Embrace the weird.
Ever had one of those weird dreams where you wake up in a panic and ask yourself, "WTF just happened?" You think back and remember being an action hero fighting off bizarre creatures, collecting fairies for health, and performing dangerous stunts in a bionic suit. It then quickly turns into a nightmare when you meet an alien who sings to you with corny rhymes, and you must defeat him in order to save the world. Then you wake up. Playing The Kore Gang is more or less like a dream because only a game like this would come from the subconscious. It’s strange, but at the very least it’s certainly not dull.
While all is calm on the Earth’s surface, the inner core is inhabited by a civilization ruled by three aliens called the Krank Brothers. Like most aliens, their main objective is to destroy Earth and their first stop is Manhattan. The main characters you control are Pixie, Max, and Rex. Together, you must stop the Krank Brothers and their machine, the Krank Tank from taking over the planet with a little help from the Kore suit: a robotic machine that adapts to the person who wears it.
While The Kore Gang has a generic storyline, its world is beyond creative. The heroes go from the inner core of Earth to a menacing prison to as high as the skyscrapers in Manhattan. Within these places are different, imaginative creatures, who either hurt or help you, and the obstacles are just as unpredictable. Once you think you get the hang of the game, the advanced levels prove you wrong. You start off slow, by jumping from one platform to the next, eventually getting used to the controls and operating the horrid camera, but as you progress, you encounter different types of obstacles and foes. The more difficult levels include collapsing platforms, enemies that attack from a far distance, and when you think you’re safe, a punching glove appears from an ordinary box and hits you enough that you go flying off of the platform.
To get you through the obstacles and enemies, the Kore suit enables each character to use different abilities. Pixie’s talent is aerobatics: She can jump higher, further and even twirl in the air to hover over toxic fields in some levels. Max, while slower than Pixie, is the muscle of the group. The Kore suit changes its arms into big metal fists, allowing Max to punch, lift, and throw objects and also counter. Finally, Max’s best pal Rex is a chihuahua that can eavesdrop on conversations and run at fast speeds when the Kore suit’s arms transforms into paws.
Changing between three characters means plenty of controls to get used to, but the pace allows a simple learning curve, using both the Wii-remote and Nunchuk. Turning the Wii-remote left or right commands Max to aim and throw objects at enemies. Twirling the remote makes Pixie spin and hover. Some items are locked away, but using Rex’s hearing skills, you can pick the lock carefully using the Nunchuk. There are also helpful hints before each puzzle to ensure a less than frustrating time trying to figure out what to do next. Even the boss battles, which consist of multiple fights, are fun given that the controls make it surprisingly easy to use.
The Kore Gang presents plenty of variety for everyone and enough to continue playing. However, the main concept of gameplay becomes repetitive, which is to retrieve multiple objects in nearly every level. This isn’t a huge hindrance but enough to notice. The biggest annoyance, though, is the camera. While the game allows you different ways to control the camera, it’s limited throughout certain levels. Like most platformers, the frustration comes in the moments when you think you have landed a jump successfully, but then you miss the jump entirely because the camera view had you fooled.
There isn’t much extra to do throughout the campaign. You are given the incentive to roam around levels by collecting these fairy-like creatures called Zeeks, which powers up your Kore suit if damaged, but otherwise there isn’t any room to explore. The campaign, though, keeps you occupied for at least eight to ten hours and is suited for everyone: the cheesy and quirky characters will have children enamored and even the witty humor will make adults chuckle. The Kore Gang is simply fun to play given its originality and characters as long as you don’t mind a few flaws and several oddities that may or may not give you nightmares.