Monday, December 12, 2016

Forgotten Islands for 3DS - Review

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands is a card that you can buy that allows users to interact with the objects that it displays on the Nintendo 3DS. It was released in North America some time in 2014. Today I will review it.

To begin, the player is dropped into an island. They are then told to begin adventuring, in attempt to find a blimp and explore other islands. Why I have to adventure, I don't know. No reason, I guess.

So eventually, you run into Big Tow (pronounced "toe"). He's called that because he runs a towing business, but that doesn't explain why his siblings- Little Tow and Bro Tow- are also named that. Do they all own towing businesses? You'd think they wouldn't, but maybe. From there, there are many different islands with small quests.

And here comes the main issue with the given product; it's incredibly boring and tedious. Each quest is a fetch quest, going a little something like this: get an objective, go to a nearby island, collect an object, return to the person who gave out the objective. And that's only for the main quests. The side quests are even worse; All of the items are found on the same island, no matter how close they are or how out of place they look in that environment they are. The worst one is where someone claims that they are moving to a different island and they need help finding boxes. The boxes are literally the only things on the island aside from the platforms, and there are no houses on the island to begin with. I did this quest at least twice during my playthrough. And did I mention that you can't save time by collecting the items before accepting the challenge? The objects don't exist until the quest is given. It's ridiculous.

As for terrible quests, there are an abundance here. For one quest, the goal is to bring someone the top of a mountain. When the player questions how it's possible to remove the top of a mountain, it just magically comes off with no explanation given. A quest on the Castaway Islands involves someone needing a freezer because their ice pop is melting. The player says something along the lines of "Why not a freezer?" and then they are rewarded for being a genius. Besides the fact that this is common sense, this quest is crazily easy. So easy, in fact, that if you are given the quest while standing in a certain spot, you can even see the freezer being generated just a few pixels away. 

Another issue is the presentation. Everything looks exactly the same. There are 3 types of 35 or so islands: the grasslands, the forests, and the deserts. The grasslands are incredibly basic, and the forests are essentially just a darker version of the grasslands. The desert looks interesting, but it's only used for 2 islands in the entire package. Aside from that, all islands are either the grasslands or the forest. There are a few platforms used over and over again, but reskinned according to what island type it appears on. The worst is the one roughly illustrated below this paragraph, which is used at least 6 times.


As far as I can tell, this thing only has 6 musical tracks: The main theme/grasslands theme, the forest theme, the desert theme, and 2 map themes, one for the small map and one for the large map. They get annoying really fast, especially the main theme. It doesn't help that each song is just 10 seconds played on loop.

And since I'm the only person that actually uses 3D mode on a 3DS, I guess it's my job to talk about it. The 3D here is trash. You see, there are these words that we use to describe different layers of distance. One is foreground; the other is background. In 3D mode, the background is supposed to look farther away than the foreground. It just simply isn't the case here. Some objects in the foreground appear as if they're in the background, and vice versa. Poptropica Realms got layers right. How did it happen here?

It isn't doesn't have many obstacles either. The only obstacles are invisible walls on each end of every island, and these goofy piranha plants. These piranha plants aren't even that bad, because they only appear in 2 assets (reused many times, mind you), and there is no form of health whatsoever.

So as you can tell, I do not like Forgotten Islands. It's boring, repetitive, has annoying music, and eventually mashes up into one blur that's a huge waste of your time. I'm not sure I can even call it a game. I've gone the entire review up to this point without calling it such, because it just isn't fun or interesting, and can get very annoying at times. I got my copy for $8 on clearance at Target and I feel ripped off. I feel awful for the people who paid $20 for such a cheap, soulless product. I even feel bad for the people who paid $5 for this on the Apple App Store. This is a bad game and I would not recommend it. Poptropica can do so much better. While the DS game was incredibly short, it was at least fun to play and included puzzles. This game has none.

With the Nintendo Switch coming out soon, I hope Poptropica and Ubisoft can make a good Poptropica game for consoles. I know they can. They just have to put more effort into it. Thanks for reading. Goodbye!

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