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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

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In all of game-dom, there is one genre of game that has been maligned more than almost any other, and that is the movie tie-in. From terrible games based on cinematic winners like Cliffhanger and Demolition Man to truly horrid games based on the likes of Rambo and Judge Dread, you begin to wonder how some of these game directors could sleep at night. The cinematic equal of the movie tie-in would have to be the sequel. Just because a movie does well at the box office doesn't always mean that a sequel is appropriate (Alien Resurrection, anyone?). So, how do you think the sequel to a movie tie-in will fair in the tough world of computer gaming, where everyone and their sprite are trying to capture five minutes of precious time from an audience that often won't concentrate on a mediocre game much longer than that? If you are Disney Interactive working with Pixar properties, you've at least got a good start. And that, my friends, is what The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer is: a good start.

Disney has been somewhat sequel-phobic as of late, instead relegating animated sequels to direct-to-DVD releases that range from "just better than a Saturday morning cartoon" to "might have done okay at the box office." They took this one step further a couple of years ago, releasing the official sequel to the cult-classic 80's movie "Tron" as an FPS video game. This makes sense, since the universe of Tron is a giant video game. What better way to do a sequel than to give everyone their dream and put them in the movie? So, once again, Disney takes the video game route for this sequel to Pixar's smash hit The Incredibles. And why not? A computer-generated movie on the computer. Seems like a match made in heaven.

Picking up quite literally where the movie leaves off, we see the Incredibles' celebration at their defeat of Syndrome and their return to "normal" life cut short as a giant drilling machine surfaces in the middle of the city and a mole-like villain appears, announcing that he is the Underminer and he's up to no good. The Incredibles don their masks, and spring into action.

Instead of exploring more of the family dynamic from the first game, Underminer concentrates on Mr. Incredible and his frigid friend, Frozone. In a quick bit of setup at the beginning of the game, Mr. Incredible sends Elastigirl, Dash, and Violet to take care of things on the surface while he and Frozone take care of business in the underworld. While there, they will battle a seemingly endless onslaught of robots as they make their way through the Underminer's underground world. Think 1940's sci-fi at the center of the earth, and you've got an idea of the design of the levels. Lots of gears and gizmos abound in the background, and loads of rusty, riveted metal. It's all up to Mr. Incredible and Frozone to foil the Underminer's dirty plans. I must admit, I had wanted to be able to use the other supers in the family during the game, but in the end, the game design works much better for the two who have been chosen.

The game is played cooperatively using one of the two supers, either Frozone or Mr. Incredible. If you go it alone, the computer controls whichever character you have abandoned, or two players can take control of one character apiece. Much like Lego Star Wars, it adds a nice dynamic to the game, and makes for a game that is easy to play with a friend, child, or spouse. Unfortunately, unlike the aforementioned Star Wars game, the computer AI is not as aggressive or smart when tagging along with you.


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