|System: X360, PS3, PC, PS2, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Avalanche Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 18, 2008||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|
Youll also play as Penny, who is better at traveling through platforms and obstacles equipped with her wheelbar a long bar with two small wheels on each end. It is used to travel through gaps, which are conveniently spaced wide enough for the wheelbar to be used. Youll also have to balance her along pipes and over gaps and have her hack various computers that will require you to hone your geometry to complete. Rather than beating away at enemies, youll have to use stealth techniques to sneak by them.
Penny also has Enhanced Vision capabilities, which outlines the path you must take if you ever become stuck without clear direction. The feeling of having no idea where you are supposed to go is common in these types of games, and this skill is a good way of eliminating the problem. Playing as Penny, you will also have to partake in shooting mini-games as she cracks into computers and must zap intrusions throughout the circuit boards. The mix between the two characters is another enjoyable feature of this game, as the button-mash style of Bolt is mixed up nicely with the pace of Pennys slower tasks. Using the team to work together makes for a nice change of gameplay styles in a brains-meets-brawn sort of way.
Something that often irks me about licensed games is the absence of dialogue in cutscenes and in gameplay, with a serious lack of voice acting. Its usually a case of having to pay the original stars of the film or series to lend their voices, resulting in cutscenes and voice clips taken from the motion picture or having another voice actor step in. Either way is a better alternative to the somewhat dull cutscenes and the lack of intricate voice work present in Bolt. This game cant help but seem unauthentic when Bolt never speaks throughout the entire story, though cutsenes arent without the cutesy humor one would expect.
The graphics are pretty amazing, another continual achievement by Disney Interactive. All environments are brightly lit and shiny, as you navigate through levels and the cartoon world is brought to life. Bolt doesnt have graphical issues or slowdown to speak of, and adults will be able to appreciate the overall visual appeal just as much as children. Everything looks clear, and with festive music playing as the backdrop, playing through Bolt is a fun experience through-and-through.
For anyone who has enjoyed recent Disney titles such as Wall-E or other platform games like the recent LEGO Batman, Bolt is just as fun, putting new spins and different functions to otherwise standard platform tasks. In an age when licensed products tend to lack quality, Bolt is successful in its ability to become its own entity, without relying on plotlines of the film to tell a story. The lack of voiceover work does make the game feel stale at times, but Bolt offers enough functions to stay entertaining, with strong graphics to back them up.
CCC Freelance Writer