by Professor Layton
reviewed on NDS
Not your average Riding Hood
I doubt anyone expected much from Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ. Its title sounds like it targets a very young audience and the box art doesn’t really inspire casual gamers to buy it either. It was all the more surprising when I found an addictive and deep action game underneath its off-putting appearance. Spanish developer EnjoyUp has built a humorous and stylish game that makes use of the DS’ capabilities to deliver an experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ is set in the magical land of Storyland. The land is divided into areas, each representing various classic fairytales. Little ‘Ready To Rock’ Red Riding Hood grew up in a forest, spending the majority of her time visiting her old grandmother and scavenging for food. But beware; this isn’t the Little Red Riding Hood you grew up with. This Riding Hood loves to play rough, citing “collecting weapons” as one of her favorite hobbies.
Momotaro, Little Red’s friend, was born from a giant peach one day. He has embarked on over one thousand and one adventures that varied from fighting off monsters to collecting treasure. Together, Little Red and Momotaro set out on an adventure to fight through invading armies of zombies.
Trouble in Da Hood
As hordes of zombies pour down from the upper screen, it is up to either Red or Momotaro to shoot them down. Instead of moving up and down or left and right freely, your character is restricted to seven tiny squares at the bottom of the screen. To maneuver around these squares, players use either the D-pad or stylus. Firing is accomplished by holding down the stylus anywhere on the bottom screen, as long as it isn’t one of the blue squares. Players fire in bursts and must release the stylus to reload after a dozen or so shots. Touching the main character will cause him to duck.
After successfully making their way through the level, players will be faced by a level boss represented by a character from a classic fairytale. Remember the three little pigs who kept getting their houses destroyed? Well they are back for revenge now. They have brought a tank and are set to take Little Red and Momotaro down. Can our heroic characters overcome the perils thrown at them by the pigs?
Beauty and the zombies
The game isn’t just fun to play, it is also fun to watch. The title stands strong as one of the best examples of hand-drawn art on the DS, putting a lot of emphasis on details and shading. The amount of detail that can be found in every nook and cranny of the game is amazing. Blood drips out of character’s mouths, killer dolls have eyes missing, etc. It is fabulous to see how much time the developers spent with the game to make it feel complete, pushing the DS to its graphical limits. The game offers some (intentionally) funny voice-work but sadly there isn’t more of it.
Only twenty bucks
Despite my praise, Zombie BBQ isn’t perfect. There is a distinct lack of checkpoints where you can save your game. This adds to the difficulty, often to the point of causing frustration. In addition to this, the frame-rate frequently drops when there are large numbers of zombies on the screen. These complaints aside, Zombie BBQ is a fantastic portable game.
Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ may be a rather simplistic shooter, but the game offers plenty of depth. I really can’t see shooter fans spending a lot of time with the game but for everyone else will likely get some good playtime out of it. For twenty dollars, Zombie BBQ is a steal and worth keeping from sinking into obscurity.
No Pros and Cons at this time