FlingSmash (Wii Review) by Carl B.
Release Date: November 8, 2010
November 10, 2010, by Carl B - When the Wii Motion Plus was first announced by Nintendo at E3 2008, gamers everywhere were wondering what kind of games the 1:1 control would allow for. Nintendo released Wii Sports Resort with the peripheral -- a glorified tech demo of a game -- and EA has released fantastic golf games that support the add-on. Since then, Nintendo hasn't released a killer app for the peripheral, with Ubisoft's Red Steel 2 easily being the best Wii Motion Plus-enhanced game. On November 8, 2010, Nintendo released the Wii Remote Plus; a Wii Remote with Motion Plus technology built in it. Bundled with the controller is a first party title called FlingSmash -- a game that requires the Wii Remote Plus or Motion Plus in order to play. Is FlingSmash Nintendo's first true killer app for the Motion Plus technology?
In FlingSmash players take control of Zip and/or Pip, heroes of a small tropical island. An evil entity has cast a dark shroud over the island and spawned blocks everywhere. Up to two players go through several side scrolling levels as they bounce their heroes around the level, smashing blocks and bashing enemies along the way.
The motion controls in FlingSmash are accurate enough, but are far from perfect. The hero can be bounced in any direction, whether it is horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. The motion technology is supposed to add an extra layer of movement detection to a game that incorporates it, but unfortunately FlingSmash doesn't make use of subtle wrist movements, instead forcing players to swing their arms harder -- Wii Sports baseball style -- and this makes for a sore upper arm after extended playthroughs. The only issue with accuracy I encountered with the game was not being able to perform a backwards upward-diagonal strike, as the game didn't sense my controller starting in the bottom left and ending in the top right position.
When levels get rolling, the goal for players to accomplish is to get the most amount of combo hit on blocks and enemies as possible to increase their high score count. Medals and gems can be obtained through the course of a level to grant points in the thousands, and if three of the same fruit is collected by the hero, it will transform into a giant for ten seconds or even split into three for a limited amount of time. These power-ups are very similar to ones seen in Brick Breaker games.
FlingSmash's visual style is easy on the eyes and very simple. The game doesn't push the Wii to its limits, nor does it fill the screen with loads of enemies and blocks. The game's soundtrack puts off a tropical feel, completing the game's carefree atmosphere.
The problem with FlingSmash is that the game just isn't fun or exciting on any level. In each and every second of the game players are swinging their arms, propelling their ball-shaped character across the screen. Nothing about the gameplay is particularly deep, and the game never throws new mechanics at the player. To top it off, FlingSmash is four hours at the most -- if players opt to play unlockable mini-games or attain "S" rankings on every level -- and it doesn't pose any real challenge.
10/15 - The soundtrack in FlingSmash creates a carefree atmosphere, but isn't anything special.
15/20 - FlingSmash's visuals aren't spectacular but they manage to get the job done, with a frame rate that is consistent throughout.
12/25 - Only lasting a few hours, FlingSmash doesn't offer much replay-ability, even if players are able to tolerate the amount of arm swings they'll be making.
23/40 - Motion controls work well enough in FlingSmash, but don't offer the same precision as Red Steel 2 or Wii Sports Resort. FlingSmash isn't deep at all, either, and every level is practically the same as the last.
60/100 - FlingSmash is far from Nintendo's first killer app for the Motion Plus technology, and isn't even a particularly good game, either. Lasting a mere four hours at the most, combined with mindless swinging of the player's arm, FlingSmash is one of the few low-quality first party offerings from Nintendo.