Review by KFHEWUI
Graphics aside, CID the Dummy is an average platformer marred by weak motion controls
CID is a crash test dummy that is tired of his job and complains about it every day and says that he will eventually run away. Professor over hears CID's complaints, and he decides to use CID for a secret mission. After giving CID an upgrade, the professor reveals that the mission is to rescue his missing daughter.
The story is best described as cookie cutter while the story is enjoyable; it is pretty standard affair for platformer. While the concept is not that inspired, the writing is not that bad, and it makes the story bearable.
CID the Dummy is a 2.5D platformer while the game is 2D the graphics are 3D yet graphic wise CID the dummy looks like a Dreamcast game. The characters and enemies have a cutesy blocky design that is more to appeal to kids. Animations are actually not that bad for the enemies and characters which are surprising considering how low quality the rest of the graphics are. Levels have a bright and vibrant look although the locales are generic including warehouse, sewers, and marsh to name a few. Textures in the game range from passable to fuzzy and this is noticeable in the driving stage where everything is hazy.
When it comes to level design, CID the Dummy is as bland as possible and includes all the standard platformer affair including annoying combat, traps, switches to hit, and timed sequences. In every level are secret areas which usually house health, orbs, ammo, and sometimes extra life. The levels are long in length with checkpoints scattered about, but the problem with the levels is that they are too long. These levels can range up to the thirty minutes or longer and getting a game over can mean having to replay a huge chunk of a level over again. It also does not help that there is no continue system. Yes, the player has five lives, and once they are gone, it is game over. So this means either having to replay the level over again and trying to save up lives or go ahead with the game and being cautious. There are lives scattered about the levels however they are usually hidden in some unobvious locations. Save points for the game are only available after beating a level with only three save files available. This would not be so bad if it were not for one major issue with the game.
Controlling CID is a max bag while the basic controls are solid and fluid, and it has a decent layout. Where the controls fumble is the motion controls. The motion controls are used for variety of skills including attack, equipping a weapon, speed, special attack, and swimming. Problem is that the game sometimes has no clue what the motion controls are like equipping the bazooka can be a frustrating experience because the game will usually not register the motion control or sometimes the game will think the player wants to use the special attack instead. This move is performed by holding "A" and shaking the nunchuk and remote. Equipping the weapon is performed by holding "A" and moving the remote upwards. So if just the remote is being moved there is no reason for the special attack to even happen. More annoying is the swimming controls which have movement mapped on control stick and remote. The remote controls CID to swim upwards or downward by hold the remote either up or down, but the control stick moves CID forward. This movement should been on the control stick since the remote control never feels natural in fact it feels awkward and clumsy. Sadly the motion controls ruin the game which is sad because the game actually plays decently without the motion controls.
Aside from platforming, combat is a part of the game, and for the most part, enemies can be killed with simple attacks. Attacking is performed by flicking the remote constantly, and this works on most enemies save for a few like the underwater enemies and bosses. For the bosses there is the bazooka but this weapon has other uses. In some parts certain ammo for the bazooka is needed to solve puzzles. Like flame ammo which burns wood or ice ammo which allows CID to break metal objects with ease. Also there is a special attack that CID can use, and this requires a certain amount of orbs to use. The game says ten, but I was able to perform it with only five.
Speaking of bosses, CID the Dummy's boss fights are dull and rather long thanks to the low amount of damage CID hurts the bosses. Instead of being riveting, the boss fights turn into an endurance run of trying to stay interested in the fight. The second boss for example is a good representation of this. The arena is split with two buttons on each side with a platform connecting them, and there are two logs that are swinging back-and-forth trying to knock CID into the acid which is instant death. Beating the boss is performed by going back-and-forth between the two buttons and hitting them to hurt the boss. This has to be done around eight or nine times. The boss puts little fight since his attacks are very easy to dodge.
Also have to mention a certain mini-game that is a driving course. Since CID is a crash test dummy, at the end of level one he has to drive to the sewers so the player has to navigate CID through a course and smash him into a wall to gain bonus points. One problem with this is that hitting an obstacle forces the player to have to replay the entire sequence. The whole sequence is not fun at all even worse is that the graphics are really fuzzy and this made the level an eye sore to look at. It also does not help that the controls are not described and the car moves on its own however the player has to control it with the control stick. I took a few cheap hits to the wall before figuring this out, but thankfully there is no way to lose a life during this part.
Soundtrack fits the mood of the levels perfectly, and the music is easily the highlight of the game. There is a nice variety in the tune of tracks, but surprisingly the voice acting in the game is actually pretty good. Since the game is made by a European company, all of these actors have a British accent which is actually refreshing to listen to.
Replay value is where the game comes up short. There are three difficulties however just playing through the game once feels like a chore, but there is an unlockable gallery. The length of the game is something that I cannot comment on since I must admit I never finished the game although I always make an attempt to finish the game first; CID the Dummy is so generic that it did not hold my attention.
CID the Dummy is an average platformer and despite the low quality of the graphics, the game is decent however the motion controls drag the game down.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: CID The Dummy (US, 07/07/09)
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