by Keaton Arksey
reviewed on WII
The power of ugly insects
It's not surprising that many people have fear issues with arachnids. Creepy little things; the way they move alone is enough to freak quite a few out... The mere fact that some of them are poisonous doesn't really seem to help the point. So what if you could unleash the mighty power of an arachnid on your enemies?
Sadly, this isn't a Spider-Man game, but it is the next best thing. Deadly Creatures, developed by Rainbow Studios (who developed a few MX and ATV racing games) and published by THQ is a Wii exclusive action game featuring a tarantula (still a spider!) and scorpion. The game takes place in the Sonoran Desert with the ultimate goal for the two creatures being survival. Still, there is also a deeper story where two humans (played by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper) are searching for Spanish gold buried during the American Civil War. The story loosely binds the two tales together, but I donít think anyone was expecting a Pulitzer-worthy tale out of this.
Same world through the eyes of two... heroes
Throughout the game, you'll switch between the scorpion and tarantula for each level. Along with the desert itself, the two insects travel through a variety of different locales, from a junkyard to a deserted car and a gas station. Along the way, they encounter a variety of enemies such as black widow spiders, rats, and king scorpions. Both the scorpion and tarantula travel through similar environments, often seeing the effects of the other's passing. Occasionally, the two will face off in battle as well. Of course, going through the same levels over and over would get boring, which is where the scorpion and tarantula's differences come into play.
The scorpion is more action oriented, using its pincers and stinger to attack enemies. The tarantula, on the other hand, relies more on stealth. While both can do basic attacks and share some special attacks like spin and poison attacks, the scorpion can block attacks with the Z button while the tarantula uses Z to jump and shoot webs to blind enemies and access areas previously inaccessible with the C button.
Surprisingly, the Wii remote doesn't factor a lot into the gameplay. The scorpion can perform finishing moves that require basic motions like moving the Wii remote or Nunchuck left, right, up or down, while special attacks are handled with similar motions. The pointer is used to aim web shots when using the tarantula. The combat isn't very deep and the are only a few unlockable combo moves to use, but it gets the job done. Just don't expect to rely on a lot more than the A button in most occasions.
The graphics do have their negatives. While the models for the scorpion, tarantula, and their enemies are well done, there are some hiccups here and there. Occasionally, white lines show up around objects, and the character models for the humans aren't very good. Also, the game actually doesn't run in 16:9 - instead, the bottom and top of the screen are cut off in widescreen mode, limiting your view.
No Pros and Cons at this time