Disastrously entertainingPublish date: 19 May 2009 by Thomas Mckinnon
Disaster: Day of Crisis is not a particularly good-looking game. Its environments and characters are lackluster, the cut scenes are rather dull, and the sound effects are as uninspiring, if not down-right awful. Added to this the game’s plot – one man standing against every force of nature imaginable, an elite force of rogue marines who have stolen a couple of nukes and his own guilty conscience in an effort to save the girl and the world – is rather cheesy in concept and even more so in execution. To say that Nintendo has made an uncharacteristically unpolished game would be a gross understatement.
Fret not however; the game’s cheese value is a redeeming quality. Some games just take themselves too seriously, this isn’t one of them. Disaster is a title which leads you into one ludicrous scenario after another. From volcanic eruptions and Tsunamis to the threat of a nuclear attack, it is non-stop cheddar action.
For the most part Disaster is a light gun shooter filled with cover points a bit like Time Crisis. The main protagonist, Ray, basically shoots his way through a bunch of rogue marines to save a nutty professor and his assistant, who just happens to be the sister of a fallen colleague he swore he’d look after, but didn’t. The mechanics are straightforward as you point the Wiimote at a target (a little target turning red when you’re on the mark) and pull the trigger button. To reload you simply shake the Nunchuck.
When not shooting your time is divided into watching a bunch of really longwinded cut scenes and a number of minigames which make imaginative use of every possible action you can perform with a Wiimote.
Minigames consist of navigating your way through disaster areas, rescuing survivors (CPR, dressing wounds etc.) or driving your way out of a looming disaster. You even get involved in a bit of hand-to-claw combat with a grizzly bear. The combination of these varied and wonderful minigames, shooter action and cut scenes really led us to the conclusion that Nintendo took an ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach to the game. While the Wiimote actions employed are great the sheer number of actions you perform means that none actually add to the gameplay- you seem to perform them once in the game and that’s it.
Disaster is therefore a half-baked game. Full of ingenious Wiimote movements and hilarious action it just lacks execution. Rather than displaying a distinct shooter, minigame or B-movie identity it schizophrenically flirts with them all. It’s a rather haphazard title which will likely only be bought haphazardly, but at the very least it is original.