Review by KFHEWUI
Reviewed: 10/10/07 | Updated: 05/15/13
A Bug's Life starts out good, but it quickly falls downhill
A Bug's Life actually starts out as a very good game, but around half way the game quickly becomes tedious.
Camera. Just like most platformers, A Bug's Life has some camera problems. The biggest problem is the lack of camera control. There are two camera modes moving and still. Still is the best mode because moving mode is near useless. Another problem is that there is no first person mode. So you can't go into first person mode and look around for whatever item you need. The camera also likes to stay leveled with Flik, which is good most of the time. However, in the city levels, everything crammed close together and the camera has a really bad habit of moving around a lot. Also another problem is that you can use the Up or Down D-pad button to move the camera Up or Down, but this is completely useless since it is not helpful at all.
Music. The music in this game is nice and fits most of the levels just right, but the music in the final level is incredible. Also there are a few pieces of voice-overs, and those voice-overs are actually decent. But the voice-overs are too few and far apart.
Controls. The controls are decent in this game, but the camera controls are weak.
Graphics. The graphics are actually one of the better aspects of this game. Each level is full of color and looks nice. The character models are not that bad either.
Gameplay. This is where the game falls flat on its face. Just like every other platformer, the objective of the levels is to collect items while beating the level. In this game you have several items you must collect, which range from grain to stronger weapons. Also in each level, you can earn three tokens. To get all three tokens, you must collect all 50 grains (bronze token), collect all 4 letters of Flik's name (silver token), and kill all the enemies with a gold berry (gold token).
The game follows the movie's story, but the cut scenes are all still frames with writing that explains the point of the level.
The enemies in this game are cheap as they come. The only way to kill an enemy is by killing it with a gold berry. If you kill any enemy with any other type of berry they constantly respawn every few seconds. Then there are also some enemies that can not be killed with the berry that you start each level with. The lack of different enemies really hurts the game. There are worms, spiders, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, granddaddy long legs, flies, bird, dragonfly, and a few other enemies. The enemies also have an annoying habit of flying straight towards you when you get close. This is very annoying when you are about to make a big jump and the enemy just flies into you and knocks you off the platform.
The bosses in this game are pretty easy, but they are invulnerable to the weapon that you start the level with. They take damage from every type of berry except for red berries.
Jumping in this game is very problematic. And that is not good considering that most of the time in platformers you jump around a lot. For some strange reason, Flik likes to slide forward when he lands. So you might think, oh, I cleared that jump, but Flik will land and slide straight off the platform. Also Flik has a bad habit of getting stuck on corners. And because he gets stuck on corners, this could easily mess up a jump. Plus for some reason, the jump will not respond at once some times. This means that you have to time the jump just right so you won't fall off the edge and have to climb back up. But another problem with the jumping is with the flower that you can grow with the seeds. The leaves on the flower are not completely solid so if you do not jump just right onto the leave then you will fall straight through the leaf.
What really hurt this game a lot are the final two levels of this game. The next to last level is a on rail level. The problem is that you have to collect all three tokens while you are flying. This is a problem because getting stuck on walls and corners, while turning around is way too easy. Not only that, but you are being chased and if you get touched by the enemy, Flik takes damage. Then the final level is nothing, but jumping over and over again. This is annoying thanks to the fact that Flik likes to slide forward when he lands after a jump.
Replay value. There is little replay value in this game. The only thing left to do once you beat the game is beat challenge mode and to beat all the levels again and get all the tokens.
If you like platformers, you might find some entertainment out of this game. But there are better platformers out there for the N64.
If you liked the movie, you might find some value out of this game.
Also if you are able to look past all the flaws, you might find some entertainment value in this game. But all of the flaws add up and really hurt this game.
Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Product Release: A Bug's Life (US, 04/30/99)
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