When Hudson told me that they were bringing a new first person shooter to WiiWare I almost started to jump up and down. No I’m not being sarcastic or sardonic this time. If you’re a regular here you may remember my review of Hudson’s previous FPS on Wii; Onslaught which scored an impressive 8 out of 10. So it’s time to find out more about the game in this Shootanto for WiiWare review. Shootanto for Wii is another intriguing title in Hudson’s blossoming WiiWare catalogue.
Rather than throw another gloss of paint on top of the Onslaught engine like they did with their child friendly shooter Water Warfare, Hudson have delivered a rather strange first and third person shooter based on human Evolution for one or two players.
You take control of a small monkey like creature who has to battle against strange primeval creatures in a bid for evolutionary survival. Rather than a gun to shoot up the world with, your monkey throws nuts (yes nuts) towards enemies such as; Giant Mushrooms, Lizard Men, Flying Insects, Dinosaurs and even Piranha type fish. You can also pick up a couple of bonus items which are randomly dropped from fallen bad guys; there is a handy power weapon which can kill quite a few enemies at once and a handy fire rate booster which obviously makes you shoot faster. If you’re an old school gamer it may feel you’ve played Shootanto before, this isn’t because it’s a remake or a rip-off of some classic game; no.
Shootanto really feels like it was developed in the 1980s for the Arcade because you’re asked to do two things at once. Instead of just giving you a crosshair on screen like your typical FPS you also see your character onscreen at the same time and it moves independently of where you point your Wii Remote gun style at the screen. You need to move your character left and right with the Nunchuck to avoid the enemies and their projectiles. I’m reminded of the rather hectic multitasking game ColorZ. Thankfully though you won’t need six hands to play Shootanto like you would with ColorZ.
Each evolutionary period features two static screen levels; after you clear one stage of enemies and scenery you move onto a much harder second stage which features a boss as its climax. The bosses are much harder to defeat so save up those power weapons to make it a bit easier. So as previously mentioned you start off as a monkey but you do progress up through a caveman throwing spears up to a medieval human archer with a bow and arrow. Certainly things improve as you progress and so far things sound great but sadly I’ve now got to mention what is wrong with Shootanto.
My first complaint with Shootanto Evolutionary Mayhem is that it looks totally horrid, when I first started playing I thought my Wii was suffering from heatstroke.
Everything from the poorly designed and animated enemies to the scenery is blurry and moves at a substandard framerate, it looks like a 16bit Sega Genesis game stretched to fit the higher screen resolutions of the modern day Wii. I don’t mind real retro games looking a bit rough around the edges but it’s a lot harder to handle from a brand new game even if it costs just $5/500points from the WiiWare store. Gameplay wise it’s pretty boring too, there just isn’t that much variation to the gameplay at all, it’s just ten minutes of constant trigger pulling until you finally get a bit of rest bite between levels. Yes things are thrown up a little later on when enemies can walk about in the foreground after climbing up ladders but it’s a novelty that soon wares off. Elsewhere the presentation isn’t much better with music that hurt my ears and a lack of any type of online high score table which would at least make things a bit more interesting. You can’t ever fault a bit of coop and playing in two player mode is always going to be more fun but I still didn’t feel that Shootanto was anything more than a game thrown together by the interns or work experience kids working at Hudson whilst they’re real designers work on much better games such as Alien Crush, Deca Sports and Star Solider.
At 500 WiiPoints Shootanto isn’t that expensive but I’m afraid even at that price I can’t recommend it when you can have so much more fun with on-rails shooters such as House of the Dead Overkill and Dead Space Extraction on Wii. Shootanto Evolutionary Mayhem on WiiWare scores a very poor, must try harder next time, 2 out of 10.