Review: Spyborgs (Wii) – Half spy, half.. borg?

by Travis Woodside on

Cory may have heard about it, but the existence of a game called “Spyborgs” was news to me. Published by Capcom, it’s a nifty little 3D brawler which features, presumably, spyborgs. I assume this means they are part spy and part cyborg, which is of course part human and part machine… so they’re half spy, a quarter machine, and another quarter humanity. Or, perhaps, its suggested that they are half man, half spy… I’ll just stop now. I’ve already put way more thought into this than anyone else has. None of it makes sense because one selectable character in this Wii brawler is a full on gorilla robot, but I suppose he could have a human brain that’s fed a continual supply of Nuke to keep it at ease.

Remember how “Turtles in Time” is often brought up when discussing great brawlers of the past? If you think about it more you begin to wonder why. Now don’t get me wrong, “Turtles in Time” is a great deal of fun, but let’s be honest with ourselves here. You run around a bit and hit things in linear levels without the ability to block and no combos moves of any sort. You are excruciatingly limited in what you can do. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some games can have simple mechanics and still excel in their genre thanks to great level design and charm. Well, “Spyborgs” improves on the old brawler formula by giving you a couple different options when it comes to combat, but misses out on the charm and interesting levels.

This particular Wii title controls with the wiimote and nunchuck. Movement is handled with the joystick, B performs standard attacks, C performs strong attacks, Z blocks, and A jumps. If I play the game while half asleep my brain forgets all sorts of buttons. For some reason having two different combat attacks spread across the great divide that is the nunchuck/wiimote canyon of philosophical indifference causes me to forget that I can link up a strong attack with my standard ones. I’m fairly sure that I might be mildly retarded, however, and that no one else will have this problem. The game is very simple to play, but not to its detriment. You can create combos logically by adding strong attacks and jumps to the onslaught you are dealing to enemies, but as long as you block and mash B you’re going to be okay. I have to admit that I’m charmed by the title’s gameplay mechanics. I like that it’s not a complicated mess because if a game called “Spyborgs” was requiring me to master 50 hit combos I’d probably kill myself. Is suicide still funny? I’d probably know if I was a spyborg.

Brawlers are traditionally stupid if they don’t have some sort of multiplayer. Exceptions appear to be “God of War” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” because they throw in some mild puzzle elements to break up pacing. Thankfully, “Spyborgs” doesn’t have to try and be more than it is thanks to its solid implementation of two player coop. When a character’s power meter is full, special combos can be performed by holding Z and swinging the wiimote, which creates a sort of in game cutscene showing you and your partner beating on an enemy together. On screen wiimote motions tell you how to swing your controller to finish the combo. It’s a nice little thing to make your characters look extra cool and it can even be performed when playing solo. An AI character walks around with you all the time so that when you enter into a special combo it all works out, only you’re the only one doing any wiimotions. Are any of these wiimo-words trademarked? Really, I could delve deeper into the game’s dark inner workings, but you honestly know all you need to know. “Spyborgs” is a competent brawler which will be great for kids thanks to its Saturday morning cartoon style story and presentation. An adult won’t find it near as charming, and the levels ultimately are a series of kill rooms with blatant energy walls keeping you form progressing until you kill everything, but I suppose the combat mechanics can help you show off a bit to your kid while you’re making your character do awesome flips and your son is just mashing the B button. There are also plenty of difficulty mode options to balance the game perfectly if you want a bit more challenge and feel you can protect the five year old you threw the controller at. This is the perfect game to graduate your kids to once they’re done with “Lego Star Wars” and “Lego Indiana Jones.” If you don’t have kids… find a woman, make babies, then check out “Spyborgs.” Or I guess you don’t have to play it.

[![]/mrface4.jpg "Mr. Face say this game GOOD. Mr. Face never wrong!")

*Mr. Face say this game GOOD.

Mr. Face never wrong!*