Ice Age 2: The Meltdown ReviewCain Dornan
Im sure youre half expecting yet another rant on how video game tie-ins of blockbuster Hollywood productions often prove to be nothing more than unimaginative throw-togethers that aim at doing nothing more than quickly cashing-in on a popular license without putting in any hard work to actually earn it. To make it worst, it often seems that games that are targeted towards the younger age group always seem to be the most common cases at providing lifeless cash-ins, an act that seems rather pathetic as the games developer knows that children will, without a doubt, nag their parents to purchase the game consistently, only to be disappointed with the bland experience that they throw aside within minutes of receiving it.
Thankfully, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown video game, which is loosely based around the happenings of the movie that carries the same name, isnt one that the younger crowd is likely to bore of anytime soon. Its a game that, while disappointingly short, provides a solid platforming experience that will entertain the youngsters for numerous hours, providing lighthearted gameplay featuring characters that we all adore and love.
While the two movies focus on Sid the dopey sloth, Manfred the wise Mammoth, and Diego the feisty sabertooth tiger, the game instead decides to focus more directly on the humorous and unfortunate rodent-like thing, Scrat, who fans will instantly recognize as the small scurrying creature who experiences a series of unfortunate events as he attempts to retrieve a beloved acorn. As a result, players spend the majority of gameplay time guiding Scrat throughout the colourful and varied environments as he endeavors to retrieve as many acorns as possible. The games world is divided into sections, with progression into the next one being allowed by collecting a specific number of gold acorns within the area. Occasionally, youll be faced with a brief mini game that ranges from throwing rocks at cheeky monkeys through to targeting farts from a large bear to shoot yourself into small cavities within a cliff face. Youll also find yourself helping some of the games anonymous characters, which include the aforementioned bear or an angry mother bird, which then return the favour by allowing you to progress further..
There are occasions that youll take control of one of the three stars of the movies, however, these sections are very brief. In one instance, youll need to guide Sid down a slippery ice slide, collecting acorns and hitting the correct button combinations whilst air-born to rack up enough points to impress the ladies. Another point saw as controlling Diego as he punished some small mouse-like creatures who were previously hitting the tiger with rocks in a hit-the-mole type mini game. Otherwise, youll usually see the trio through the game-generated cutscenes and the cinematics that have been pulled from the movie.
The game controls surprisingly well, offering tight and responsive controls that allows for the easy manipulation of the games characters. The controls have been kept to the simplest form, with regular in-game signposts reminding you of how to perform specific actions. This process allows the younger crowd to progress through the game at a more enjoyable rate, rather than being stuck at a specific section due to forgetting what control functions are available for your use.
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown offers a pleasing level of graphical detail that sees each of the movies characters coming to life in the video game world. Each character offers accurate detail that is a solid representation of how they appear in the movie, which is accompanied with some beautiful and varied environments that aid in providing a varied experience. The games soundtrack is kept to a lighthearted and upbeat tune, which suits the games presentation and personality. Furthermore, each of the characters Hollywood voice actors have lent their talent to the games production, ensuring an authentic sounding experience for fans of the two movies.
While it is short and a tad too easy for the more mature gamer, the games targeted market, the younger crowd, are sure to find plenty of enjoyment and pleasure in this solid game tie-in of the recent animated movie. The game looks good, plays well and is charming in many aspects, proving to be one of the better childrens games in quite some time.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.