|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: THQ||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 29, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Tom Kelly
Nickelodeon. Frankly I am shocked it is even a network still, but apparently it is. Due to that unfortunate circumstance, the gaming world has been delivered another budget title for the Nintendo DS. Sure El Tigre is not all bad and definitely geared towards kids who watch the subsequent cartoon, but the fact remains that schlock such as this is not fit to be played by anyone.
As titular character, Manny Rivera, it is safe to say your fate is sealed. Rivera will either live up to the supreme goodness of his superhero father, White Pantera, or follow the in the footsteps of his evil grandpa the super villain formerly known as Puma Loco. This dilemma is the main subplot of the game, yet can it really be considered a subplot when the main deciding factors hinge on whether or not you smash trash cans or parking meters? The more stuff you break the more mischievous your ways are considered. Keep the streets clean and you will truly be the guardian of all things good. Let us put aside this extremely difficult choice and focus more on the main mission of El Tigre, which is to stop Santana. Santana is an evil skeleton dressed up as a mariachi, and as ridiculous as that sounds I must remind you that this is a kid's television show. In any event Santana steals this old artifact shaped like a mule from the museum, and upon your first encounter it is destroyed, sending its jewels all over Miracle City. I repeat Miracle City. These jewels are subsequently being hunted down by a crack crew of minions whom Santana has employed and it is up to you to stop them before Santana regains them all. This seems like an awful lot of pressure to put on one kid, but then again my nickname was never as sweet as El Tigre growing up so what do I know.
When I weighed the fact that this game was based on a Nickelodeon cartoon, I really did not put much stock into it being very good. Smart wager on my part, as this is one of the thinnest games around. It takes roughly 3 hours, that is being generous, to complete and the entire game is walking in a straight line and pressing the a button to maul your way through hordes of skeletons. There are occasional segments where you will need to jump, but they are few and far between. In addition to your standard combo of whaling on the a button, you will unlock a bevy of Super Moves, such as the pounce kick, for El Tigre to command. Here is one instance where the Good/Evil dichotomy comes into play, as after the first couple of moves the Dad and Grandpa will offer up different variations of the others. The differing moves are accomplished in the same manner, the results will be the same, but the attack animations will differ. That just blew your mind; I know it did mine when I was playing. These Super Moves will come in handy as the game progresses, but since it is impossible to actually lose no matter how many times you die you really do not need them.
Graphically this game does everything right from the cartoon aspect. All the characters look good, and I am assuming it is what they look like on the show. There are several different bosses, but the generic enemies repeat on each stage and there are only 3-4 different baddies to mix it up with. For example, the enemy you will encounter the most is a regular skeleton, and a tougher version is the same skeleton wearing a bullet holster like he is in the old west. Stages vary as you will traverse Miracle City, hitting up such locales as the arcade and the museum, but the backgrounds look the same far too often. A big annoyance is the fact that during the jumping portions of the game you can not tell what you are able to leap on. Nothing bursts out of the background as being any different from anything else. The DS has proven that it can achieve much more than this, and with El Tigre it would not have taken much more to avoid such problems.