“PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Based on the upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation, the How to Train Your Dragon™ video game launches gamers into a third-person action-adventure as a Viking hero where they must embark upon an epic quest to become the ultimate dragon trainer. Gamers can play as characters “Hiccup” or Astrid” on the vast Island of Berk, which features expanded locales from the film including Vikings’ Village, Wild Zone, Training Zone and Fight Arena. In this truly larger-than-life adventure, players will train dragons, explore environments and battle in prestigious dragon tournaments as they battle for Viking victory. Plus, gamers can become the Dragon hero of their living room as they square-off with friends and family in endless head-to-head multi-player combat!” (Quote from Activision’s press materials)
CalandroClan Seal of Approval: M1 and M2 (and the LOML!)
Overall impressions: The game faithfully represents the characters from the movie. In the “story mode” of the game you can wander around the village, collect items, interact with characters from the movie and raise dragons to battle other dragons. The graphics are attractive, the tutorials are clear and informative, and the music and sound effects are pleasant (and don’t grate on your nerves like some video games…). You can play as a boy (Hiccup) or as a girl (Astrid). There are several different ways to play so each person in the family can find the things that they like to do and focus on those. John likes the quests, M1 and M2 enjoy customizing their dragons and battling other dragons, and M3 enjoys watching everyone else play.
Playability: Getting the hang of the controls is fairly simple. The screens are informative and the buttons are fairly intuitive. One of the things we most enjoy about the Wii is being more active with the controllers. In the early levels of the game, you don’t do much with your Wii controller other than swing it to attack. As you level up and discover some of the other games, the use of the Wii remote becomes more interesting (guiding your dragon while flying, ice-sculpting, etc…).
Combat: The big draw of this game for M1 and M2 is dragon combat. They enjoy fighting dragons in the tournaments in story mode, and battling against each other on their “own” dragons in head-to-head mode. The combat gets progressively more challenging and more rewarding as you learn new moves and combinations (M1 and M2 have picked this up much faster than John was able to!) Each dragon has its own strengths and weaknesses and can be customized as you gain experience and levels.
Should you buy it? If you are a fan of combat games, this game is definitely for you. The action is great and without weapons or bloodshed. The dragons are fierce, but a little more cartoonish and less violent for the younger crowd, the taunts are good natured and age appropriate. Our two older boys love it and are enjoying the challenges of maintaining their dragons while combating others! M3 enjoys watching it, but isn’t quite able to figure out the controls yet. The game is challenging enough in story mode to keep players interested for a long time. There are plenty of extras to be unlocked and, once unlocked, can be played over and over and the head-to-head combat mode allows for two-player action.
Pros: Customizable Dragons, great combat action, multiple play modes, attractive graphics
Cons: Fairly limited Wii mobility in first few stages, but improves once more games are unlocked.
The game is rated E 10+ for some cartoonish violence.
You can read more about the game (and even get a chance to win a copy and a Wii) at the official site here: http://www.howtotrainyourdragongame.com/?lang=en_US#/home
Happy Dragon Training!