Video Game Review – How to Train Your Dragon 2
June 26, 2014 by Ray Willmott
Ray Willmott reviews How to Train Your Dragon 2 on Wii U…
Movie-licensed games really are hit – and mostly miss – in terms of what they offer the player. So bad, in fact, they rarely offer a quality film the justice it rightfully deserves. And sadly, the accompanying game for DreamWorks’ finest moment since the Shrek series has no surprises in store.
How to Train Your Dragon is one of the biggest animated surprises of recent years. At first glance, what appeared to be a cash-in on the Eragon series, actually turned out to be a heart-warming, reaffirming adventure with two unlikely friends brought together to restore order and balance to a dysfunctional land. There’s a lot of scope for a great game, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, Torus Games haven’t even tried.
What we’re presented with is a poorly-managed flight-sim with mini games. And the sad part? The flight portion doesn’t even handle properly. Hiccup guides Toothless around Berk and the aim of the game is to land on perches – usually indicated to the player with map pinpoints –in order to initiate one of the handful of minigames. The overall idea of the game is to compete in the Viking games and emerge as grand overseer, master champion of the land, or some such random title. The problem is the minigames will quickly bore you to the point of not wanting to be competitive. Therein lies the real challenge.
80% of the mini games rely on you flying Toothless through hoops around the skies of Berk and the objective, more often than not, is to either beat the time limit or beat the opposition who are also trying to do the same thing. The only deviations are a ‘Capture-the sheep’ exercise that sees Toothless dump different coloured sheep into their matching colour basket – though you also have to fly through hoops in order to stay on course – and target practise with cardboard cut-outs. It’s as bland as it sounds.
Even if you want to be competitive and are actually enjoying this poor-mans rendition of Mario Kart, flying often causes issues as some hoops require you to fit through tight-spaces, or make sharp, unlikely turns which generally send Hiccup tumbling to his death at the slightest touch of the environment. With the panning of the camera not covering a wide enough area, and controlling the dragon generally not being responsive enough for you to make quick, knee-jerk reactions, you’ll find yourself quickly wishing you’d put your £25 to better use.
No doubt about it, this is one of the worst attempts at electronic entertainment I’ve ever seen. There is nothing even remotely entertaining about HTTYD 2 for more than about ten minutes. It’s sloppy, poorly presented, controls badly and has absolutely no substance. The biggest waste of hard-drive space I’ve seen in a long time and an utter embarrassment to the painstaking amount of effort DreamWorks have put into the How to Train Your Dragon series. Do not waste your time, money or effort.
Rating – 1/10
Ray is a freelance critic for various outlets and even runs his own website. He even writes novels. Follow him on Twitter