and even more customization options.

    Worms: A Space Oddity weapons
    The turn-based strategy game includes 10 weapons with classics returning in a fresh coat of paint, such as the Cluster Frag (Cluster Bomb), the Robo Sheep (Super Sheep), Drop Ship (Concrete Donkey), and UFO (Air Strike). Aside from the weapons there are 7 gadgets to make life on the battlefield easier and more effective with the help of the Rocket Pack, Teleporter, Laser Sight, Defense Shield, Skip Go, and Surrender.

    From the main menu you can select the following options:

    Versus — This option allows you to create a custom local multiplayer game consisting of 2-4 teams. Teams can either be human controlled, or CPU controlled at different difficulty settings. A game type can also be specified, which determines the weapons set and game settings. You may also choose whether to play a Classic Deathmatch or Forts game. Forts mode enables players to select a fort of their choice on which their worms are placed. The forts are chosen when creating a player and appear on each side of the landscape. The winner of a Forts game is the last team standing.

    Single Player — The Single Player menu is the place to be for all solo play content. There is a Training mode, ideal for new players or those wanting to brush up on their Worming skills. Then there is the main Story Mode: Collect all of the items in these levels to unlock all the achievements.

    Quick Game — Selecting Quick Game will take you into a Deathmatch game against a CPU controlled team, battled out on a randomly generated landscape. Once the match ends you’ll be taken back to the Main Menu.

    Customization — The option allows the player to customize Profiles and Game Types to suit their preference. When selecting a landscape the player uses the landscape editor tool which allows the player to either create a landscape or load a previously saved landscape.

    Mini-games — This option contains six arcade style Mini-games, which can be played in Single or Multiplayer mode. To unlock these mini-games the player needs to progress through Story Mode first. The mini-games are as follows…

    * Cavernia: The aim is to pilot the worms’ space ship through the deadly tunnels of the Cavernia planet. Be careful, you only have one life: if you die before completing the stage then you’re out of the game, and cannot progress to the next stage.
    * Tenticlia: Here you must ensure the worms’ space ship isn’t destroyed by the alien tentacles. You must also reach a specified score to pass this level. The score is created from the amount of tentacles you bash. If the ship’s health is diminished by the tentacles before the time limit expires, then the game is over and you do not proceed to the next level of difficulty.
    * Frostal: The aim is to travel along the Frostal planet surface in your sled to the finish line. If you get hit by the snowball or lose 3 Worms from your sled the game is over. That’s why it’s very important to jump over the deadly obstacles which are littered in your path.
    * Kaputzol: Here the Worms fly around the levels on their Rocket Packs, collecting the amount of fuel cells shown at the start of the level and then returning them to their fuel depot before the time limit expires. If you fail to meet the desired amount the game will be over.
    * Mechanopolis: Here you use various shapes to fill in an outline of an object. The score is created from the amount of shapes you place and how accurately you place them within the time limit. The game is over if you fail to achieve the required score.
    * Earth: The aim is to shoot down the aliens as they attempt to destroy the Earth! Invaders from space… sounds familiar somehow. You complete the mini-game if you reach the required score. You receive bonus points if there are worms left at the end.

    The game takes advantage of the Wii’s intuitive controls allowing you to use gesture based controls to launch various attacks. There’s also on-screen hints and a redesigned interface with an in-game help system. Worms: A Space Oddity demonstrates significant visual, technical and design advancement over its predecessors with a new visual style that, while still 2D, abandons the traditional drawn approach and replaces it with a distinctive style inspired by classic Sci-Fi looks.

    The Worms battles take place across six planets, each with its own, unique environments and global events. A Space Oddity is set in space itself, with the usual arsenal of weapons being updated to suit. There are 6 themes included, namely Cavernia, Tenticlia, Frostal, Kaputzol, Mechanopolis and Earth. The worms are customizable in terms of skin color and helmet style, as they were in Worms: Open Warfare 2.

    Watch the Worms: A Space Oddity launch trailer.

    So what are the main features in Worms: A Space Oddity?

    * Innovative Wii Gameplay! Get closer to Worms than ever before as you launch attacks with a variety of unique gestures with the Wii Remote! The more players put into the game, the more they get out!

    * A more casual experience: With more intuitive controls, and handy on-screen hints, its never been easier to pick up a Worms title and join in the wormy fun!

    * Classic Worms with a twist!: The ultimate blend of classic Worms game modes with a host of all new party games. Experience a reinvented single player experience, multiplayer modes, and even more customization for the most rewarding Worms experience ever!

    * Its Worms in Space!: Immerse yourself in 6 all new environments with a whole new visual style as the Worms battle their way home through Space! (Cavernia, Tenticlia, Frostal, Kaputzol, Mechanopolis, Earth).

