The thing is, the game's so bloody difficult it'll have you tearing your hair out. Hollywood developer Bionic Games is obviously a fan of old school Capcom beat-em-up Final Fight, as well as the masochistic likes of Ninja Gaiden, because Spyborgs, at times, is just as hard as both of them.
Why? Because of the sheer number of enemies the game throws at you, that's why. The good news is you can master the combo system to the point where you can just about get by. Just. The game, in this regard, works. But the bad news, the punch yourself in the face throw yourself down a flight of stairs smash your Wii Controller over your skull bad news, is that the checkpoints have been laid out by Satan's very own spawn.
Death after death we can just about tolerate. Hell, some people even like that kind of thing (Mega Man mentalists, we're looking at you), but when you put 20 minutes into soldiering through a stage only to have to do the whole damn thing again RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING – well, it's enough to turn the hairs on your head grey.
Bar this, Spyborgs isn't a bad effort at all. It looks nice for a Wii game, with some lovely fire effects and some screen-filling bosses; the combo system has some surprising fighting game nuances; and, like we mentioned, the motion controls almost always work (we reckon there are some detection bugs in boss fights). So it's a shame Bionic Games had to go and ruin things with the checkpoint system from hell. It's so frustrating that, halfway through the game, we had to drop the difficulty down to casual. This, we don't mind telling you, didn't sit well with our honed hardcore gamer ego. No sir.
Turns out, Spyborgs is still bloody hard, even on casual, and even with a real person playing with you. We can't even begin to imagine what Adrenaline difficulty, one step up from Core, is like. "Choose this and you will probably die frequently." Sorry, but we were dying frequently. There's even a secret, double hard difficulty that you can unlock. Good luck with that.
Frustrating checkpoints aren't Spyborg's only problem. All three playable characters have the same move list, so while one's weak but fast, one's slow but strong, and one's somewhere in the middle, it's not long before whacking the crap out of the generic enemies gets old. Proper old. Because of this, Spyborgs is in no way the Wii's answer to Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden. The combat system simply doesn't have anywhere near the variety required to play in the same league as those two illustrious games.
Oh, and we haven't mentioned Spy Vision yet. This pointless feature allows you to use the remote like a torch, shining it over the screen looking for things to pull into the world with an upwards flick and then, typically, destroy for stuff. Usually it's a crate in among other crates that are actually visible. Sometimes it's a ticking time bomb crate – useful for killing enemies before you get close to them. And every now and then enemies themselves are cloaked and need to be pulled in before they can be attacked. At the end of the day, though, Spy Vision serves little purpose, and shouldn't really have made it into the final game.
Still, if you're a Wii owner you could do far worse. And for some crazies out there, the whole constant death replay entire stages thing will be like vanilla milkshake: aka as good as it gets.
VideoGamer.com Score6 Score out of 10
- Cool combo system
- Good graphics
- Lack of variety
- Frustrating checkpoints