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Videogames-To-Flix #31

03.15.2007

VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!

NACHO LIBRE

BUY THIS GAME AT AMAZON.COM NOW!!!

Developer: Budcat
Publisher: Majesco
Systems: DS

INTRODUCTION:

NACHO LIBRE tells the story of a monk who always dreamed of becoming a wrestler. The game, with the same name, attempts to explain his story through cut scenes, a wrestling game, and various bizarre mini-games. The game is targeted fans of the movie and wrestling.

NACHO LIBRE is only available for the Nintendo DS, so fans of awful movie licensed games won't be able to enjoy this on their PlayStations. That's too bad because more people should really have the joy of buying an awful licensed game and then rushing back to Walmart to return it. I guess they'll just have to buy HAPPY FEET (the game).

GAMEPLAY:

The core of NACHO LIBRE's gameplay is wrestling. Scattered throughout a very simple map are multiple episodes that pit Nacho against a variety of opponents. The wrestling matches provide the complexity of an Atari-era boxing game. Seriously, this game is limited to very few moves and an even lesser amount of precision. Each button represents a specific offensive or defensive maneuver, but their slow response time leaves much to be desired. The characters stutter around the screen in a fashion reminiscent of a Tiger Electronics handheld. You'll spend a majority of the game frustrated and annoyed by the designers' inability to cover the basics of good gameplay.

Minigames round out the rest of the gameplay failures. There are several touch screen based minigames that are a perfect example of how not to make games. For example, there is a game called Nachoball. The basics of this game require you to use the stylus to throw a basketball through a hoop. The response from the touch screen is wildly erratic and finding any semblance of consistency is a pipe dream. While other DS titles are able to handle incredibly complex touch screen mechanics (like drawing new game lines or launching a bomb-omb into space), NACHO LIBRE can't even shoot a basketball adequately.

This title has an online mode; however, I never found an opponent to play. Your best bet (if you really need to play) for multiplayer action is to find a friend who was gullible enough to buy this game. Otherwise, plan on playing a lot of matches against the computer.

Gameplay: 2.4/10

GRAPHICS:

NACHO LIBRE has two aspects to its aesthetics. There are the cut scenes from the movie and then there's the actual gameplay footage. While the cut scenes look as great as video on a Nintendo DS can, the look of the gameplay leaves plenty to be desired. The core element of gameplay, wrestling, has very few distinctive maneuvers. The graphics are a mixture of cut and paste animation, reminiscent, but quite inferior to, the cut scenes made for AMPED 3. Understandably, NACHO can't live up to the efforts of AMPED 3 (a current gen HD title), but the designers could have put in a bit more effort. Instead, NACHO LIBRE provides a graphical appearance parallel to its inadequate gameplay experience.

The minigames are erratic in the quality of their graphics. While the 2D games look decent, the 3D games barely pass for pixels. Much like the gameplay, the graphics of NACHO LIBRE seem confused, ill-planned, and impossible to enjoy.

Graphics: 2.5/10

AUDIO:

The sound and music in NACHO LIBRE are forgettable. I guess that's better than the gameplay and graphics, which are absolutely infamously unforgettable. Nevertheless, this is just another indication as to the quality of this game. There are little sound effects thrown in for flavor but are repeated frequently and add only the most minimal layer of texture. These effects do their best to keep NACHO LIBRE on par with one of the better SNES cartridges.

The music is adequately atmospheric. Its there and appropriate but never leaves much of an impression. Again, think SNES standard of music and you'll understand.

Audio: 2.7/10

FINAL VERDICT:

There is absolutely no reason for you to buy this game. The design is flawed, the gameplay is a mess, and the story is completely incoherent. Not even fans of the movie (do they exist) should waste their time. You'd be better served looking at one of the hundreds of average to above average Nintendo DS games available. This game might have been passable as a flash based (free) website game or as a mediocre cell phone game.

Final Verdict: 2.5/10

STATUS OF THE MOVIE:

NACHO LIBRE made some bucks at the box office but didn't fare well with critics. Compared with its production budget, NACHO LIBRE was financially successful and might justify a sequel.

MY XBOX GAMERTAG:

FRIEND ME!

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