>> Sunday, December 16, 2007
Christmas is in trouble. "The presents are missing. The toys have gone insane. Time to suit up, grab your weapons, and kick some possessed to butt. Unfortunatly, your James Bond tux is in the cleaners, the Solid Snake costume is out for cleaning, and you don't want to dress up like Megaman. So, you'll just have to go it in your normal everyday wear... SANTA." That's how Gir starts his review of Christmas Crisis on CD-i Collective. He was online last week with the latest news on his upcoming Collective on the CDInteractive Network: "What's happening to the collective? I've tried SMART FTP as suggested by Devin and I still cannot regain access to the space offered by him. After some recent PC issues, it has become difficult to say when and where the Collective can return. I really do want it back up, but finding space I can work in, and time I can get to really do it justice, are scarce. I'm hoping early 2008 will see the Collective return." Until that time, Interactive Dreams visits some memories of the CD-i Collective, with today, following the current Christmas theme: Christmas Crisis!
Ok, so that intro was laced with a ton of cheap old jokes, its still a good promotion for this mediocre Christmas based clone of Super Mario Brothers. You take on the role of the jolly old elf and have to round up all the presents and take out the monsters and toys that have wreaked havoc on Christmas. This is a reasonable platform game with smooth scrolling both vertically and horizontally, but the most of the levels seem very small. Keeping in the vein of the 8-Bit Super Mario, everything on the screen is quite small, yet reasonably animated. The details on the still objects are much higher than the animated ones, making some of the game look a bit disjointed. Color levels though, are much higher than in other platformers, especially in the backgrounds, a major plus to giving this a much more "Christmas-y" feel. A real plus.
Gameplay is pretty straight forward. Run, jump (incredibly high for someone supposedly so fat) and throw snowballs. Colision detection for the weapons is quite good, but its a bit flakey when you are trying to make jumps to even the nearest platforms. A bit frustrating to make the jump perfectly, but because 3-5 pixels of your foot were off the edge, it slides you back and off the edge. To top it off though, that happens inconsistently. So you can make the same exact jump 5 times, and only succede once out of all of them. Also, you can run out of snowballs, but lack of an on-screen counter for how many you have is incredibly irritating when you're late in the game. Also, since presents are hidden in the floors of each level, having a consitency as to which type of floor contain them would have been nice. Its easy to release the gifts as they pop up if Santa hits the floor with his head or jumps on top of it.
The holliday music is a nice touch, but minimal in game sounds are a bit harsh. Theres no sound effects for the planes, trains or cars that you think would make some noise. A bit forgivable since if they were trying to emulate SMB, none of their enemies make noise either. BUT, the lack of sounds for Santa isn't as negotiable. Sure, his throwing a snowball makes a almost there THWOMP sound, theres no sound for his jumps, and no noise if he dies. Annoying. This adds to the feel that this title was rushed out.
To sum this up, its a mediocre platformer. But since there are so few of this type of game on the CD-i, its a nice addition to your library even if it's a bit flawed. If you're a fan of platform games, and are willing to put up with some frustrating gameplay, this title is for you. It can be a fun little game for a while. But don't get too attached, while it may sport alot of levels in its self promo on the packaging, most are so small, the game is over before you know it.
Credits: CD-i Collective