Disaster: Day of Crisis Review for Wii

On: Wii
Ray isn't a bad guy, but he's in a bad game.
Ray isn't a bad guy, but he's in a bad game.

Ray isn't a bad guy, but he's in a bad game.

There was a time when you could buy anything that came from the big N and you'd be guaranteed a good time. It seems that with the Wii this is no longer the case, with average or worse games being passed off as great interactive experiences just because you play by moving your hands about. Disaster: Day of Crisis is the latest game that falls into this category, offering gameplay that would have felt dated at the beginning of this decade, visuals that bring back memories of 32-Bit gaming and more cheese than a straight to DVD action movie.

You play as Ray, a professional rescuer (is that even a real job?) who sees his friend and colleague die after a mountain rescue mission next to an erupting volcano goes wrong. The rescue chopper is downed by a flying piece of molten rock and all hell breaks loose as the ground is shaken up and torn apart. Predictably you end up on a rope hanging over a cliff edge, holding on to your mate as he dangles perilously over a raging torrent of lava. Cue a Cliffhanger moment as he lets go and falls in slow motion to his melty, burny death.

Ray's pretty cut up, as you can imagine, and can't face his mate's sister who blames him for her brother's death - despite the fact that he promised to keep an eye on her. So, when a seismologist and his assistant are kidnapped by terrorists, you can imagine our shock when the assistant is revealed to be the woman we'd been avoiding for the best part of a year since the accident. This highlights perfectly Disaster: Day of Crisis' tone - a B-movie cheese-fest that's about as clichéd as it can be, full of terrible writing and acting. The funny thing is that it's still kind of enjoyable.

Although the story is so achingly bad it's good, the gameplay doesn't have the same charm. Over the course of the game you'll take part in a variety of different gameplay types. There are third-person adventure game type sections, which have Ray wandering about in devastated areas, finding injured or trapped civilians and helping them out. It's pretty basic stuff, but does make use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck in order to heal wounds (point to spray the wound clean with water and rotate the analogue stick to apply a bandage) and lift heavy objects (raise the Wii Remote and Nunchuck to lift). There are some clever ideas here, like the way smoke gets into your lungs and requires you to take a breath once you're in clean air (Z), and the way you shake off fire (shake both controllers), but it's not the most engaging gameplay you'll come across.

'You'll also have to drive cars, using the Wii Remote on its side like a traditional controller.'

The other main gameplay type is similar to that of a Time Crisis style light-gun shooter. You use the Wii Remote to aim and shoot at enemies, switch weapons with the d-pad, take cover from enemy fire by holding the Z button, zoom in with C, and that's about it. It works, but it doesn't feel nearly as smooth or as polished as a proper light-gun game - Ghost Squad for example. The biggest problem is that these sections look dated, feature an annoying amount of input lag and feel like they've been shoe-horned into a game that features fairly clunky third-person adventure gameplay.

Occasionally after these sections you'll have to run away from a threat, so the game switches to an interactive cinematic, with you waving the Wii Remote and Nunchuck up and down to make Ray run as fast as possible. You'll also have to drive cars, using the Wii Remote on its side like a traditional controller. Although we grimaced at the thought, these sections prove to be some of the best in the game, with controls that work as you want them to. Driving sections do highlight some flaws with the game engine (there's terrible slowdown at times), but it feels like you're in control of a car, which is what matters.

These light-gun-style sections would be OK if it wasn't for the annoying input lag

These light-gun-style sections would be OK if it wasn't for the annoying input lag

Adding to the what we presume to be unintentional humour are the pick-ups. By bashing up objects in the game with a few kicks or punches (don't you know anyone who goes around punching crates?) you can reveal health and stamina pick-ups, as well as food items that you eat instantly. There's something completely bizarre about a man in the middle of a national disaster stopping in the street to eat a burger that's bigger than his head and following it with a can of drink that's equally sized. The inventory system isn't bad and there's a weapon upgrade and purchasing system, but if anything this feels at odds with the unrealistic tone of the game.

