Both silly and fun, there is plenty to love about The Kore Gang.
3D platforming games have been no stranger to the Wii in recent years. The Kore Gang: Outvasion From Inner Earth does not revolutionize the 3D platforming genre as a whole, but brings enough content to keep things interesting. An unpredictable story accompanied by mildly difficult platforming provides plenty of enjoyment, though some of the game's faults distract from the overall experience.
The game begins with one of three main protagonists, Pixie, falling off a skyscraper and into an open manhole. Once underground, you come upon a giant structure heading for the planet's surface. In this structure you meet plenty of unique personalities, including members of a resistance movement who all wear birthday party hats. These moments from the game's opening are some examples of the story's whimsical nature. There is bound to be something in The Kore Gang to make you chuckle while playing, whether it's the metal monkey taxi or the songs sung before boss fights. I personally let out plenty of laughs while on this crazy, nonsensical, fun adventure.
As you move through the early stages of the game you gain access to the other two main characters, Madboy and his dog Rex. All three of the characters share a performance-enhancing suit that gives each of them unique abilities. These varying skills are what truly bring life to the game. Pixie becomes your platformer, Madboy your brawler, and Rex takes care of everything else.
For instance, Pixie can grapple onto things, enabling you to climb buildings, while Madboy can do a spinning attack. The one case I found the most interesting was Rex's ability to eavesdrop. Using the analog stick as a radio tuner, you are able to tune into a certain frequency and spy on enemies to get information. The most interesting part of doing this is the fact that what the enemies are saying comes out of the Wii Remote speaker. I have not seen the Wii Remote speaker used in a way this intelligent in quite some time.
Using each character's abilities was fun, but doesn't negate one of the game's biggest problems: its repetition of ideas. In one level, you could be breaking open five safes in the same way just to get to a button, and that would be the whole level. I'm not saying that there is no enjoyment in doing so, but doing so over and over again becomes tiring. In most cases, this is exactly what the levels become: searching for buttons to push or other objectives hidden in safes around the area.
Also, I became victim to camera flaws numerous times while playing the game. The camera can be directly controlled either by using the D-pad or holding the Z button and dragging the view around with the Wii Remote pointer. Both of these methods work in their own ways, but the camera is also restricted in some senses. There were many times when I was trying to look upwards to view the next grapple location, but had difficulty because the camera was trying to reposition and force my view back down. I found this to be only a minor gripe, but it did break the flow of gameplay numerous times.
Each part of The Kore Gang has a distinct feel; this is mostly due to the impressive soundtrack the game. There are plenty of tracks that add to what each section of the game world offers and that capture the zaniness of the game itself. Additionally, the voice cast does a phenomenal job of bringing the characters and story of the game to life. The visual direction blends well with the cartoonish feel of the story and music, but it never amazes. The Wii’s graphical capabilities were not fully utilized, leaving the game looking like it belonged on the GameCube.
There is also a small sense of replay value added for those looking for more content. Collecting all of the Zeeks (similar to star bits from Super Mario Galaxy) in each level unlocks various pieces of artwork for your viewing pleasure in the main menu. This is a simple and completely optional addition for those looking for an extra challenge.
The Kore Gang does have its flaws, but still provides an enjoyable experience. It features many different elements and makes great use of the Wii Remote's capabilities. It may not be the platformer of choice on the system, but it is a viable option for those looking for a quick platforming fix. The story is entertaining, the gameplay is satisfying, and the overall presentation is decent. For platforming fans with nothing to play on their Wii, this game is a suitable addition to your collection.