9.0 Overall Score

Written by on April 20, 2011 in

It has been a while since I have been able to find a hero that I felt I could put my faith in and feel comfortable playing in a video game.  I am the type of gamer who likes to play games that appeals to all ages, so finding a game that will hit the demographic of ages 8 and appeal to me to play.  When I heard that Rango was going to be coming out and was not going to rehash the movie but rather carry on the story beyond the movie I was beyond ecstatic.

Set in Dirt, the fictitious town that Bean and her father live in, our hero is wondering how he is going to find his love’s, Bean, father.  He knows that he is going to have to use all of the skills, he is the town’s sheriff after all, along with all of the courage that he can muster to battle what stands in his way.  Unlike most movie based games, this game carries on the story beyond the movie and tells more about the characters that I had already gotten to know and love within the movie.  It is a refreshing change and is nice to see that Paramount did not feel the need to rehash the movie within the game since it has Johnny Depp in both avenues

There are four singing owls that play a humorous, as well as informative role, as they led me on to where to take Rango next on the quest to find Bean’s father. Through song they led me to the next place that I was going to be prospecting for gold or possibly hanging precariously from some chicken wire that was attached to some rock so I could get to some higher ground.  Nonetheless they did provide me with the humor that I needed to know that no matter what I did “Rango was going to die.”  In order to find Bean’s father, Rango must find fragments of a meteorite that have been scattered around Dirt.  However, Bad Bill and Jake the Snake are standing in Rango’s way of finding these fragments.  Rango has to make sure that he pulls out his shooting skills along with his melee skills and puts them into their place.

The game play style in this game is basically the same no matter what level I played it on.  It is true that the difficultly is amped up a bit as I moved from easy to hard but the story stays the same and the enemies never change.  I did find that my frustration with the enemies was amped up quite a bit as the difficulty level went up.  No longer was I able to just move through the level in 3 or 4 minutes.  I was now dying 7 or 8 times and therefore could no longer resort to auto-aim and had to really focus on shooting the enemies.

The controls are very basic as you have to use the left thumb stick to control Rango and then the right to control the camera.  There are times when the camera seems to almost get stuck and you are not able to see around a corner and therefore unable to truly see an enemy that is in your way.  You use the right trigger to shoot and the left trigger to aim.  There is an achievement if you do not auto-aim so many enemies throughout the game.  Even though the controls are basic do not let this make you think that this is a really easy game to master.  It is true that it didn’t take that long to understand how to move through the game, but it took me quite a while to feel truly comfortable when I was riding on my roadrunner or flying on my fish.  These were two areas where there were difficulties to master.  The controls almost seemed to get stuck.

It is basically a run and gun type of a game.  There are times when you can explore, to a point.  You cannot go just anywhere you want, but you can go back within the chapter if you think you have forgotten to find your friend the fish in the tank or some gold to mine.  Once the chapter is over, that is it there is no going back, unless you want to start the entire game over again.  At the end of each level there is a boss that you end up having to battle and this does get amped up as the game moves along.  At the beginning they seem fairly simple and you think to yourself that they are simple and this game is going to be an easy beat.  But don’t kid yourself, as you get moving along the game, they do get harder to beat.  However, since this is marketed towards the kids Rango dusts himself off and comes back for another round non-the-worse for wear.

All levels have you doing some sort of riding or flying as well.  Since Rango is a gecko it would make sense that he does not ride a horse but a roadrunner.  Using the right trigger, you can shoot out the obstacles that may get in your way.  May it be a wayward cactus or falling rocks that Bad Bill is throwing in your way or alien rock particles that you are trying to dodge as you are fleeing from the spaceship.  Having to ride or fly gives this game a different feel than your typical run and gun type of game.  It is nice to have something different to do at the end of each level.

There were times during this game when it felt that the camera angles were not advantageous to the area that Rango was in.  If you could move the camera just a little bit more and see the enemies just a little bit better it would be made it so much better.  It was times like that, that made it frustrating.  One rewarding aspect of the game was that when Rango would die, he would come back to life quickly and right at the same spot that he had died with full health.  This meant that very little time had passed and you were able to pick up right where you had left off.  This led to very little frustration in boss battles that got more difficult as the game progressed.

Overall, the game was an enjoyable experience that lends itself to replayablity on higher levels of difficulty.  Even though the bosses do not change the difficulty does amp up the challenge and does make the game more challenging.  Even with the quirks that the game has, with it telling a different, and in this reviewer’s mind better, story than the movie, it is worth the 4 to 6 hours of game play that you will get out of it.

A copy of Rango was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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