|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 23, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
The first Overlord seemingly came out of nowhere when it was released. It was an original IP that both scored well with critics and found a loyal following of fans. Because it was so well received, and because almost everybody loves to play as an antihero, it really came as no surprise that there was going to be a sequel.
However, what did come as bit of a revelation is just how many Overlord titles were coming. Far from the Xbox 360 timed exclusivity of the original, new Overlord games recently hit just about every console currently on the market. Luckily, for systems like the Wii and DS, instead of just trying to port Overlord II directly to the less powerful hardware, some time and effort was actually taken to craft system specific experiences that attempt to take advantage of their respective consoles.
In Overlord Minions (OM) for the DS, the name says it all. Instead of managing hordes of minions by way of controlling an onscreen overlord, you are just given direct control over four minions in total. Each of these four minions has its own personality and specific set of skills which are used in order to successfully navigate through each level and in solving various puzzles. If youve ever played the classic title The Lost Vikings, then you know about what to expect, although this game is played from a top-down 3D view as opposed to being a 2D side-scrolling adventure.
Giblet is a shade of brown and has the ability to move heavy objects, can withstand strong wind, and is good at melee combat. Blaze is understandably red, and his abilities revolve around fire whether it is throwing balls of it or just being able to walk through it unscathed. Stench was apparently named after his odor after walking through some poisonous gas clouds or his ability to release his own after eating special green fruit, which also matches his complexion. Last but not least is the blue minion Zap, who is actually fairly weak but invaluable as a support character, since he can heal the other minions as well as himself and is the only minion who is able to walk through water.
Using these basic abilities in addition to a few others for each minion youll learn about while playing, you will need to solve a plethora of environmental puzzles in order to advance. A good example would be making use of Giblet to push a giant block out of the way and having Zap cross a stream to flip a switch that opens the doorway to your next destination. The levels and puzzles start off fairly basic, giving you only one or two minions to control and easy enough to figure out objectives. However, by the end of the game, you will get into some very complex levels that will require the ideal usage of all of your minions and their abilities if you hope to progress.
Throughout the game you will also be pitted against some rather imposing bosses. These boss battles, much like the rest of OM, focus more on your wits and ability to effectively utilize your minions specific skills rather than how much damage you can inflict. The first one youll come across has you facing off against a giant plant with a large mouth. In order to deal with it, youll have to use Giblet to push boxes over toxic waste drains, Stench to take out toxic gas emitters, Zap to walk across water to pick up gas bombs, and Blaze to ignite pockets of gas throughout the course of this multistage fight. These battles are actually quite fun and are somewhat reminiscent of combating bosses in a Legend of Zelda title.