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Worms: A Space Oddity Review

The warring worms keep the fight offline on Wii

Worms is probably older than you are, yet Team 17 manages to come up with ways of refreshing the series with each sequel, and A Space Oddity has more than a few new tricks up its sleeve.

Those little worms of warfare have crash-landed on an alien planet, causing their ship to smash into pieces, so they have to make like Olimar and recover them all, with the help of missiles and grenades, (not Pikmin, obviously).

The single player-quest unfolds over six worlds, each with six missions. The twist here is that each world has its own physical properties that affect the gameplay during battle. So, for example, one planet is full of caverns where there's no wind, so you needn't worry about a gust affecting the trajectory of your missiles. Another planet has low gravity, so not only can you jump higher, but your weapons will travel further, forcing you to adjust the power levels you put into shots. If that sounds quite difficult, it is, and any Worms fan will know how tough it can playing against the computer - who can pull off near-impossible shots.

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Luckily, a new control system makes it a little easier to launch weapons accurately - although some of the changes might go against the principles of a Worms purist.

Flame Thrower!

To charge up the power in your shots, you pull the Remote back as if you're preparing to throw it. The further back you raise your arm the more the power increases. You hold the B button to lock the power in place, then you thrust your arm forward in a throwing motion and release B to launch your weapon. So, where achieving the exact amount of power you wanted was a mini challenge in itself before, now you're free to tweak the power as you wish.

Also, if you lunge your arm forward and don't let go of the B button, the game will give you a dotted-line preview of the weapon's would-be trajectory. Is that cheating? Yes it is. And there's no option to turn it off either. But it will allow beginners to get to grips with the system more easily.

There are also some sweet new weapons that use the Wii Remote in interesting ways. Using the pointer, you can summon a UFO to hover above a target, then shake the Remote up and down to fire lasers of death into the unfortunate victim. A new guided missile also lets you use the pointer to guide your package of doom to the exact point you wish.

These weapons are most satisfying when used against other human players, but, much to our surprise, there's no online mode and that's just inexcusable. It comes as an extra shock considering that online multiplayer was actually promised in the game's original unveiling.

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Out Of This World?

A Space Oddity comes with the expected mini-games, including a neat rocket game in which you tilt the Remote to guide a space rocket through a cave. There's a level editor in there too, albeit a little basic. But with no online options, you won't be trying out your new levels with anyone other than mates who pay you a visit.

It's a massive shame because A Space Oddity is otherwise a really good game. The new controls are great, the new weapons work well and we like the changing worlds theme. But Worms has always been primarily fun in multiplayer, and with no online mode on offer here you're better off just getting Open Warfare 2 for your DS, which has online play and other Wi-Fi goodies

as well. All in all, it's a missed opportunity.

Comments

12 comments so far...
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  1. adastoy Thursday 27th Mar 2008 at 17:34

    i cant understand why so many wii games have no online,not just this game but super star tennis aswell,other formats have online,can someone tell me why the wii version dont..

  2. Bretteh Thursday 27th Mar 2008 at 18:28

    Them not making this online has actually stopped me buying it.
    I'd rather spend Ł2 and buy one of the old PC versions which'll be more or less the same and keep my wallet full of a few more notes.

  3. Malmo Thursday 27th Mar 2008 at 19:39

    No online means no purchase for me, and I'm sure a lot will be the same so they have really shot themselves in the foot with this one. I'm sure it'll be fun, but without online it offers little more than what the pc games of a decade ago offered, and anyone has a pc capable of playing them these days...

    No online play is the real kamikaze for worms.

  4. uster dog Thursday 27th Mar 2008 at 20:54

    WORMS IN SPACE :?: WORMS WITH NO ONLINE :?: WORMS A FULL PRICED WII GAME :?: WORMS= :?: :?: :?: :?: NO THANKS :!:.

  5. PixelF Friday 28th Mar 2008 at 11:18

    Now i don't wanna buy it. THANKS ALOT THQ (is it THQ?)

    Some games work best on multiplayer ( Super smash bros) and you can't lock your friends up in the basement so this a real dissapointment :x

    And as someone said I'd rather buy an old CHEAPER PC version.

  6. Anonymous Friday 28th Mar 2008 at 12:42

    :( No online multiplayer?!? :evil: :idea: How about I make my own Worms game? It'll be online!

  7. Ou3nDaN Friday 28th Mar 2008 at 21:00

    it doesnt matter anyway, the online would have sucked. No voice chat, no lobbies, no parameters for automatch.

    Nintnedo is scared of the internet so they limit their developets, if nintnedo had some sort of standard online system which made sense, liek Xbox Live im SURE worms space oddity would have seen online.

  8. Tommson Saturday 29th Mar 2008 at 14:13

    I'm still buying it because it's still classic laugh out loud worms, and at least two player mode is still included. Online or not this is still a must buy for me.

  9. colemanbenjamin Saturday 29th Mar 2008 at 21:10

    What has nintendo done to the wii to make developers not put online on it cos it seems the only games that have online are nintendo made 1s. yyyyyy worms youve stoped me along with manny others from buying your game it would have been a must buy but now it is at the bottum of my list along with sega superstar tennis for the fact of no online play!

  10. hamster hairs Tuesday 1st Apr 2008 at 10:49

    warms have mastered space flight and have forgotten to put online services on whats the world coming to!!!
    :shock: i mean who would wanna buy a game with some worms in space with no online...
    theres almost no point in living with that on our wiis wat are they gonna come up with next peach the commando!!!

  11. Bman7593 Wednesday 2nd Apr 2008 at 00:49

    why!!? just why!!?

  12. MARION64WII Saturday 12th Apr 2008 at 17:47

    It's not 3D and no online play... the 1st worms was better :evil:

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