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Which holiday game will you play the most?

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Game Profile
Heavy Iron Studios
GENRE: Action
October 31, 2004
The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

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 Written by Kyle Williams  on December 02, 2004

Review: By no means as incredible as it's cinematic namesake.

Pixar's animated feature films are magical. They capture more emotion with their computer generated actors then most directors can coax out of flesh and blood people. With both the critical and commercial success of their previous films, it is no wonder that their latest creation, The Incredibles, topped the box office charts right out of the gate. Their box-office take, almost $180 million after only three weeks of release, are the kind of results that Hollywood executives dream about. Is it any wonder that a videogame take on the story was going to hit in time for the holidays?

The Incredibles, the videogame, apes the story of Pixar & Disney's hit movie and puts you in control of each member of the super-powered Parr family. As far as the controls go, the most accessible of the characters is also the most predominant. You start the game playing as Mr. Incredible during the glory days of superheroes, using his superior strength to pummel and throw thugs around like they are twigs while Mrs. Incredible, a.k.a. Elasti-girl, uses her stretching ability to dish out her own brand of justice. With both Mr. and Mrs. Incredible the gameplay is solid, though hampered by a clumsy camera system. The action is balanced with platforming elements that, unfortunately, can become tedious as you try to figure out the puzzle's intent, which again is made more difficult by the camera system. Later levels break up the straightforward action stages by introducing the Incredible children, Dash and Violet. Unfortunately, while these levels do add some variety to the gameplay they do not feature the same action flow that you find in their parent's levels. Dash's levels are frantic foot races that break down to a matter of pattern memorization and trial-and-error. Violet's levels tend to be a chore of stealth as you try to use her invisibility to sneak past guards, a task made difficult by the aforementioned camera system.

It doesn't take long to realize that The Incredibles is a game intended for people that can't get enough of the film. From the very beginning of the game players are treated to cutscenes taken straight from the movie. We aren't talking about 5 second clips either. The game's story is told through movie clips, clips long enough to actually tell a story. Sure, the game doesn't provide the opportunity to see everything that the movie has to offer and some creative editing alters a few sequences to make them a little more videogame friendly, but there is a lot of content packed into this game. In fact, the game goes beyond the movie through the use of bonus items that you find scattered about the various levels. These bonus items include the complete theatrical trailer, video clips, and a slew of conceptual artwork. Not a bad treat considering the flick is still in theaters.

Bottom Line
The Incredibles is an adequate, albeit unbalanced, action title whose appeal is broader than the teen rating implies. Dichotomously entertaining and tedious, The Incredibles feels that it could have used a little bit more time to improve the game's flow and camera system. As a movie, The Incredibles is one of the year's best. Too bad we can't say the same thing about their videogame adventure. However, if you can't get enough of The Incredibles at your local movie house you will be able to satiate your appetite with the extras in this game. For everyone else, The Incredibles is a nice, yet flawed, diversion.

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