First up is Benjamin Golightly, with his review of Super Scribblenauts. I enjoyed the first game, but somehow found it difficult to muster up any interest for the sequel. I figured plenty of you guys would be in the same frame of mind, so perhaps this review will inspire you to give it a second glance.
And thanks to Madman entertainment, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.
Take it away Benjamin!
Super Scribblenauts Super Scribblenauts is the 'sequel' to the hit Nintendo DS game Scribblenauts released in 2009. Retaining the charm of the first game, Super Scribblenauts addresses many of the issues that marred the original, and further improves on the gameplay with the use of adjectives. In the Scribblenauts titles, players are able to create objects by entering words into the game's interface, and then interact with these objects to complete puzzles and obtain 'starites'.
Loved Create anything: Well, nearly anything. This game's staggering list of words will allow for plenty of creative opportunities. Super Scribblenauts gives us more of the fun, unique gameplay so wonderfully constructed in the original Scribblenauts.
Controls: The controls in Super Scribblenauts are only marginally different from the original, but the improvement is almost beyond measure. The ability to now control Maxwell (the protagonist) via the d-pad or face buttons vastly improves player control over the character, preventing many of the accidental mishaps of the first game ('Stop running into the lava, damn you!').
Adjectives: While the ability to create so many things is astounding, the use of adjectives as modifiers is a phenomenal way to extend the game's replayability and encourage creativity. From flying raptors to vampiric pencils, Super Scribblenauts will let you go crazy with the possibilities. And it's the only game thus far that allows you to give a girl the romantic present of a rainbow colored shark...
Visual appeal: While it won't win awards for realistic graphics, Super Scribblenauts retains the 'scribbled' appearance of the first title. Funny and charming, you'll never get tired of the aesthetics.
Puzzles: While the early puzzles seem almost simplistic, largely to familiarise players with the new adjective feature, there is always a sense of satisfaction upon completing the puzzles. Super Scribblenauts largely dispenses with the 'action' levels of the previous title in favour of having the player construct items that satisfy certain conditions, which suits the new features rather well.
References: Many of the objects players can create stem from references to literature and film, and these are usually quite funny. While I'm yet to see a level as awesome as the 'Reach 88mph' level from the first game, there are plenty of amusing and sometimes subtle references just waiting to be found.
Hated Puzzles: While I loved most of the puzzles, sometimes they seem to degenerate into a system of guessing the exact item (with correct adjectives) that the developers want you to use. Unfortunately, this can restrict, rather than develop, the creative expression that this game relies upon.
Lack of action levels: While the adjective feature lends itself more to the puzzle levels, the number of action levels in the game feels remarkably small. Especially when many of them are incredibly enjoyable.
Item cap: While understandably necessary to ensure the smooth running of the game, the item cap sometimes feels remarkably restrictive, especially when players start racking up the adjectives. It would be nice to see more objects at a time in order to create elaborate scenarios.
Super Scribblenauts is a wonderfully charming game with a unique gameplay hook. It improves upon the flaws of the original game without losing any of the enjoyment. While in many ways it may be difficult to differentiate Super Scribblenauts from its predecessor, the use of adjectives to modify objects extends the game beyond simply being an 'expansion pack' to Scribblenauts. If you enjoyed the first game, make sure to give Super Scribblenauts a go. If you haven't played the first game, shame on you - definitely try Super Scribblenauts.