We've already mentioned the visuals in the driving sections, but it's worth pointing out how amazingly varied the game's graphics are. One section can look really quite good, complete with plenty going on and some decent effects, while another can see you staring at a NPC that could have been ripped out of a PSOne game. In reality PSOne games look far, far worse, but this is what Day of Crisis' visuals evoke memories of. We know the Wii can't pump out brilliantly detailed HD visuals, but it can do better than this, that's for sure.

The argument you're bound to see elsewhere is that Disaster: Day of Crisis is unique and fills a void in the Wii software library, and is therefore worth a purchase despite its many flaws, but a poor software line-up shouldn't be enough to sell you on a distinctly underwhelming game. There's some fun to be had with this Wii action game, but it's far from good and certainly not what you should be expecting from Nintendo.

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wiistation 360's Avatar
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wiistation 360

i question where you DRUNK revieuwing this game ?

my revieuw:

Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 10
9,3/10
Posted 18:11 on 31 October 2008
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pblive

That link practically says "someone said that someone else said something". Not really a reliable source. I'm off to find the podcast in question.
Posted 13:20 on 31 October 2008
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wyp100

http://www.nintendowiifanboy.com/200...day-of-crisis/

If Reggie goes on record to lay into the game, you know there's problems, guys.
Posted 11:09 on 31 October 2008
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pblive

I feel sorry for TomO, he was just writing what he thought about the game. Perhaps he was unlucky and got a badly coded version, or his set up caused lag and perhaps he did get a few facts slighty wrong, but it's difficult to review games in the short space of time that they have.

I can't comment on the game itself as I haven't played it yet, from all your comments it does sound quite good, though, so I may rent it.
Posted 08:59 on 31 October 2008
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MiPeMo

Oh and IGN UK just gave it a 8.0/10. Another nail on your coffin!!

And Cubed³ review gave it a 8/10 too

hmmm, yeah...
Posted 08:06 on 31 October 2008
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MiPeMo

A 5????
A F**** FIVE?????????
You got to be kiddin me, one of the first reviews i find and its this POS?
Okay, everybody! Please do NOT listen to this crap, the game is NOT a 5, its atleast solid 7 and personaly its an 8. This game is fresh, diverse and most importantly ITS VERY FUN!!!
Its kinda like NMH, it has its faults but its so fun that it doesnt matter. It will be a cult game for shure
Posted 08:00 on 31 October 2008
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Darkwun

(2 lazy to properly type today, hard day at work! so please excuse any poor grammar and bad punctuation!)
first off thanks bencrosaby for not singleing me out. pretty much everything i've said has been pretty fair. i dont agree with people calling him stupid and a moron, but i agree that we have the right to complain at the review. after all thats what these threads are for. open discussion. i merely got inflamed by the fact publishers back away from the wii cuz good games like this score badly. by voicing our opinion it gives other readers a second opinion, and i think its justified in this case. i think the review was poor. it was too general and seemed to mock the game... i can understand when reviewers mok games like iron man for the wii... but not a game like this... he genuinelyt didnt like it thats fair enough. but theres little in this review to suggest that might be down to his personal taste rather than the game itself. as by this backlash suggests he really is in the minority. but the other thing that really got me was the input lag... i really get frustrated at that as nobody else has even noticed even when trying it and no other review has mentioned it.especially as he says its a game spoiling feature... thats not even a slight thing... theres something wrong there. and it was SOLELY on this input lag issue i posted the link about him being crap at games... and thats not my personal opinion, it's whats written on his bio! and as editor he has the option to remove this if he thought it was untrue! yes this review is toms opinion. and these posts are ours. we have just as much right to voice our opinion as he does. everything else i think robo has already said :)
Posted 17:49 on 29 October 2008
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Robo_1@ bencrosaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by bencrosaby
This review was an OPINION.

No, hell no, that's the last, cheapest get out clause any professional reviewer should hide behind.

