I recently received a copy of Galactic Taz Ball for DS to review. Growing up with Looney Tunes I was excited about the characters it involved: Taz and Marvin the Martian. Two of the characters, whom I always thought were intellectually superior (yes even poor Taz) to that obviously mentally ill rabbit and a duck who seemed to be posessed. The excitement was short lived however, once I got into the game. I tested it on the kids first. My 6 year old daughter played it for about 5 minutes and then said "DONE." No, she's not the video game genius embodiment of that wicked smart kid in The Wizard...she was really bored. When questioned about it , she responded that it seems like you can't really do anything except run through a maze; then I got the typical "Have you seen my Littlest Pet Shop Game?". On to the 9 year old son.....he can get into any video game, expecially for DS and make even Brain Age seem interesting. He lasted a bit longer on it than his sister, about 20 min, and then came to me with a disgruntled look. Instantly, he told me "it's just like running through a maze..and that's it!". He then mentioned that besides the gathering of gold kiwis and ability to jump around (yes the tornado manuever can be used), Taz really can't do anything. In a way it was a little depressing. Here is this character, who I loved as a kid, being brought out as Warner Bros. dying show pony for one last hurrah on the video game circuit...to compete with the Hannah Montana, Dragonquest, and Lego (insert movie franchise here) games of the moment. If the rash of Taz and Tweety tattoos in the nineties didn't make Mel Blanc and crew roll over in their graves, surely this game will.
Once I gave the game a shot myself, I did notice that it was akin to just running a maze and Taz's main defense seemed to be a lot of jumping and a few signature spins. The kids were right on. The main premise of the story was Taz v. Marvin. Marvin and his minions are stripping the earth of it's most lush, desirable habitats (landmasses, water bodies,etc.) to return to Mars in a kind of extreme landscaping effort. This starts off in a land Taz may have some attachment to, Australia, but the catch is, it's floating in space along with every other landmass Marvin has decided to steal. Essentially, Taz wakes up one day in the outer limits and is responsible for driving Marvin and his buds back to Mars while keeping Earth's resources intact. Taz accomplishes this by traveling in floating, overworld views with the occasional venture underground...but not a whole lot goes on here and the player may find as I did that it is much more difficult to manuver Taz through. Manuevering Taz in any level is done through a virtual track ball that is manipulated with the stylus. This is the one redeeming quality of the game which the kids and myself did enjoy...it just gives the game a different, cooler perspective.
Overall, not a very interesting game and not anything you would want to give your children to keep them entertained on a cross country car ride. Unfortunatley, I have to pan this one and so do my kids. I *cringe* have had more fun playing DS games from the Hannah Montana collection...but you don't have to take my word for it.....