Spyborgs - first look

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Wii isn't exactly known for its unique third party titles. At best we'll see a port or an old sequel rehashed for a "new audience," maybe even a side-sequel like Soulcalibur Legends or Umbrella Chronicles that is supposed to make us forget the real sequel isn't coming. For this reason alone we applaud Spyborgs, even without having played a second of the game. Whether or not it's any good, however, remains to be seen.

Initially Spyborgs looks like another co-op brawler from three or four years ago. Beat up these guys, walk through the door, beat up more things, collect those shiny things that fall out, etc. We still think that after demo. The key difference, and potentially the most important thing it has to nail to be successful, is its TV-episode mentality - each level will play like a literal snippet of a cartoon show, complete with lots of dialogue between characters, cliffhanger endings and commercials. Yes, commercials. They advertise the same hilariously worthless junk we've seen on Saturday mornings long lost and the equivalent of creepy local business ads, only now they function as minigames as well.

The most bizarre we saw (by a long shot) was a commercial for Two Fisted plumbing, where two suit-wearing fish float on a river of poo and sing songs while plucking their banjos. Cue the rhythm game motions with the Wii Remote, then back into the two-player smash-this smash-that gameplay.

Each of the five characters has his or her own bit, so Bouncer is the big bruiser guy, Kinetic is speedy and can jump farther etc, the idea being to use each other's powers to navigate the level. Best played with friends in the same room, and that's what Wii does best so it seems like a natural fit.

The developers (Bionic Games) hope to capture the same irreverent, off the wall sense of humor that permeates the Adult Swim lineup and transfer that into gameplay. Our only concern with that is Adult Swim itself often fails to capture that same feel, so someone else trying might fall flat. Then again, the commercials and Teen Titans-style cast could surprise us. We've only seen a small sample of Spyborgs so there's still plenty to reveal.

Give the trailer a try and make your own call. We'll know more soon, most likely at E3 in July.

Jun 3, 2008

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.