The Bee Movie Game Review
HD Support: 720p/1080i/1080p
Sound Support: Dolby Digital
Xbox LIVE Support: Leaderboards
Movie-based games are usually a mediocre experience from what I have played and I tend to power-up each franchise game while thinking that to myself. Very seldom does a game come along that changes my attitude toward a movie game. Thankfully, Bee Movie does not fall into this category however. It is a rather enjoyable experience from beginning to end.
The story involves a bee by the name of Barry B. Benson and takes you on a journey of his adventures in the world outside of the beehive. The variety of the gameplay in Bee Movie is quite wonderful. The story missions send the player on a variety of flying missions that include button-tapping Quick Time Events (QTE), pollinating flowers, shooting down wasps, hornets, or dragonflies, flying through an area undetected while performing specific goals, snapping shots of certain objects with a camera, meeting up at a certain location while dodging raindrops, and a few others. The story missions never get dull with its constant change in action.
|Stinging in the rain?|
The QTE gameplay portions are much like the sequences presented in Shenmue or God of War and they are just as action-packed. I've played several other games that would invoke the QTE feature into a boring standard cutscene, but Bee Movie actually helps you to feel that your button presses mean something and give you a sense of accomplishment after getting through a sequence. Pollinating flowers might sound boring, but it's quite addicting - drain the pollen from one flower with your handy pollinator then fly over to a wilting flower and spray it to make the flower bloom. Shooting areas are similar to a watered-down version of firefights from Star Fox. They're quite easy and it's a little hard to die, but they're still fun.
There are several instances where Barry must fly through a shower or some type of sprinkler. Barry's "Bee Reflex" lets him slow down time all around him, allowing him to maneuver through raindrops and other obstacles as the world passes him by slowly. This feature allows the player to quickly move past each droplet of rain for a limited time and seek shelter under an awning or other covering. Thanks to the power of the Xbox 360, each raindrop has a shimmering transparent look to it in its slow state and looks quite impressive while moving to each destination.
In between each story mission, Barry is free to (well, basically "must") explore New Hive City and Honex and seek employment to gain honey. Even though the story missions are quite enjoyable, the job aspect of Bee Movie pulls the game down to a mediocre feeling. The racing jobs are clones of other more popular games such as Crazy Taxi or Mario Kart/Crash Team Racing, while the other jobs are a bit more exciting, but never really feel all that special - filling honey jars, picking up honey jars via a crane, repairing cars via QTEs, catching honeycombs in a jar. In order to make a new story mission appear, a few jobs must be completed, so you'll always have to resort to delve through the mediocrity in order to go further into the main story of the game.