February 20, 2009

'Deadly Creatures' a creepy adventure for the Wii


Bugs are frowned upon in computer software, especially video games. But in the case of THQ video game Deadly Creatures, they're the main attraction.

The adventure for the Nintendo Wii features an interesting story told through the eyes of two unusual lead "characters": a scorpion and a tarantula. As they navigate the desert, they witness the action of two men — voiced by actors Dennis Hopper and Billy Bob Thornton — search for treasure in a landscape littered with dangerous animals and insects.

Players hear bits of conversation as they traverse a small tunnel, or watch key moments while perched on a ledge. The method is very clever and unique.

The game breaks down into 10 levels, five for each creature. While the tarantula is quick and nimble, the scorpion is both bigger and stronger. Attacks are handled using a combination of remote and nunchuk flourishes and well-timed button presses. Taking advantage of its agility, the tarantula can pounce on foes, for example. The scorpion, meanwhile, can deliver tail stings and whips.

Level objectives are pretty straightforward, with directives such as "find your way to the surface." Creatures will climb up walls, slip inside small crevices and even walk upside down on ceilings to reach their destination. The variety of objects keeps you engaged in this very large world, such as sneakers to crawl through or a broken-down truck to trek across.

Overall, the tarantula is a more interesting creature to control. Because you can't string together strikes as easily, you're forced to think more strategically about how best to vanquish enemy creatures. The scorpion, on the other hand, can dish out hits more quickly. Therefore, it's easy to just flail and press buttons frantically to beat down opponents.

Foes ranging from wolf spiders and black widows to gila monsters and rattlesnakes lurk in the wilderness. Yet your greatest nemesis is the perspective. The game's camera stalks your every move, yet struggles to keep pace when the action picks up. As a result, you're left viewing battles from awkward angles, blinded to approaching threats. Prepare to consistently press down on the remote's directional pad to center your view.

Don't be scared off by the creepy-crawly critters that adorn the box art for Deadly Creatures. Despite some noticeable flaws, this adventure offers plenty to embrace.

Source: USA Today

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