|Publisher: THQ Genre: Action
|Min OS X: 10.2.8 CPU: G4 @ 800 MHz
|The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer
February 7, 2006 | Marcus Albers
The graphics are the high point of the game. The designers have done an excellent job of capturing the look and feel of the movie characters, with nice character models and excellent animation. Even the facial animations during the game are detailed. The underworld locations are very detailed, with a lot of background animation of the underground world of the Underminer. However, the textures tend to be of the brown and grey variety, and while it certainly fits with the design of the Underminer, it makes for some fairly drab-looking backdrops. The game engine makes use of some nice lighting effects for things like explosions and glowing robot eyes. Frozone's ice effects are nicely realized, and Mr. Incredible makes a satisfying shock wave when performing his super punch. As a user of a widescreen Mac, I do wish that the game would have taken advantage of that fact, but it is a fact of life that few games do, so it is to be expected. On my iMac G5, with all of the graphic options set to their maximums, I never saw a drop in framerates.
The sound in Underminer is passable. The soundtrack is mostly forgettable, throw-away background video game music. Considering the excellent soundtrack from the original movie and, subsequently, the first video game, I was expecting more from the soundtrack. To be honest, there is little here worth listening to. Sound effects are well done, with solid sounding fist-on-metal effects, and nice freezing effects. John Ratzenberger returns as the voice of the Underminer, a role that afforded him about two lines of dialog in the original movie. Now the Underminer's dialog abounds. While you are sitting in the menu screens, the Underminer will continually taunt you with a number of underground and mining puns. This, while amusing at first, soon starts to grate on your nerves, until you want to reach in and strangle the villain with your own hands. Or, at the very least, turn the sound off. This aside, the voice acting is very well done. Unfortunately, Craig T. Nelson and Samuel Jackson do not reprise their roles as Mr. Incredible and Frozone. Their vocal stand-ins do a fairly good job, but they are definitely no replacement for the originals.
This game could have been a great sequel. Unfortunately, with repetitive gameplay, less-than-brilliant cooperative AI, and uninspired level design, The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer relegates itself to the ranks of so-so video games. Fans of the movie and those wanting a quick two-player fix should check it out, but others might want to give this one a pass.
Pros• Graphics are well done
• Gameplay is easy to pick up
• Two-player gameplay is a lot of fun
• Voice acting is quite good
Cons• Computer co-op AI is quite dim
• Levels are repetitive...
• ...as is the gameplay
• Soundtrack should have been much better