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DS

North America

Line Rider 2: Unbound

by Zachary Miller - October 9, 2008, 1:13 pm PDT
Total comments: 9

3

Not to be confused with Line Walker 2: The Man in Black Returns.

Let's do an experiment together. Take $30 out of your wallet, and look at it. Really look at it. Whether it’s your job, allowance, or finding it on the street somewhere, you earned that money. Now, think of all the things you could do with it. You could go to Chili's and get a great steak dinner with all the fixin's. You could take your significant other out to a movie and still afford popcorn. If you scrounged around for a little bit extra, you could go buy the super-special edition of Iron Man--the one with the mini-bust of Tony Stark's metallic persona. If you continued to save your dough, you could afford Wario Land: Shake It!. Or you could buy Line Rider 2: Unbound, by far the worst move of all of these.

The main problem is this: Line Rider is a free online Flash game that you can play on the internets until the cows come home. Line Rider 2 is a DS game that costs actual money. The gameplay differences are minimal, making this a hard purchase to recommend.

For the uninitiated, Line Rider is a very simple game in which you draw a line for the little character to ride a sled on. The trick here is to get your character from point A to point B without falling off the track. Different-colored lines have different properties, like an accelator line, a slowdown line, a line that falls out from under you, etc. There is also physics simulation, so you have to pay attention to things like gravity and slope angle.

Line Rider 2 expands the original game's create-a-track mode to include a puzzle mode, and the ability to create and share puzzles and tracks over Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection. Unfortunately, you can't share your tracks until you register a new account at the Line Rider website. This is disappointing. Imagine if Mario Kart Wii had a track editor, but you couldn’t share your tracks or play other people’s tracks until you registered at the Mario Kart website. The very idea that a game's content does not become fully available until you increase its website's traffic is hard to swallow.

I was still able to download tracks without registering, but for some reason I was unable to actually play them. Whether this problem is linked to me refusing to register at a website I'll never visit again, I'll never know. The instruction booklet doesn't explain how to play a track you've downloaded, and there certainly isn't a menu option to "play downloaded tracks." Maybe it shows up once you register! Again, I have no idea.

The game's main draw is the "freestyle" mode of creating your own tracks and puzzles. This is a tedious and overly-complicated process. Drawing lines with the stylus is fun, but you have to constantly tweak your designs with the menu items. Each category of drawing tools has several sub-categories, so just finding the right tool is a chore. And if you screw up, you have to go back and select the eraser, erase, and then navigate back to whatever tool you were drawing with, and...it gets old fast.

Story Mode is similar drudgery. The idea is to fill in blank spaces between the lines to get your character from start to finish. Easy, right? Well, no. The first three tracks are ridiculously easy, but the rest are insanely frustrating. In addition to getting to the finish line, you also have to collect yellow and red orbs. These orbs are usually placed in very difficult-to-reach places. Even the first puzzle involving orbs will have you pulling your hair out. After collecting a certain number of orbs, you get to watch a prerendered cutscene of two sledding characters trying to outdo each-other. They remind me of Roadrunner cartoons and they're kind of funny, but they're not worth the effort.

Line Rider 2’s graphics are unimpressive to say the least; I've seen better-looking Flash games. Some of the musical tracks are catchy, but it's not enough to save the experience. Just bear in mind that the internet game is free, folks.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4 6 5 2 4 3
Graphics
4

"Minimalist" is an overly-nice way of saying they're bad. The prerendered cutscenes are surprisingly nice, though. If only the character models weren't so hideous.

Sound
6

The game's single highlight, but it's still nothing too impressive.

Control
5

Stylus drawing is all well and good, but the track editor features too many tools to be accessible.

Gameplay
2

Frustrating and tedious, especially Story Mode.

Lastability
4

It probably increases when you register at the website, but even then, do you want to spend all your time drawing lines for a guy to ride? Story Mode is the only real single-player option here. The rest of your time will be spent drawing courses for others to play, which thankfully is free online.

Final
3

It's no Homie Rollerz, but Line Rider 2 just doesn't do a whole lot right. There's such a thing as staying too close to the source material, and when you wonder why the exact same game is available online - free of charge - you’ll begin to question the value of this DS game.

Summary

Pros
  • Involves semi-realistic physics
  • Online course sharing
Cons
  • Can't do anything online until you register at the website
  • Customizing courses is tedious
  • Online game is free
  • Terrible graphics
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusOctober 09, 2008

Well this is a bummer. I was looking forward to this game being pretty decent, especially with the straight up drawing on the screen that should've made the game easier to play. Making courses with a mouse was always frustrating and often times unsuccessful due to lines not properly linking up.

So is it a bad game or just a bad value?  It seems like there may be some good reason to get it on DS, like the one Nick mentions.

UltimatePartyBearOctober 09, 2008

Quote from: Halbred

The game's main draw is the "freestyle" mode of creating your own tracks and puzzles. This is a tedious and overly-complicated process. Drawing lines with the stylus is fun, but you have to constantly tweak your designs with the menu items. Each category of drawing tools has several sub-categories, so just finding the right tool is a chore. And if you screw up, you have to go back and select the eraser, erase, and then navigate back to whatever tool you were drawing with, and...it gets old fast.

What I'm hearing here is "Drawing lines with the stylus is fun, and everything else is exactly the same as the Flash version."

Actually, I found that the lines don't match up very well, even when you have the "line connector" function on! It so fun to watch your guy go flying into space at the intersection of two lines that appear to be connected, yet apparently are not!

UltimatePartyBearOctober 09, 2008

It will be even more fun when you spend half an hour getting a stunt just right only to accidentally delete a line from earlier in the level, forcing you to abandon all your work and reload your save file because there's no undo button.

Of course, I'm saying this as someone who liked the Flash game enough to buy the game anyway.

This game has zero appeal for me.

LuigiHannOctober 11, 2008

Wait, did you not register on the website? Couldn't you do that, just for the sake of the review? I don't care too much, but still.

KDR_11kOctober 11, 2008

Blast Works required an account too, where's the problem with that?

Snipper64October 12, 2008

Quote from: Mr.

Well this is a bummer. I was looking forward to this game being pretty decent, especially with the straight up drawing on the screen that should've made the game easier to play. Making courses with a mouse was always frustrating and often times unsuccessful due to lines not properly linking up.

Agreed, to bad. I thought it would be cool. I'll byuy a used copy at gamestop later, I can wait for the cost to come down to 5-10$.

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Line Rider 2: Unbound Box Art

Genre Action
Developer InXile

Worldwide Releases

na: Line Rider 2: Unbound
Release Sep 16, 2008
PublisherGenius Products
RatingEveryone

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