Denny Markovic
15 Apr, 2011

Rango Review

DS Review | Bleeding eyes and narcolepsy.
Movie tie-ins are for the most part pretty poor when it comes to converting them into those violent things we call video games. There have been a couple of exceptions over the years, like that crazy Scott Pilgrim downloadable game that came out for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (though one could argue it had the soul of a game to begin with considering the film is mostly full of style but lacking the substance; not a slap in the face to games at all), and maybe one or two others which no one probably played anyway, but overall we're never really inclined to recommend movie-tie ins much at all, and that's including the game we unfortunately had to trudge through recently on the Nintendo DS, Rango.

There are a multitude of things wrong with Rango on the DS, and the most glaring of problems is its control scheme which makes you want to punch someone in the face. The game is a top-down shooter and understandably so considering the limited technical ability of the DS. Controlling Rango should be simple enough; move him around with your d-pad, and shoot things with the other buttons. The button part they got right for the shooting aspect (though mashing the button down like some rabies-infested ape is tiring), but everything else is completely wrong. Rango's movement is clunky and frankly annoying, where the game doesn't seem to want to understand that holding down up and left means north-west, which is somewhat stupid considering the fact that you need to strafe and dodge a lot of oncoming enemies. Not to mention the targeting system with the right shoulder button is borderline broken (partly due to the giant hopping rabbits that slam you into the ground with their thundering arses of destruction) and switching between alter-ego costumes for melee and shooting requires like three button presses, it's obvious the combat can quickly become a frustrating and supremely annoying endeavour. We still don't understand why not a simple button press can switch your costume around so you can melee and shoot smoothly; holding the shoulder button, moving the d-pad and then selecting the costume all for a stupid punch that can break obstacles (yet the pistol for some unexplained reason can't) is pretty ridiculous and overly complicated, particularly considering the game is mostly targeted towards kids.


And this is just the controls; we haven't even talked about the enemies yet, which from the get-go seem to wear the armour of a panzer tank seeing that it can take about ten to fifteen hits for them to drop dead. The issue as well is that there is no natural difficulty spike in any area whatsoever; it's usually the same, fat stomping bunnies that you face with the occasional super giant bunny that charges you and other bunnies with pellet guns that can kill you in 3 hits. You get swarmed a fair amount and tend to struggle dodging a lot of the flying bunny arses trying to land on you, particularly with the controls as shady as they are. Yet the most amusing part about the combat system is that you can pretty much dodge 90% of the fights in the game entirely by simply sprinting around like a loon. At least the game might have some pretty sweet speed runs.

And even on a visual note, Rango is pretty damn weak and... brown. For a tie in that comes from a movie brimming with colours, amazing lighting and other Industrial Light and Magic sorcery, the DS adaptation is surprisingly brown and will make you think you've gone colour blind from all the blending. Don't get us wrong, you've got a green character at least so you won't lose your lizard friend in the seas of brown and yellow, but overall the visuals are completely uninspired and drab. When you think Killzone 2 is less brown, then something is definitely up. Audio-wise the game at least has some pleasant (albeit forgettable) tunes, so when you're playing you at least will only lose your sight and not your hearing.


There's not much to say about Rango that's positive, to be perfectly honest. It has its moments of decency, as in it achieves the merit of being a very average game with some half decent puzzles that are good for kids but incredibly dull for anyone older, but apart from that it's mostly extremely weak overall as one would expect from a movie tie in. Its controls are weak, the enemies are stupid, there are a number of bad design decisions and the level design is a combination of brown, yellow, a speck of green and likely some red due to the bleeding from your eyes, though that's only a bonus if it happens. And when the bonus is blood coming out of your eyes, it's not something that we really recommend at all. Save your pennies for something better.
The Score
Rango is a highly recommended game on the Nintendo DS if you're interested in masochism or sleep. 3
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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3 years ago

May you be blessed with more quality console review code

3 years ago
Wow, denny, you raged through that review.
3 years ago
I don't like things that make me bleed.
3 years ago
Wasn't the Scott pilgrim game based on the comic not the movie?
3 years ago
Benza wrote
Wasn't the Scott pilgrim game based on the comic not the movie?
It was called Scott Pilgrim vs. The World like the movie and came out around the same time like a movie tie-in, but it was indeed based more heavily on the graphic novels than the movie.
3 years ago
Scott Pilgrim vs The World is the name of the second book though.

So really the only thing it has in common with the movie is the release date.
It follows the story of the comic, uses the same art style as the comic etc.
3 years ago
Also, unlike the film, the game is actually very good.

SPvW defense force activate in 3... 2...
3 years ago

I never read reviews, but your rage inspired me to read it.

So..So awesome icon_biggrin.gif, lulz were had by all ^^
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