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Gameplay

Sound
  Graphics

Value
Publisher: FroGames    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.3    CPU: G4 @ 1000 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM


Penguins Arena
March 11, 2008 | Samuel Slesinger
Pages:123Gallery


Click to enlarge
After you’ve tweaked the settings to your liking, hit start and you’re off; chucking snowballs at penguins. Yes, the primary weapon is a snowball. With unlimited ammo, and a very slow reload time, you engage in fierce bursts of battle on a variety of small-island maps. There is no health, there are no special game modes. To “kill” an opponent, you must knock him off the island. An Orca whale will do the rest. The last team standing wins the round, and the process repeats. Each match lasts anywhere from three to eight minutes (maximum). The game is quick, entertaining and gets old real fast.

The inclusion of a multiplayer mode was a wise choice for a game that offers little customization. But over the course of a week, I only ran into two other penguin, err human players. I can only assume that the game hasn’t garnered enough popularity yet.

Paging Mr. Miyamoto
There are no complaints to be made in the graphics department. Peguins features N64-esque polygonal characters and vibrant, aquamarine environments. The first-penguin perspective was especially consistent with family feel of the game. Just watching a frenzy of waddling, snowball-chucking, goofy-faced penguins bouncing off glaciers and into the gaping mouths of hungry whales will give you a fuzzy feeling. Watching, however, is not recommended for survival purposes.

What Sound Does a Penguin Make?
Sonically, Penguins stays true to its family foundation. In tiny, (almost-unbearably cute) elf tongue, the penguins shout and bicker in the battlefield. Despite the fact that they are waging war for the perpetuation of their species in an apocalyptic world, you can’t help but chuckle plunging an enemy penguin into the water as he screams “Noooooo.”

Other than the penguin babble, the sound is very limited. The “psh” of a punch, the muted crackling of a falling glacier and the faint unimpressive “boom” of a fish bomb are pretty much it. It would seem that Frogames de-emphasized sound FX in favor of the soundtrack, but this isn’t the case either. After straining my ear extensively I still struggled to distinguish between the two songs looped in the game. Were there two? In either case, the music was no doubt composed for the kiddies. Only gamers under the age of 12 could tolerate pop guitar riffs, high-pitched choral harmonies and a repetitive arrangement. And I’ll admit, it was OKAY at first, but after a few matches I would just as soon pop Alvin into my stereo—and subsequently my trunk.

The real kicker though, is the effect that the music has on the game as a whole. Because of its rapid repetitiveness and childlike nature, I equated the same qualities to the gameplay. And you may say, what’s wrong with that? Aren’t all shooters supposed to be quick-paced and cyclical? Well, let’s see here. A good shooter is fast. A truly great shooter has dynamic pacing.



Pages:123Gallery




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