As a professional reviewer, it's not just Tom's responsibility to offer his opinion on the game, it's his job to give us a critical, factually accurate and balanced assessment of the game he is playing, so that people can learn about the game, see what it's strengths and weaknesses are, and best judge from the text whether the game would be suitable for them.

Tom has simply not justified the score he's given Disaster, and given that poor reviews effect the financial fortunes of hundreds, if not thousands of people, gamers are absolutely right to take him to task on points they either totally disagree with, or worse, are factually incorrect.

How the hell can you justify marking the only plus point next to the game as some decent graphics, when if nothing else, it features a multitude of different play styles and some really clever use of the Wiimote. Phrases like 'clunky' are so scattershot, that to use them to sum up the games entire adventuring element just smacks of "couldn't be bothered".

Sorry, but with the financial burden carried by games these days, and the short time with which they have to make any sort of a profit, end users are totally, totally right to challenge reviews they don't agree with, because if enough people do openly disagree with the review, it helps to counter it's effect on people's buying decisions.

I've nothing against the site and certainly not Tom himself (I totally distance myself from the personal attacks made) but the power wielded by reviewers these days have serious consequences for peoples jobs, so they have an awesome responsibility to not just their readership, but to the companies who produce these games to give them a fair hearing.

I've no doubt that Tom genuinely wasn't impressed with Disaster, but aside from a highly disputable lag issue and some ropey graphics, it's difficult to see how he's arrived at his end score. Doubly so when it's slapped with a 5, who's default meaning is frustrating!! I mean how on Earth do they rationalise that - every average game in the world is average because it's frustrating? If nothing else comes out of this, I would encourage the videogamer.com staff to re-examine the thought process behind that one!

Things have become nasty in this thread, and as I said earlier, I want no part of the name calling (that includes dickwads), but people are clearly upset and angry to see the game marked down so badly, and the fact that the game is attracting such vocal support should give Tom pause. He may not have personally liked the game, and in his opinion, it might be "far from good", but has he really justified his opinion to his readers, and does his opinion really hold up to critical analysis?

No hard feelings to anybody, but like I said a few posts back, with niche titles like this struggling to turn a profit, I do rise to the defence of games I don't think have had a fair hearing.

Anyway, that's my 2, 4, 6 cents on the matter, and I'm sure with Tom being a videogame fan, he welcomes open and friendly discussion on reviews like this.
Posted 15:51 on 29 October 2008
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bencrosaby@ CreX

To all of you dickwads complaining; this review wasn't written to please any of you!

This review was an OPINION. It really really aggravates me to read some of your comments about it not being a 7. Slating the reviewer himself is completely wrong too. He has merely told you what HE believes about the game. What you believe is understandably going to be different in some shape or form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwun
This is what i mean. This guy hasn't read what the rest of us have put about this game, and has gone solely by the review.
Lol, 'this guy' actually trusts VideoGamer.com more than any other Gaming site because he's been here for years. VideoGamer.com (for me anyway) has always provided a good understanding of games for all leading Consoles and provides an honest opinion.

Disagreement is fine. I have no problem with it, we're all different. But when somebody actually slates the reviewer for not doing his job properly and calling him a 'moron' etc. It's not on. Stop acting like 6 year olds and enjoy the ****ing game if you're enjoying it. (this wasn't aimed solely at you, Darkwun btw)
Posted 14:23 on 29 October 2008
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CreX

I'm 5 hours in at hard dif. I doens't love ot hate tha game. I think it's really fun and something pretty fresh. Visuals are really nice sometimes, and not good at all sometimes. From what I've seen there is no frame rate issue at all, and the pointing feels as in RE:UC (not the best around, but acceptable). Story grows intresting pretty fast. A really solid 7 for this game.

CreX out!
Posted 12:34 on 29 October 2008
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idiot

take the hint from people who have played this game. your review is crap you focused on the very few negatives. learn how to review games the re write it moron
Posted 15:37 on 28 October 2008
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Ridiculous!

