More Reviews
REVIEWS Boss! Review
PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX Review
Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Release date: Out Now

Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

How to Train Your Dragon Review

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
04/19/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER í‰tranges Libellules 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

How To Hate Your Time Playing Video Games.


I went to the theater and saw How To Train Your Dragon in anticipation of reviewing this game. Makes sense, right? I thought that seeing the movie would give it a bit more weight and that I'd enjoy the title on the same level as any kid who's going to want to play with their favorite dragon from the movie. But what was a brisk and enjoyable film has been turned into the most monotonous and boring cash-in game I've ever played.

click to enlargeIf you've seen the movie, you can already picture what the adaptation might be like. There are several allusions to gaming morays in the film, like the limited number of "shots" (of fire breath) a dragon can take or the massive "dragon-boss" battle at the end. In my head I was groaning at the way this would probably play out... and I'm still groaning now.

How To Train Your Dragon smartly takes place after the end of the movie. I say "smartly" half-mockingly because then players are missing out on the massive dragon boss battle (in my head at least). Still, the developers probably had a much easier time salvaging what they could of the brand into what can only be called an amalgam of genres that Activision decided made sense together. HTTYD mixes fighting, training, and mini-game genres to keep players as entertained as possible as they climb the ranks to be the champion of the island. Unfortunately, that "entertainment" is an incredible disappointment.

With so many different genres stumbling over each other, it's no wonder none of them turn out to be worthwhile. The essential problem of most movie games is that the suits need video game projects to be done in time for the movie, but don't give the developers enough time to make something good.

click to enlargeThe mini-games are bland, ranging from Simon-like button matching to a steer-your-dragon-through-the-hoops race. There are varying levels of difficulty and you do get experience for your dragon by completing them, but I pray you don't suffer through these mini-games for Achievements like I did.

The bulk of gameplay is the fighting game Activision strapped to this poor sloth's back. There's an arcade mode to play against friends in, but don't do it, not even as a prank. The tournaments in the story mode are the equivalent to slogging through knee-high mud.

All of the dragons move slowly and are either way over-powered or way under-powered. Some dragons can hit their opponents from all the way across the map, while others can simply paw the ground in front of them. On hit detection, if a dragon is in the air, the opponent can easily do a fast horizontal swipe and knock them out of the sky without actually making contact. This is the kind of flaw will frustrate younger players and be completely abused by everyone else (who will make them cry).

click to enlargeAnd unlike the movie, the graphics are crap.  There is a ton of detail and color packed into that film - everything looks lively and bright. The game, on the other hand, is grainy, dull, blurry, and lifeless. It's like they gave all of the amazing visual fidelity of the film the Nordic equivalent of a lobotomy. This was all frustrating to say the least. The visual experience of the game, spread out over 10 hours, is so horrible that it actually erases the from the film's experience. All I remember now is fire, ash, and sadness.

Beyond all of these glaring flaws is also a dragon maintenance mechanic that might as well have you shuffling around picking up fiery excrement. You have to feed your dragon and make sure it's happy before heading into battle. Um... yippee?

I recognize that I'm just some hoity-toity game reviewer sitting in my ivory tower constructed out of the best games of the past 20 years. I also recognize that there are a ton of gamers out there these days who go to the store and pick out a game from the shelf based purely on a recognizable IP or the back of the box. My message to those people is one of truth, justice, and thrift. Don't spend your money on How To Train Your Dragon, no matter how much you enjoyed the movie. You can easily do better than this terrible, movie-tie-in, mad grab for cash.
D- Revolution report card
  • Poor fighting mechanics
  • A huge grind
  • Boring, phoned-in minigames
  • Dragon poop-scoopery
  • Disappointing visuals
  • Detracts from the movie experience
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about How to Train Your Dragon