Game Review: Ice Age Arctic Games

Dreamworks released Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (the movie) this week. I swear, this is becoming the modern Land Before Time. Prior to the movie release, Activision released Ice Age Continental Drift Arctic Games for the Wii and Kinect. Apparently Play Station wanted out of this one and (spoiler alert) it was a GOOD IDEA! Let’s slide on into the game.

As you may, or may not, have guessed this isn’t a campaign style game. I didn’t realize this until after I got it. It is basically a poorly done Wii Sports or Kinect Sports, with Ice Age characters instead of Wii people or avatars. Don’t let the main menu fool you, when it says, “Story Mode”, it really means you play all the games in order with a cut scene between each game. It took me two hours to get through the whole thing, cut scenes included. The only story about it is two teams, the Herd and the Pirates, competing for cornucopia. The game is comprised of nine games and a mini-game. How do you have a mini-game in a game that is only mini-games? Moving on, let’s see some of the crazy actions they make us do.

“Style Jump” is skiing down a ramp and jumping at the end. You pump your arms for speed and duck to maintain speed then jump at the end of the ramp. While airborne, a mini-figure will pop up in the bottom of the screen with a pose you have to match. That’s simple, right? Wrong. I would match the pose perfectly and it wouldn’t register, but when I’d flail around, it would give it to me. If that were the case, just let me freestyle that shit. “Slip Slide” is sliding through a giant ice cavern, much like in the first Ice Age movie, with the kid. It’s a pretty simple game: lean left or right to steer and duck to speed up. I could not get it to recognize leaning and ducking at the same time. Apparently, if you want to steer you have to sacrifice speed. Lame. “Bob-Smash” is the exact same thing as, “Slip Slide”, except they put blocks of ice with your teams emblem on it for you to smash through. If you smash the other team’s you lose points. There’s an achievement for hitting only your own blocks… Good luck with that. “Coconut Sling Shot” is launching coconuts at moving targets. You hold both hands straight out to grab the rope and pull back slowly to adjust power. Then, throw your hands up to release and smash a target. You can lean to aim at different targets. “Mountain Drift” is not snowboarding; it’s skiing down a mountain through some gates. You pump your arms for speed and lean to steer. They need to fix the steering in this one, too. Are you seeing a pattern in this game? “Scrat Cannon” sounds fun, right? You get to launch Scrat, the little squirrel with the acorn in every movie, over a lake with target trampolines in it. It’s not fun at all. You pump your arms to charge the cannon shot (which did nothing, in my eyes). I pumped ten times and shot the same distance as pumping once. While you are soaring through the air, you can flap your arms to get some extra air three times and you can duck to dive onto a target. You lean to steer through the air, or attempt to. My arms were flat against my side and it just started flapping and wasted all of my boosts.  “Shell Slide” is sliding poor turtles down an ice path to a target. You lean to aim the turtle down the lane and pull your arm back slowly to adjust the power and throw it forward to launch poor Mr. Turtle down the lane. You can also lean while the turtle is sliding to control him (would have been nice to know while playing.) “Ice Smash” was my second least favorite game on here. You lean to run to a thin patch of ice and jump to smash through it. Oh, by the way, you have to jump ten feet in the air for it to register your jump. I saved the worst for last, “Glacier Hopping”. It is a side-scrolling run. You run in place to speed up, hold your hands out to stop or back up, jump ten feet to jump over something, or duck to slide. This one game took me a good twenty minutes, thanks to the horrible motion sensors in the game. And before you say maybe it was the room or something non-game related, all other Kinect games work fine. Then, there is the mini-mini-game. “Prehistoric Plumber” is plugging holes in a giant block of ice to stop them from leaking. Lean left to slide to a hole and move your hands to cover the holes and plug them up.

Overall this game… Well this game sucked, hands down. It is a very short game that only frustrates the player. The controls are crappy at best and unbearable at worst. The only thing this game was good for was wasting my time.

I give Ice Age: Arctic Games 1 “Crazy Scrat” out of 5

By: Alex Kirn

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