    * A more casual experience: Worms has always been a difficult title for the newcomer. A large number of different weapons, long times until game completion, and nothing in the way of helpful on-screen prompts all conspire to make life difficult for the newbie. Worms on Wii addresses all of these issues, with a more intuitively controlled reduced weapon set, shorter game times and a plethora of handy on-screen hints.

    * In-game help system: The player will never be at a loss as to control the worm and fire the different weapons. A redesigned interface makes sure that on-screen prompts are never far away.

    * New art direction: A brand new style for the “Worms” universe embraces the traditional drawn look with a style that better fits the softer image of the Wii. The game has an embossed 3D card-board cut-out look throughout.

    * New environmental settings: The worms have made it to the far reaches of outer space! The worms battle across six planets found within a fictional solar system. Each planet has its own distinct look.

    See some of the different weapons in Worms: A Space Oddity.

    The only thing I can think of that is missing are quite a few of the older weapons, while the arsenal is better balanced, a sequel would definitely need more weapons. So how much fun is Worms: A Space Oddity on a scale from 1 to 10?

    FUN FACTOR – 7.0
    The single player story mode adds a funny space theme to the Worms gameplay. But Worms really is a party game at heart and A Space Oddity shines with a group of people trying to kill each other first (in the game, mind you!) So yes, the multiplayer is fantastic and addictive even. Sadly after the previous Worms: Open Warfare 2 game on DS added online multiplayer, online is sorely missed in this Wii game and when there aren’t people around to play with you’ll feel you’re missing out on it. Added to the main deathmatch gameplay are six reasonably fun but simple mini-games, a Fort versus mode, and the ability to create, save & load your own stages. The easy-to-use Wii motion controls and lots of on-screen help make the game even simpler to play and shows this incarnation of the series is aimed at casual gamers not familiar with the series yet, the rest of you might feel like you’ve seen it all before, then again fans probably won’t mind going at it again with space-y worms that sport a repainted arsenal of weapons. If you’re new to the series, welcome to the party, you’re going to have a blast!

    Graphics – 7.0
    The Worms are as cute as their arsenal’s visual explosions are brutal. All the tiny charming animations are back too. The colorful 2D characters clash with some darker colors in the level design, but both are still very stylized with a surprising embossed 3D card-board cut-out look. The in-game CGI cinematics look beautiful and are hilarious in nature.

    Audio – 7.0
    The sound bites of the Worms from many different countries are what the series is known for and this entry is no different. While not that varied, the quick witted voice over dialog and funny accents will have you smiling and chuckling. The background music is catchy and cheerful. Sound effects are simple.

    Ingenuity – 9.0
    The Wii Remote controls work really smooth, or at least from the moment you’re used to the fact that you have to let go of the B button again to shoot after previously selecting the speed as you “throw” your weapon with the Wii controller towards your enemy. But that’s what the tutorial mode is for. The new in-game practice shots allow you to hold the B button and nudge the controller to see the trajectory of your weaponsfire under the current angle and speed you’re aiming at (and taking wind and objects into account), so if you’ve got enough seconds left on the counter this is a very helpful new way to estimate and fine-tune your next move. The artillery could’ve used some diversification, but it’s all very well balanced, so it works out for the best. It’s also fun how some guided weapons give you direct Wii Remote movement control. Of course all the regular addictive Worms gameplay is back. And with a group of people there are enough weapons to make grins appear on faces as your latest “oh yes that’s perfect” weaponsfire destroys multiple of your friends Worms and a replay (that you can keep playing by pressing B) will appear on-screen to rub it in! After you beat the single player mode, you can add in the up to 4-players mini-games and you’ve got a game that presents itself really well as a party game.

    Replay Value – 7.0
    When Worms: A Space Oddity first was announced, it was going to have Wi-Fi connection for online multiplayer (like the recent DS game Worms: Open Warfare 2 has) and even downloadable content. Developer Team17 then later scrapped the idea of network play, with the publisher stating that it would be better if the players were able to taunt each other and play face-to-face. They were wrong, the lack of online multiplayer is unforgivable. Yes Worms will always be fun with multiple people in a room, but if you want to cater to people from all walks of life and usually busy lives, you’re going to have to realize not everyone can always get a group of people together to play Worms. Online multiplayer solved that problem in their latest DS game, so sorry for sounding like a broken record, but the Wii version missing online play is quite a damper on the replay value once you’ve had a taste of online play on the DS game. That said, if you play for an hour a day it’s still going to keep you busy for weeks with the addictive Worms gameplay intact. There’s also an achievement system that unlocks bonus content for you to play for. I’d say wait for it to go down in price and you’ll have yourself a Worms game that’s always good for a quick play.

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    About the author

    Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.

    • Mike

      It looks fun but I’m not getting this Worms at full price without online multiplayer. I’ll wait for it to hit a budget price.


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