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Elements of Destruction (Nintendo DS)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Big John WV (25282)
Written on  :  Feb 14, 2009
Rating  :  3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars
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Summary

A nice concept, but falls short.

The Good

The first time I saw EOD, I was very intrigued. The chance to destroy towns and cities using tornadoes, storms, earthquakes and the like seemed interesting. When I popped this sucker in I was very pleased at how bright and vibrant the graphics are of this game. The story is told through non-vocal comic-style which is nice, but a little voice-overs would have been nice. The main antagonist of the game cracks me up, a disgraced TV weatherman by the name of Marty Storm...yes Marty Storm. Not only does the incidental name make me laugh, it's also the fact that he could pass for Dr. Wily of Mega Man fame.

The control actually works pretty well, using the stylus to drag the direction you want the storms to go or pick the spot for earthquakes or meteor strikes. The sound is very well done, including the effects of the disasters and the music is kinda of an upbeat diabolical-style. The looks of the cities looks reminiscent of SimCity 3000, which doesn't bother me, it actual gives you the sense of you are playing a SimCity game, just that you are destroying rather than building. The game has a nice length to it too, 21 levels in all so you can actually play this for a while.

The Bad

Well, even though the graphics are nice and vibrant, there isn't a lot of detail when it comes to the actual destruction. By the front cover of the game, I thought you would see cows, cars, people and debris fly all around the base of your tornadoes, sadly there isn't. Now granted, the destruction and explosions of the buildings look nice, but still they could have sprung for a little bit of detail, I'm mean after all, the capabilities of the DS aren't that limited.

Also, the game is kinda monotonous when it comes to the cities, they all seem the same. There are some differences in the buildings when you switch from rural to suburbs and finally the city, but the bad part is that many of the buildings are all the same. Not only do the buildings do seem to resemble SimCity 3000, but the roads do as well such as half-assed placement and dead ends in the middle of a flat area. What's worse you really get the most of the game half-way through since you unlock all three levels of these disasters half-way through the second week, instead of leveling up gradually over time which is disappointing. You basically have seen what the entire game offers by the second week.

Well, I do have to admit, the difficulty is along the lines of "pulling your hair out and spitting at the DS screen" level. Now I do love some challenge to a game, but come on, towards the end of this game it gets so cheap you wonder if they ever intended for a person to finish the game sanely or resort to cheat codes (which sadly I had to do just to see the end of the story). The later levels throw everything at you at once, especially on levels where you have to have a certain criteria such as 90%-95% total destruction. They have so many of the anti-disaster buildings clumped together it gets harder to conjure up one disaster to destroy the others. Once you do, it takes up a good bit of time to take out these row of buildings and if your not paying attention those damn repair drones sneak in and rebuild it before you can stop them and have to start over. Very very frustrating.

The Bottom Line

In the end this isn't a bad game, it just wasn't give much attention to. The concept is interesting, but the monotonous gameplay, lack of detail in some areas and brain throbbing difficulty hurts it. However, the comical characters and storyline does compensate for this. If you want to try this game out, do go overboard with the price. I paid $9.00 at a Wal-Mart for mine while a well-known national video game dealers which shall remain nameless, *cough* game *cough* stop *cough*, wanted $14.99 for a used one with no instruction booklet and original case. The $9 was barely pushing it, but still it is fun for a short time.