Phineas and Ferb is a fun game for children and adults to play together or your children can play on their own. Also I am convinced this game was made by and for nostalgic people, why you ask? The compare score screen at the end of the stages looks exactly the compare screen for Terminator 2: The Arcade Game, the baseball launcher instantly reminded me of the weapon from Fester’s Quest, the third person levels look like an HD version of Space Harrier and finally the the Doof Cruisers look like the truck from Maximum Overdrive. If you have children who love the show this game is easily a buy, it’s fun, MSRP at $40 and one of the better uses of a TV license in video games. If you are over the age of 18 I doubt this game will be high on your list, but if you love the show and it dips below $30 I wouldn’t see a reason not to pick this up.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension is a 3D platforming game released for the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo DS. We played through the PlayStation 3 version for this review. Exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version is 5 stories, each full episode broadcast is usually 2 different stories, of the cartoon in full HD resolution. The audio for these segments are at 320kbps in Dolby Digital Stereo and we watched the bitrate hovered around 30Mbps. Sadly it did not come with the Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension movie which sucks as it would have made a great complete package.
I played Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension to completion, earned a few trophies and some unlockables in the game. I did not get 100% of the trophies nor complete a second playthrough. It is a 2 player co-op game the whole way through, if you do not have a second player the computer controls them for you and you can switch freely between the two characters. I did not find any problems soloing the game, there were a few areas where a second player would have made the obstacle slightly easier but nothing game breaking as switching was a single button away. We do not own a PlayStation Move so we were not able to test out the Move functionality, the controller worked perfectly I am unsure how the Move would help.
Since this game is aimed toward children there are only 3 options on the start screen, New Game, Load and Continue. If you press Start during the game there is another screen with Resume, Options, Help, Extras, Exit to Map and Exit to Menu. The only options available to change are for Sound, Vibration and Subtitles, there is no way to change your controls or assign different buttons to different actions. Extras shows all the figures, cheats and movies you unlock during the game. Finally Exit to Map allows you to Warp to worlds you have been to. While not button heavy we would still like to see all games allow the ability to swap any button we would like with another, it’s just good programming people.
Unlike most games there are only four save slots so if you have more than 4 children you’ll need to pair them off. The game autosave’s during play and we never found it leaving us to far behind. The co-op aspect of the game has been designed to let no one die because the other person is off somewhere else. All characters have personal helicopters attached to them and if you fall behind your character will just fly closer to the other person, fall off a ledge, you’ll come flying back quickly. There didn’t seem to be any lives to worry about and some areas that look tricky even had invisible walls keeping you from falling, though not everywhere is like that.
The characters are modeled 3D and a decent representation of what is seen in 2D on TV. While every so often a certain camera angle would highlight a flaw in the 3D models you would really have to be looking way to hard to complain. Voice work follows the show perfectly, however this game was made for players 1 and 2 to be Phineas and Ferb, it is there show after all. No matter what character you pick, Phineas and Ferb will be responding via voice over and on an small animated subtitle. There would have been more programming involved but I think it would have been nice to acknowledge the players character to do something rather than always asking Phineas when I’m playing as Perry the Platypus.
The stages are standard platforming affair, go here, get that, flip this switch, blast those enemies and seems to borrow from the latest Lego series of games. Everything blows up into tiny orbs that can be collected for unlocking other items. I actually preferred Phineas and Ferb’s orbs to the Lego pieces. There didn’t seem to be thousands of orbs on screen all blinking at me, there seemed to be just the right amount to actually collect without feeling like I had to go out of my way to get them. Between platforming stages you’ll be tasked to use your jetpack in a behind the character view to fly through cityscape’s and blow up robots with your Carbonator. These stages broke up the platforming nicely, our only gripe was the Carbonator seemed to shoot in a wide spray that wasn’t always easy to line up with the enemies from the thrid person perspective. Also after completing a complete world you’ll be able to use any coins you found to play The Claw Game or Perry-ball, a variation on skee-ball. These games give you tickets that you can use to buy figures and sound upgrades for your weapons.
While the game didn’t take long to complete, about 6 hours, we took our time, had fun and didn’t rush. If you are a completist it could take a decent amount of time to get the platinum trophy as the mini-games aren’t very friendly. While the crane game is easy enough the Perry-ball game does not have a power gauge when throwing, throw power is random. If you are playing for fun, it’s easy just to move the ball and mash square, if you are playing for maximum tickets I could see how this could be annoying. And yes if you want to get a platinum trophy you will have to buy everything in the gift shop. We only wish there was a little more to the Perry-ball game and maybe a leaderboard to see who can set the highscore in the household.
The platforming a good, with a few minor areas that were hard to judge in 3D, nothing major. Each level has parts scatter throughout the level for a blueprint you need to get to create an object to complete a task. If we could add anything it would be a specific mini-game for each blueprint. The way it works now the characters just create whatever they need once you have the parts. It would have been nice to actually have to put the parts together in some zany way but it’s like this in the show, they just make stuff with a cloud of dust, so we can’t fault them for it. The only real problem we had was if you don’t listen to what you are told to do, your recent messages listed in the menu do not always list these instructions and you might have to start a level over to find out what to do or where you are suppose to go.
Buy Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension from Amazon (PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS)