Posted by Raine Hutchens on Aug 17, 2010

Review – Pirates Plundarrr (Wii)

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Yarrr Me Matey! Tharr Be A Pirates Plundarrr Review!

This weekend I got to review a fun little game from Majesco Entertainment on the Wii called Pirates Plundarrr. The game centers around a group of pirates who have had their precious booty stolen by a traitor pirate by the name of Rudebelly. Players fight off through over 40 stages of intense hack ‘N slash action as they tear through countless waves of enemies ranging from skeletons to a giant armadillo. Up to four players can band together to fight the evil Rudebelly in this epic quest for treasure.

The game in itself is a side-scrolling hack ‘N slash, but it also incorporates a few RPG elements in the mix. From the beginning there are 4 selectable characters to choose from: a Pirate Wench, a Buccaneer, a Sea Dog, and a Duelist. Each character has its strengths and weaknesses and seem to fit to different play styles. Players earn EXP by defeating enemies in each stage, and can level up through the journey. At each level gained the player gains a skill point, which can be used to upgrade skills once you reach the end of the stage in which the level was gained. Some of the skills range from damage for each specific weapon, to upgrading speed and unlocking a powerful thunder attack.

Located within the game are enormous amounts of weapons ranging from hams that are wielded like daggers to a large axe that is imbued with electricity. The player can equip two weapons at once and can switch between them at any time during the stage. Also, every weapon that the player picks up is stored within a stage in the beginning that can be accessed via the world map.

The enemy base in this game is huge. Players will encounter mediocre minions such as skeletons and amazon warriors, but will also come across large bosses such as giant skeleton warriors and an Amazonian shaman. Players will also unlock enemies that can be selected as playable characters within the game. These new additional characters, however, start at the level at which they were encountered. For example, the skeleton playable character was at starting level 2, so I had to level him all the way back up to the where I was at that certain point in the game.

Now that you have a general idea of what the game is about, let’s get to the pros and cons of the game itself.

To start off with, this game is very humorous. I rather enjoyed the fact that even if the game gets a little frustrating, the developers included a few jokes in each stage that make me laugh. In fact, while playing the game I found myself smiling and laughing a lot. Also the amount of stages in this game is incredible. There are over 40 stages throughout the game, short and long. There are stages where treasures can be found, and some stages where players can purchase items using the coins that enemies drop. Perhaps the most important pro to this game is the fact that it is very easy to pick up and play, even for those unfamiliar with the Wii, or even video games themselves. I found myself getting the hang of the game rather quickly, and this made the enjoyment arrive a lot faster than in other titles. The multiplayer in the game is exceptionally fun. I found a lot of the stages a lot easier while playing with someone else, and with 3 of my friends joining me this makes for a great social party game.

With every game that comes, though, there are the cons. Although it offers a lot of variety through stages, enemies, and weapons, the music has no variety at all. The same song plays on every stage repeatedly no matter what stage the player is on. The song, while a catchy tune, gets annoying after a while. The controls are also a bit sketchy. While offering easy-to-learn controls, I found one thing getting in my way: since this game utilizes the Wii-mote on its side like a normal controller, the B button is right behind the player’s middle finger on the left hand. I found my fingers pressing against this button constantly while I was running around the stage. Since B is the button to block, I would just stop mid-stride. When fighting a boss this often caused death for me. If paying attention, this can be avoided, but I found myself doing it again and again, and there is not an option to change the controls.

While the leveling system is a unique addition to the game, it is a bit short. By the twentieth stage or so I found myself almost maxed out. Specifically, if the player doesn’t utilize every weapon category, their skills will be maxed out quick. The loading screens also seemed to annoy me. After every stage players will see a large loading screen, especially if they die during the stage. The loading screens are not exactly long, but they are everywhere, which can get on players’ nerves. The gameplay does become repetitive, just as in most hack ‘N slash titles, and with all multiplayer titles stages can get a bit laggy. I found that in the beginning of each stage while more than one player is engaging the stage there is a huge lag. This happens on every stage, and got really annoying.

Just like with every video game that hits the shelves, there is the good and bad. Most of the cons to Pirates Plundarrr are mere annoyances that can possibly be overlooked. With a price tag of $20 I can see this title weighing itself out. It is a great social game, and I really enjoyed playing with my friends. Even though the game is rated E10+, I found it very amusing. If you have a Wii and are looking for a fun, social game with variety, I would definitely recommend Pirates Plundarrr to you.

Pirates Plundarrr

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