|Posted by bezerker99 on March 29, 2016 at 12:20 AM|
Bird Mania Party (Wii U eShop)
review by bezerker99
Teyon is back with the fourth installment of their aerial runner gaming franchise, Bird Mania. For those curious, the releases are as follows: Bird Mania 3D (3DS), Bird Mania (for iOS and Android), and Bird Mania Christmas 3D (3DS). This time around, Mojo, our flying feathered friend, is back with a new flight and he's bringing his bird friends with him in Bird Mania Party for the Wii U.
The story and gameplay is the same as before. Mojo overslept one morning and missed his flock's southern flight to Africa for the winter. Being the brave bird that he is he sets off on his own, determined to reach his destination regardless of circumstance.
Mojo is positioned at the left side of the screen and constantly flies to the right. There are objects and items he'll have to avoid to stay alive such as bushes, trees, bees, and other incoming birds. If he takes just one hit from any of these it's Game Over but, rest-assured, pressing the green Restart button will put you back into the action fast.
It's not all about avoiding objects though. There are, in fact, items you'll want to fly towards and collect - these being stars and balloons as they give you points. Each star is worth one point and balloons, depending on their color, are worth two to five.
Controlling Mojo with the Gamepad is done one of three ways. The right and left analogue sticks move him up/down. Pressing X will move him up and B down. But the most effective way to control Mojo is by sliding the stylus on the Gamepad's touch screen up and down. It's easily the best way to fly because it gives the gamer complete control over Mojo moving him exactly where you want with stunningly fast accuracy. What's also neat is these control schemes all work whether you're right or left-handed!
Mojo starts off flying in the daylight hours and at first everything appears to be moving at a fairly modest pace. But that will soon change as things will begin to pick up fast. Before long you'll be flying so fast that Mojo and the background will be nothing but a blur! Gameplay is always fastest during the daylight hours. Only when the sun sets and the moon rises will Mojo slow down a bit. Flying at night provides the gamer with some much needed focus and control because of it's slower pace. Every now and then it will begin to rain causing Mojo to fly slightly downward. The gamer will have to overcorrect their flying patterns by continuing to move Mojo up and up until the rain stops. Once it clears, Mojo goes back to flying in a straight line.
Mojo can horizontally dash forward in a sudden burst of speed by pressing one of the four top trigger buttons (R, L, ZR, ZL). When doing this, and with the right timing, Mojo can take out those pesky incoming birds and bees that are coming at him.
This dashing and hitting birds will give you a score multiplier. For instance, after dashing into a bird, you'll have a multiplier of x2 and will gain twice the number of points for coins and balloons. Hit five birds in a row and you'll have a x5 multiplier. Keep the chain going to get your multiplier as high as possible! This will result in coins and balloons giving you a ton of points!
However, these mulitpliers only last a few seconds as indicated by a meter at the bottom of the screen. After dashing into a bird, the multiplier meter appears and you'll have five seconds to collect points from coins and balloons. If you manage to hit another bird before the meter runs out, it will automatically refresh, add another multiplier to your current number, and give you an additional five seconds to rack up more points. It's important to note that birds are the only enemies that give you multipliers. The bees give you no points and will reset your multiplier to x1 if you hit them so avoid at all costs.
The word "Party" added to the end of this title means you and four friends can all join in on the action as this is the first Bird Mania game to support simultaneous multiplayer action! There are two multiplayer modes: Co-op and Party. Co-op is strictly a two player game where you and a friend control an individually colored Mojo, both flying on the screen at the same time, and working together for the highest possible score.
The Party mode allows up to five players, with Player one having to use the Gamepad and the rest using Wii Motes. In this mode everyone is out for themselves and trying to collect the most points. There is no online multiplayer option so this mode demands you play locally with friends.
Bird Mania Party features the same music and sound effects from previous games. The music can be left on or turned off. They added a few new sound effects that work well (such as the loud, glaring sound one hears when dashing into a bee, clearly indicating the gamer just made a mistake). Gameplay is identical to all other Bird Mania games and will instantly be familiar to anyone who has played them. The in-game achievements are back as well (twenty two in all) which does add a bit of depth to the overall experience.
Mojo looks great in high definition on a big TV screen but off-screen Gamepad play is also an option. It was this latter method in which I spent most of my time playing the game.
The action starts off a bit slower than in previous entries (I'm assuming this is to account for there being multiple Mojo's on the screen at once) but even with the single player campaign, the game will take a few moments to get moving really fast. It's not an easy game by any means. It's going to take some patience and practice on the gamer's part to be able to rack up a x35 multiplier (one of the actual in-game achievements).
Despite my feelings that Bird Mania works best on a handheld device because of it"s quick "pick up and play" gamestyle, I find it refreshing to see Mojo flying in HD on my Wii U console. There isn't a lot of depth to this game (outside of the achievements and breaking your high scores), but that's fine as that's not the game's goal. It's meant to be played in quick spurts as a good little time waster. The multiplayer is local only (no online) but there are separate online leaderboards for all three different gameplay modes. And with a budget price of just $1.99, it's not going to hurt your wallet too much. Anyone who remotely enjoys endless runner games (and especially if you've played and enjoyed the previous entries) should give Bird Mania Party a download onto their Wii U.
Overall Rating: 7/10*******