Developer Traveller's Tales has had an almost unreasonable amount of success translating LEGO blocks into successful game franchises. Despite what some would say, the much beloved blocks even gave the ailing Star Wars franchise a much needed shot in the arm. So it's a sad thing indeed that they've failed to provide the same treatment for LEGO's original property Bionicles, on a system desperate for solid platformers.
Perhaps it's because the semi-serious saga of cyberpunky mechabots doesn't lend itself as well to the quirky face lift those other LEGO games benefited from. Let's face it - the LEGO Star Wars games didn't reinvent the wheel in terms of its gameplay. Rather, the level of humor and charm lovingly applied made them more of a delight to play. But even if you're familiar with the property and can tell a Naparu from a Kongu, the issues plaguing Bionicle Heroes don't end at its presentation.
To start with, Heroes is already a port of a mediocre, last-gen shooter. The dated graphics are compounded by murky cutscenes that made us feel as if we were watching through a layer of donut glaze. And the ability to dynamically switch to different playable Bionicles via the on-the-fly changing of masks also feels uninspired, often useless, with most characters stifled by samesness in spite of their varying abilities and upgrade capabilities. You'll sluggishly shot wave after wave of similar enemies, most of which resemble mechanized spiders. And as for the level designs: hope you like rocks!
Instead of taking advantage of the Wii Remote's functionality, the movement of your right hand unsuccessfully substitutes for a right analog stick. The cursor's cross reticule will glow red and shift your point-of-view when you approach the edge of the screen, but not only does it react poorly, it has little to do with aiming and your slow shot's accuracy. Instead the game auto-aims on whatever it wants using little to no logic. And since the over-the-shoulder camera view is obstructive as hell, especially in closed corridors, you're in a constant fight to change your perspective so your Bionicle will lock onto your intended target.
It seemed absurd for us to be yelling at our character to "Move! Get outta the way!" as if it were our mother carelessly vacuuming in front of the TV, but maybe that's why the game (over) compensates with its ridiculous ease. With energy hearts constantly appearing, respawning masks, and enemies that kindly back off, if you die in Bionicle Heroes you may want to strongly consider hanging up your gaming gloves. We suppose the game will appeal to Bionicle fans, if they do in fact exist, but anyone else will want to bypass Heroes for something better. Let's hope the upcoming LEGO-ization of Batman fares a bit better.