Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly

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Electronic Theatre ImageAn unexpected winter release, Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly is available now as a Nintendo 3DS exclusive. It’s a strange franchise to develop for the newest console on the market, but one that that publishers Europress, a division of Koch Media, obviously have a lot of confidence in. After the success of the Nintendo DS title last year and the motion-picture release this summer, there would surely be few who would blame them.

Playing as the titular Henry, players embark on a quest to hunt down his little brother’s bunny to avoid getting the blame for it having gone missing. A very simple premise, but given the nature of the videogame’s source Electronic Theatre Imagematerial and its target audience, it’s surely to be expected. And of course, with that source material, the storyline allows plenty of room for inventive gameplay settings and scenarios.

Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly begins as a relatively simple 2D platform videogame, showing it’s inspiration from the very first moments. Cookies to collect, multiple routes with hidden extras, springboards to increase jump height and speed-building slides, Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly is an echo of the 16-bit platform classics, Super Mario World and Sonic The Hedgehog. It’s a compilation of some of the most widely praised elements of these two videogames coupled with a few ideas of its own.

The basic platform rules apply to Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly, running on a 2D plane from start to finish with a limited health meter and recharging ammunition, players take on enemies with the goo shooter Electronic Theatre Imageand collect cookies for extra lives. As the player progresses through the three different worlds – Lovely Land, Pirate Mangrove and Darius Drek’s Fortess – they will unlock different goo types, including one which is unique to the last level. However, the most interesting aspect of Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly’s design is The Yoyo mode. Pressing the X button relieves control of Henry and instead casts the player as a cursor. Moving this cursor via the touchscreen will allow the player to pick up objects at specific points during the levels. Solving unique puzzles, such as arranging blocks or building bridges, the minor distraction from the platform action is a welcome respite.

The technical accomplishment of Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly is clearly it’s weakest aspect. The development team has made the odd decision to use a series of stills rather than animated sequences; bizarre Electronic Theatre Imageconsidering the source material and the use of Henry’s original voice actor from the animated series. As is the fashion, Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly uses a 3D visual design to present it’s 2D gameplay, however the backgrounds are generally quite bland.

Given its familiar platform videogame basis, few could argue that Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly is an entertaining product. It’ll be less than challenging for mature gamers, but of course the target audience for the videogame will be those who have most likely had very little experience of the hobby thus far. Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly isn’t about to rewrite the rulebook, but as a Nintendo 3DS title designed specifically for children, Europress are right to believe they have delivered a videogame that will find a comfortable position in the market.

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