The Island of Dr. Frankenstein Review
The gamer complaints with Nintendo over the past decade or so have been the myths that A.) Only Nintendo first-party games are any good and B.) That the company aims more for a younger audience than its console rivals and C.) The systems are flooded with "shovelware," or cheaply produced games of dubious quality. We could debate these all day and night, but the only one you'll get me to agree with is C. Discount stores' junk bins are constantly overflowing with terrible Wii and DS games no one has ever heard of, and it seems like more of these cop-outs hit shelves each and every day. Which brings up the The Island of Frankenstein, an action-adventure Wii game that I'd never heard of before I played it, and wished I hadn't afterward.
I do want to say, before my tirade, that if this game had been released in the early days of the N64, people might have really enjoyed it. That right there should tell you something; even though it's new, this game feels like it came out in 1997. That wouldn't always be a bad thing, but with this game it truly is.
The Island of Frankenstein is basically a game where you play as an errand boy. See, the island from the title is a small ecosystem of its own and is home to many characters that Boris Karloff made popular - the wolfman, mummies, etc. But instead of any scares, the game is sticky sweet and cute. You'll fetch things for various characters on the island, work to keep it above the cloud line and solve a few ridiculously easy puzzles along the way. That's about it. Apparently, all that is truly necessary to keep a land mass floating in the sky is someone willing to fetch a gold coin for the mayor, who also happens to be a wolf. It sounds stupid, and let me tell you - as dumb as it comes off, is amazingly boring as well.
Remember what I said about the N64? Yup, this game - in the era of HD graphics (though not on the Wii) - looks like an uglier second cousin of Super Mario 64. Everything is blocky, fog abounds and the character animations are either stiff or non-existent. The sound doesn't fare much better, with the same grating background music over everything and very little voice acting. The game's appearance is a perfect companion to its very low retail price.
Since I'm looking for something else nice to say, I guess the controls work as they should, though since there is so little going on, that statement is little more than "When I move to control, the character moves." I guess that counts for something, considering the PS3 disaster Lair couldn't even boast that minor victory.
Usually my reviews tend to be a little longer and more in-depth, but this game is such a boring waste of time I can't really justify spending more time writing about it. Follow this general rule - if a game appears on a Nintendo system and you've never heard of it, or the company that produced it, steer clear.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 15%.