If there's one cardinal rule to follow as a gamer, it's that you should never ever buy video games based on movies. Whether it's Hellboy, Shrek or Ironman, it doesn't matter because they all tend to offer a mediocre experience at best. However, for some reason, I decided to take Rango on the Wii for a spin.
Based on the blockbuster animated film of the same name, Rango sees you step into the shoes of a six-shooter-wielding chameleon. The plot involves Rango recalling his adventures through the desert, with cut-scenes interspersed between the action.
Rango plays like your run-of-the-mill platformer, except that it's extremely linear. You aren't even allowed to venture slightly off the screen during most stages as an invisible barrier cages you in.
Even a simple path that appears to have a hidden nook or cranny is pretty straightforward. It's a missed opportunity for the developers as they could've easily fleshed out those areas, adding hidden collectibles.
Camera control is another feature that Rango could use, especially considering that it's a platformer at heart. While the default camera angles do a good job, there were times when I ended up taking an unsuccessful leap of faith.
What's the game like?
Lack of freedom and camera control aside, the platforming is standard fare, with plenty of variety when it comes to levels, from a gigantic house and a prison to a moving train and a few on-rails sections.
There are also plenty of little touches to convey how small you are compared to your surroundings too. For example, Rango uses chicken coop wire and staples to climb walls. This is also apparent in the house level, which sees you running along a huge windowsill and clambering over shelves.
During each level, the player will also encounter scripted moments where you're required to shoot waves of enemies, such as beetles, lizards and other nasties. These areas are often marked by the presence of a domino or some other sort of obstacle to give players some measure of cover.
In these sections the game is clearly inspired by duck-and-cover shooters, with players able to hug an obstacle for some protection. However, these objects don't stay there forever, with bullets chipping away at them. Unfortunately, you can't move to another obstacle for cover, leaving the player to soak up the damage. In fact, you can't move at all during these sections.
Despite this, the shooting sections are quite forgiving, with a variety of power-ups on offer, such as shotguns, rockets and health boosts. You can't make use of your weapon outside of these sections though, with Rango utilising a punch instead.
Visually, Rango isn't pushing the Wii, but it still manages to pump out some eye-pleasing effects. For example, the game uses blur to great effect in the environment, such as with distant valleys and mountains. It's also refreshing to see a kaleidoscope of colours in the game, despite the desert environments you'll often traverse.
Rango doesn't have multiplayer modes, and the shooting sections do become tedious after a while, but this is still worth a rental for your young one. Anyone older than 12 should simply avoid it however.
Score: 5.5 out of 10
To read the Rango film review, click here.