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Tour de 64   

A Bug's Life

I've had more fun with ants at a picnic.

A platformer based on the Pixar movie with the same title, don't expect A Bug's Life to be reviewed as highly. You play the role of the ant named Flik, and your main skills are jumping and tossing berries. Main skills? I should say, your only skills. The goal of each level is not to simply reach the end, but to collect all 50 grains, the four letters which spell "Flik," and defeat all enemies using the golden berries item. You can still move on to the next level simply by reaching the end, so I don't know what would happen by collecting everything. And frankly, I don't care to know. You can't make me.

The enemies, in fact, will respawn within seconds if you defeat them using any other berry besides the golden one. There is not much warning when and where they will appear, so they very well could appear right on you. The hit detection is rather poor, so trying to slip by enemies usually results in getting hurt. The golden berry item sometimes isn't found until near the end, causing backtracking to get them all.

This game gave me sore eyes in the thirty long minutes I managed to play it. Everything is so grainy, especially when combined with the choppy framerate, but the short draw distance is more of a hindrance than anything else. There is one level where you have to fly across a field on a piece of dandelion fluff whilst staying afloat by flying over spinning flowers. The trouble is, the flowers don't appear visible until you get very close to them, so it basically becomes guesswork as to which direction is the next flower. The music is forgettable, I just got done playing it and I can't recall the game even having music. The sound effects are scarce and consist mostly of the squashing sound of tossing berries, and the voice samples spoken by your character get old fast.

The story most likely follows the movie, but I've not seen it since it was first released on home video. It is told between levels using a couple of stills which I imagine are taken from the film, along with subtitles. They are, of course, grainy like the rest of the game, largely due to the decreased resolution of the N64. It likely follows the general progression of the movie, starting with the ant hill, moving through the field with the bird, and going to the city. Those are the first five levels, and I don't know how many more there are after that.

I didn't have a memory card inserted in the controller, as I predicted I wouldn't want to come back to the game. I was right. The game has numerous flaws, in both design and execution, making it tedious. On a system with so many exceptional platformers, there's no reason to spend time with this one.




04/02/2010 at 10:52 PM

How are you choosing which game to play next? Are you playing through in alphabetical order?

Jason Ross Senior Editor

04/03/2010 at 12:12 AM

Yup, she's going by alphabetical order. 007: The World Is Not Enough will probably be under "World."

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

04/03/2010 at 08:27 PM

Oops. I forgot to mention in my introduction that I'll be playing the games in alphabetical order. It seems like the easiest way to organize everything, and keep track of what I've played.

Jason, in my storage drawers, games which start with "the" are filed with the T's, ha ha. I guess we'll see what happens, but I'm not sure if I'll get to games like The Legend of Zelda and The New Tetris before the T's come up.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

04/03/2010 at 11:13 PM

That's why I said "probably.";)

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/27/2014 at 03:27 AM

I remember choosing to see The Rugrats Movie instead of the Pixar film as a kid. My mom and aunt stopped being bummed about it when they realized how much shorter our line was.

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