There is a rule of thumb in gaming, kids’ games and games based on films are usually terrible. Of course there are exceptions to this rule such as LEGO Star Wars and Chronicles of Riddick. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, however, is not one of these exceptions.
Since you’ve continued reading past that first paragraph I’m going to assume that you’re a parent, because there is no reason for anyone above the age of 10 to play this game. For those of you who don’t know Phineas and Ferb is actually one of the more intelligent kids’ shows. A cartoon about a couple of inventive siblings who go on crazy adventures due to their ingenuity. The game is based on a straight to tv film based on the cartoon in which Phineas and Ferb create a device that lets them slip into parallel dimensions.
The storyline allows for some pretty interesting level designs, such as the gelatin world and a black and white Steamboat Mickey-esque level. Throughout most of the levels the gameplay remains consistent and relies on basic platforming and weapon based combat. Every once in a while though the game turns into a rail shooter where you have to take down enemies while piloting a jetpack. Both these game modes are functional, but mediocre.
What Phineas and Ferb does to alleviate the mundanity of the gameplay is to let two of you experience it at the same time via split-screen, and it’s clear that this is how the game was meant to be played. The AI that controls your ally if you are playing solo is next to useless and would be the cause of multiple deaths, that is if the game wasn’t condescendingly easy.
Granted this is a game aimed at a younger audience but it is near impossible to die, even when attempting to do so. And chances are that one point you will want to see Phineas suffer as he has an obnoxious habit of narrating almost every single action, before you even have the chance to do it. At one point I walked into a room in which the only item was a lever, to which Phineas helpfully exclaimed “I think we need to pull that lever.” While that on it’s own may not be enough to be considered patronising this was after a level which considered entirely of pulling levers.
As with seemingly all games nowadays Phineas and Ferb isn’t content with player’s just getting through every level, there are collectables scattered throughout the game in the form of gold coins. These are fairly easy to find and serve only to pad the game out, much like the mini-games you can also play.
These come in two flavours, skee-ball and a grabber machine. The skee-ball game is the better of the two but it’s still bland, boring and consists of pressing a single button randomly. The grabber on the other hand seems like it was designed to be the most tedious mini-game of all time. It brings all the frustration of clawgames but leaves out the only redeeming quality, a tangible reward.
If you ignore these pointless additions the game lasts only a few hours. Which is fortunate as Phineas and Ferb is an extremely mediocre kids’ game, if you’re an adult then stay away from it at all costs. If you want to distract the kids for a few hours then there are worse choices than this, you’d be better off just watching a few episodes of the show though.
Verdict – Off Target
Platforms Available – PS3, Wii, DS
Platform Reviewed – PS3
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