Not as long-lasting as the name suggests.
Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity is a single player action game based on the popular animated children's series. The game and show play out the same, as 2-D action in the show's reality, and 3-D action in digital Lyoko, keeping the series' distinctive art style intact. However, while faithfulness to the show initially is promising for the game's target audience—fans and younger players—this game fails, stunted by bland graphics and thoroughly basic gameplay.
The series chronicles five boarding school techno brats who travel to a virtual world called Lyoko. The quintet of Aelita, Jeremie, Odd, Ulrich and Yumi battle to save the planet from the megalomaniacal digital entity named Xana. The supercomputer path to Lyoko is located in a secret basement of an abandoned factory near their school. If, like many, you're not familiar with the series, you will need a primer before jumping into the zany world of Kardic School and the adventurous Lyoko.
The controls are simple and work well. In the real world of the game's Kardic School, you can talk to the various people around campus by pointing at them and pressing "A", as well as navigate through menus to access goodies, contest rooms, and the gateway to Lyoko. In the 3-D virtual world of Lyoko, you use the Nunchuck and Remote to control Ulrich, Yumi, Odd, or Aelita. You can cycle through the characters with the control pad, and the Remote is used in different ways to execute character-specific attacks. For example, holding "B" and swinging the Remote executes Ulrich's sword attacks. Holding "B" and pointing at your target, then releasing "B" will throw Yumi's deadly metal fans. You can jump and grapple walls with "A". Also, during a few missions you maneuver a craft through the Digital Sea by steering and aiming with the pointer and firing missiles with "B".
The controls are a strong point aside less attractive gameplay. From the beginning, the game saturates the player with dread from its uninspired simplicity. Fun is to be had in switching characters and using their moves to overcome obstacles, like using Odd's laser arrow to disable barriers. Still, most of the time you blow up data, snails, and whatever baddies come into view. That's about it. While the game has some interesting window-dressing, the game's plot has no pace or progress: not much story is given in-game, and none is in the instruction guide or on the packaging. So unless you know the series, prepare to be clueless for a while, and then exhausted with your efforts for trying to follow along.
Being thoroughly under-whelmed myself, I decided to gauge the effectiveness of the game on its intended audience. My 12-year-old niece was visiting for the holidays and had a go at the game. "This is a disgrace. It's not going to be a top seller, now, is it?," she blurted out after subjecting herself to Code Lyoko for over an hour. And then she asked a more damning question, "What's the point?"
I also watched an episode of the show for good measure. I was happy to find that gamers are not the only ones subjected to the cheesy theme song. The game's graphical look is very similar to the show's, and is an attractive transfer that represents the niche of the show and its divergent art styles. The sometimes stark CGI world of Lyoko on the show is represented well in the game, though (since not pre-rendered) technologically inferior. One of my primary criticisms of the game, its segmented, mission-based structure, faithfully reflects the show's episodic nature, making the game a proper release for fans of the series.
Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity is clearly intended for fans of the show and younger players. The effective control scheme and funky art style are enough to float the game above mundane, and fans of the series will be mostly content with the game's presentation. However, players will find the repetitive mission-oriented gameplay, with little payoff or progression, to be problematic and uninspiring.