Keep editing & altering the review because you visibly, publicly failed. Reeeeal professional, like!
Posted 12:10 on 28 October 2008
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Darkwun

lol I was gonna stay away from this for a while at the risk of dominating the thread... but simply HAD to put this quote up from Tom's own bio from the site... explains a lot!
"Despite being a walking video games database, Tom is constantly ridiculed by co-staff for being so crap at them."
Posted 18:50 on 27 October 2008
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Darkwun

and on those other reviews...

82% Official Nintendo Magazine UK
The woeful AI and a few clumsy sections detract from what's otherwise a really enjoyable arcade-style experience. But it looks and sounds great and there are enough unlockables to warrant a second and third playthrough.

80% 3DJuegos
An interesting story, an outstanding cinematographic style and a good variety of genres like exploration, shooting or driving. These are the key ingredients of Disaster: Day of Crisis, a very enjoyable videogame very suitable for gamers looking for one of the best action games in Wii.

73% NGamer UK
But the crowning glory is the fantastically naïve script, which attempts to ape gritty American cinema with its excessive use of swears. In attempting this, it succeeds only in being the most quintessentially Japanese thing that has ever been put to disc.

AND THEN WE HAVE TOM....

50% VideoGamer
A distinctly underwhelming game. There's some fun to be had with this Wii action game, but it's far from good and certainly not what you should be expecting from Nintendo.
Posted 18:26 on 27 October 2008
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Darkwun

*grudgingly attempts to re-write what he said*
"I'll pick it up when it's hit the Bargain Bins. Which, judging by the tone of this review, might be soon." This is what i mean. This guy hasn't read what the rest of us have put about this game, and has gone solely by the review. But it begs the question. How many simple have merely Googled D:DoC found this (which was the only review at the time), and made up there mind there and then whether to get this game. How many people have turned away, stopping this from being the success it deserves to be. And furthermore stopping companies from actually taking the time to make innovative games for my white box. I'm not a Nintendo fanboy. I love my Xbox, but the lack of good action games on Wii aggrevates me. Thusly, so did this review.
"And Darkwun, I think we are on pretty much the same wavelength here, and I'm pleased to hear you're enjoying the game. A friend of mine has already completed the game and said that on your second run through, you get a whole new set of things to hunt for. He also said he's enjoying his second run through more..." Thank you. It's good to find a like-minded soul amongst the chaos lol. I'm currently at the tsunami section on my second run through and am enjoying the side missions and unlocking the costumes. As well as spending considerable amounts of time (we're talking up to an hour at a time), on the shooting range trying to find evidence of this input lag. And i really have found zero evidence of it. Twice, I've managed to get a 100% rating on the advance stage. This is no easy task, and led to much swearing as i fall at the last hurdle... anyway, gettin 100% on tha difficulty would be an impossibilty with input lag.
"I've never seen this happen.. I was just looking for my next Wii game and looking at various reviews this game looked good, I saw this had a 5/10 so I had to read why.. but looking at the comments, it seems the reviewer is on his own..." My point exactly. I'm the type that hates complaining and although I've disagreed with many a review, I've never done so, vocally. Other reviews I've disagreed with, have been fair. They do not simply lable it as "frustrating" without elaborating on certain points. And they've often had a reader score in plain sight. After all, one reviewers opinion is just that; one person's opinion. In all my years of gaming (I may only be 24, but I've been gaming for 18 of those years), i have NEVER seen a backlash such as this against a game review. Tom is entitled to his opinion, but clearly the majority speaks. I just hope other sites see it the way we do. *waits for PC to crash again*
Posted 18:15 on 27 October 2008

Game Stats

Disaster: Day of Crisis
5
Out of 10
Disaster: Day of Crisis
  • Some decent visuals in places
  • Some really rather disappointing visuals
  • Shooting sections have input lag
  • Clunky third-person adventure sections
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platform: Wii
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 8,618 4017
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