Deadliest Warrior has caused quite a stir in the office this past week. Perhaps you read our review of it, or maybe you watched two of the VideoGamer.com team bashing each other's brains to pieces in our Extended Play feature. It might seem like a shameless plug, but I reference it to illustrate an important point. Whilst Deadliest Warrior is so bad that it's actually quite entertaining, Tournament of Legends is so bad that you'll actually find yourself snapping the disc in half so that you have something sharp enough to slash your wrists with.
While the two games are different in this respect, they share fundamental similarities in other areas, hence the comparison. Deadliest Warrior pits generic warriors against one another, a samurai against a centurion, for example. Tournament of Legends uses more specific, characterised warriors that draw their inspiration from a range of real-world mythologies. Players can look forward to doing battle with the likes of Marcus Antonius; The Hero of Rome, Kara the Valkyrie or Jupiter the King of Gods. They might well be mythological legends, but there is nothing even slightly legendary about the game's roster of characters.
The models are actually incredibly detailed, with bits of armour that will come flying off your enemy once you've dealt enough damage. Against all known logic, however, this level of detail shouldn't be considered a good thing. With such intricacies to a characters armour and weaponry, the Wii just isn't able to process the models sufficiently. Subsequently, the game looks incredibly scrappy; an undistinguishable mess of blurry polygons brought to life with clunky animations.
On top of these God-awful graphics, the camera hangs at such an angle so that one character is in the foreground, and one in the back. At certain points during the fight, usually after a critical hit, the camera will swoosh 180 degrees through the arena so that the character that was previously in the background is now in the front. It's weird, it's confusing, and it's completely unnecessary. Either keep the action restricted to a 2D plane, with a camera that adjusts itself after a side-step or special attack, or make use of a fully 3D arena. The weird amalgamation of the two simply doesn't work.
Despite the eye-sore, I suffered through the Story mode in its entirety, taking control of Bravehoof; the Defender of Justice. If that doesn't mean anything to you (and why should it?) imagine an axe wielding Minotaur clad in iron armour, and you're thinking along the right lines. The irony of Story mode is that there isn't much of a story at all. There's just an ugly cutscene introducing the character before the game starts, and then one again once it's been completed. Still, this is a fighting game and an expertly crafted narrative is not what we've come to expect from the genre.