Thor sure looks pretty, but there isn't much to it.
WayForward’s take on Thor on the DS is inspired to a degree. It features the wonderfully designed 2D animation and sprites that the Shantae developer is known for. Sadly, Thor is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill beat-‘em-up, and while that doesn’t make it a bad game, it makes it repetitive and, at times, boring.
Thor has a few attacks, most of which derive from his hammer Mjolnir, that help get him through the endless hordes of enemies. He has a variety of up-close melee attacks, a ground pound, and the ability to throw his hammer across the screen. You can string together combos, but you’ll soon realize that you can make mincemeat out of the enemies by just lining them up in the same area and ground-pounding them into oblivion. The Norse God also has God Powers, screen-clearing super attacks that are activated by a tap of the touch screen when the on-screen meter is filled.
There are several chapters in the game, each with three acts and a different setting, but the game feels way too brief. With the simple gameplay, it wouldn’t have held up over a long game, though, so the brevity might be for the best. The best part of each chapter occurs at the end of the final act, as that is when you fight the two-screened bosses. While the bosses aren’t terribly challenging, they are quite a spectacle to behold, especially as you have to use both screens to combat them.
The bosses also help show off the game’s strongest aspect: the art style. While the graphics are nowhere near as spectacular as WayForward’s work on Shantae: Risky's Revenge, or even last fall’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold DS, it still looks great, and is highlighted by the stellar boss designs.
Thor DS, from what I’ve heard, might be the best Thor game, but it’s not much more than a slightly-better-than-mediocre brawler with great art. WayForward junkies and big Thor fans should be the only people that look into getting this game, though it should satiate those folks quite well.