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Written by  :  NeoJ (455)
Written on  :  Feb 03, 2010
Platform  :  Nintendo DS
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful

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A nice game... for a mobile phone

The Good

Assassin's Creed was one of those games that people loved and hated equally. Many people liked the game because of its original story, but the detractors argue that the game is one of the most repetitive games ever made. In Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles you won't have any doubt because it's a bad game from the start to its end.

Altair's Chronicles works as a spin off of the main series, and features a story that has nothing to do with the previously released game for other platforms. This game has different parts including stealth parts, platform or action parts like Assasin's Creed, but the essence of the game is lost in every single way.

Not everything is bad about the game. The successful game for other systems didn't exploit the platform genre, it was there, but they didn't take advantage of that. Altair's Chronicles is a game for the DS, and it helped the evolution of this genre. You'll jump from building to building and avoid many dangers like fire, water (Altair can't swim) and many other classic cliches of a platform game.

The game has mini games for some actions of the game like stealing or intimidating. The first one suits with the game, but intimidating is a bit strange; consisting of some kind of Ouendam - Elite Beat Agents mini-game in which you'll have to press the buttons in the correct order at the right time. It uses the possibilities of the Nintendo DS, but nothing important at all.

Graphics are one of the best points of the game, with different stages and varied details. Music is good too, with some edited songs from the Assassin's Creed soundtrack composed by Jesper Kid. Graphics and sound are perfect, but it's a good example that it's not enough for a game to be a good game.

Once you're near the ending different things happens. You've been playing all the time the same thing, jumping from building to building and fighting the enemies with different combinations, but when you reach that point the game changes. It's a pity because it's only for a little time, but it really works as something new in the game. I can't understand why developers didn't include more stealth parts like those.

There are many checkpoints during the game and that's something really good because the game has many bad points, and you'll die a lot just because of them, so, you don't have to start all the level because of a gameplay problem or just a bug.

The Bad

The worst thing of the game is that it looks like a mobile phone game. Every aspect of the game looks like a nice game for a mobile phone but not a good game for the Nintendo DS. Gameloft is the developer, which is a company specialized in mobile games, and it's something easy to be noticed during the whole game.

All the bad things of the game are a consequence of that premise. If the game would have been just a mobile phone game many of its bad points should've been passable, but the Nintendo DS deserves something better for sure.

To start with, the game has many bugs inappropriate for a system like the DS. Apart from that, gameplay is horrible with disastrous jumps. The 3D elements included doesn't help the jumps because you can't even see your shadow, and you don't know where exactly you are when you're on the top of a structure, you don't even know where you're going to stand once you've jumped to another platform.

Besides the game itself, the story is as annoying as the game is. It's not interesting, which was something that all the people agreed in Assassin's Creed. If the game doesn't have a good story and the gameplay is a big disaster... what remains? Absolutely nothing.

But it's not just only the fact that the story is so bad, there's something even worst, which is the ending. Just a nice cutscene that lasts for a few seconds and an unfinished ending of the story (not as enigmatic as Assassin's Creed's ending). The only thing good about finishing the game is that you won't play it anymore.

There are different enemies during your adventure, but not an enormous variety of them. You'll face Templars and guards and a bad guy called Lord Basilisk which is the big boss of the game. If I'm not wrong you'll fight him three times, and the AI is always the same for him, absolutely nothing new. The final battle against him is like the previous ones, a stupid combination of buttons that should be pressed at the right time to finish him. A simple battle against the weakest guard of the game is more epic that the final battle.

I said that there's a point in the game near the end where everything changes a bit, including a stealth part, but it happens just once. Something similar's with puzzles. Assassin's Creed's a good game to include some different puzzles, not one of those puzzles that will give you a headache, but some simple puzzles along your adventure. The problem is that there's only one puzzle near the end, and if you don't want to make puzzles for a game don't do just one, because it becomes a bad point for your game. I mean, I prefer a platform game without any puzzles above a game that only includes one puzzle near the end of the game because I'll miss them in the other parts of the game.

Camera doesn't work as it should. It will hide many things and the map on the touch screen is useless. Many times you'll have to jump to nowhere having the feeling that another platform's there, but you'll perish many other times doing that thing. Did I say that jumps aren't the most comfortable thing on the game?

Touch screen is really useless and not just because you can't use it properly to know where to go. If you want to change between your weapons you'll have to touch the weapon in your touch screen.You won't use the stylus except during the mini games, and a button to change your weapon should've been better than touching it on the screen.

The Bottom Line

Altair has nothing new to offer in this game, a bad spin off that works fine in a mobile phone but a real pain for your Nintendo DS. Only technical aspects survive in this product with a senseless story and annoying gameplay. I won't honor the creed with games like this...