Review: CID The Dummy [Wii]

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Reviews, Wii

I’m sure we all remember the Crash Test Dummy toys in our youth; I never had them personally but can recall the fun of smashing them apart, putting back together, rinse and repeat. But what if one of them had some artillery and could dish out the pain?

CID appears to be a copy of one of those dummies (Note: this is not an official title), who complains about wanting more meaning with his life than being smashed into walls. So when Crash Impact Dummy (CID) inventor Professor B.M. Werken finds his daughter has been kidnapped by former colleague D-Troit, CID is kitted up with an agile suit and a bazooka to get the job done.

The controls are done with a mix of physical controls and Wii remote waggling. You control CID with the nunchuk analogue stick and jump with the Z button. Violence is administered with the remote, punching is wiggling the remote up-and-down. The bazooka, you whip out by holding the A button and move the remote almost over your shoulder (“As though you were hoisting a bazooka onto your shoulder!” announces the instruction booklet). However this isn’t that responsive at times, and the times they are is when you need it and it’s conveniently when enemies are running at you. Running away isn’t always an option, since many of them can keep up with you, and a few failed attempts mean they’d be all over you. When you fire the bazooka it will simply aim dead ahead, and you can only get a sure-fire hit on an enemy by using the Wii remote to “lock on”. A really bad point within this is the inability to shoot higher or lower, even with the remote. Being low on health, standing on a step a metre high with multiple enemies on the platform below, this proves a major inconvenience. It was then a case of jumping down and hoping to lock on and fire before they shot at me. On offer are 3 different types of ammo: rubber, which doesn’t bounce much as the name would imply, ice, where you can freeze enemies and smash them, and fire, which turns the bazooka into a flamethrower. However at times if you can’t get the bazooka out quick enough it’s better to let your fists do the talking, even if it’d take longer to put the enemy down.

During cut scenes and little conversations with the Prof, some terrible voice acting is used, which also spills out onto the gameplay when CID lets out a few sound bites when his fists are flying or running up walls. It gets a little tiring when you hear “Not such a dummy now!” for the tenth time as CID is punching boxes for a power up. Some nice appropriate music goes for each of the levels, and the menu screen at the beginning has a track which sounds very similar to Fatboy Slims’ Weapon of Choice…

The graphics in the environments are smooth, nothing groundbreaking for the Wii but on the whole get the job done, the backgrounds are lovely which is a shame since you’re only restricted to the front of the screens. CID is fluid in his movements; the wide variety of enemies seems to have suffered, appearing a little blocky in their textures, ranging from normal looking soldiers to brains in jars and crocodile eggs with only the arms, legs and tail sticking out.

Nothing new is added to the platforming genre, it’s a “2.5D” game, like Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation – you travel from left to right but can also go up and down a little but get restricted by the environment. Imagine retro games like Streets of Rage and Golden Axe and you get the idea. As such the game is incredibly linear, a transition from left to right, maybe going back to push a button to open a door, hatch or lower a bridge the way you came, occasionally fighting some enemy robots and monsters along the way. The action isn’t always charging through walls and running ahead, the C button, when held, equals stealth mode, to carefully negotiate minefields and sneak past spotlights which being caught under will lock gates and send enemies after you.

There are some secret areas hidden in the landscape, although not that hard to find, just a path leading in the opposite direction which could be the way you mean to go to begin with. You know it’s a secret area because you’ll hear the Prof’s annoying voice blurting out “You’ve found a secret area!” which contains some health, maybe some ammo, and Orbs which can be used for a Panic Attack which destroys all enemies within range. Variety is offered with some driving levels and boss fights, which are hardly challenging and consist of running back and forth waiting for them to reveal their weak points. Driving levels offer a break with some variety and involves moving from side to side on a road, avoiding road blocks and backward arrows, aiming for the forward arrows. Even though they don’t last more than five minutes each,they are quite enjoyable.

Because of all this as soon as you complete the game the first time you probably won’t want to play it again anytime soon, unless you’re a perfectionist and wish to find every secret area (and since they have no impact on the game, this might be unlikely), or just to play it on a higher difficulty. However CID The Dummy feels like a modern incarnation of the Platformers of Old, given a 3D makeover and some added variety in the form of the bazooka and Wiimote wiggling make it an interesting title. But compared to more complicated titles, CID comes off being average, samey and not all that challenging. If you ever feel like just sitting back and just playing a game where the plot won’t bother you, you could consider CID. Not worth the top end of a Wii games’ price range, but if you can find it cheap, you might have a fair purchase on your hands.

Sound 3/5
Gameplay 4/5
Graphics 3/5
Lifespan 2/5
Playability 3/5

Simple to pick up
Fairly easy
Driving makes a welcome escape

Repetitive and average
Annoying voice acting
Motions not always detected



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