Based on Disney's 2003 cinematic release Brother Bear, this PC game allows players to take the role of either Kenai or Koda, both of whom are able to morph into either a wolf, crow, or eagle. Kenai who is a young man, has been transformed into a bear and is now forced to see the world through a new perspective. Koda, a young bear cub, was separated from his mother and looks to Kenai as his "Brother Bear." Following the adventure of the movie, players must embark on a journey to reunite Koda with his mother, while trying to uncover the secret that will turn Kenai back into a human.
The Disney movie Brother Bear is in the theater this holiday season (2003), and so it's a given that toys and video games based on the movie are also available. While the movie has been getting mixed reviews from the critics, most kids are probably enjoying the film and will be clamoring for related products. So, how does the software game, Brother Bear, shape up?
The story is that Kenai, a Native American teen, causes his brother to die of a bear attack, due to Kenai's recklessness. Seeking revenge, he hunts and kills the bear, only to be transformed into a bear himself by the spirits. The bear is his totem, and he must learn to understand the spirit of the bear. Ironically, he now becomes the hunted when Kenai's other brother vows revenge on Kenai the bear, because he believes Kenai/bear caused Kenai/teen's death.
An action packed game in the style of previous Disney Interactive action games such as The New Emperor, Going Quackers, Lilo & Stitch and 102 Dalmatians, this game is a platform game that involves lots of jumping around while collecting various items. Interspersed are fun mini-games of the arcade variety, mostly.
Again, as in these previous action games, this game is designed to be easy to play for young gamers. The beginning of the game is extremely easy, as kids are taught the basic controls and goals, namely to explore by jumping from platform to platform, and to collect lots of items for health and special powers. The gameplay becomes harder as the game progresses, but never impossible, and there are plenty of save points.
Graphically, this game is beautiful! Each location is attractive, and the bears and other characters are very nicely detailed. Our favorite areas were any to do with snow, and also the Salmon Run, which was underwater. However, the highly detailed graphics are disappointingly choppy at times, and scene changes, or different movements by Kenai, cause the computer to stutter and pause, with lousy frame rates.
Moving Kenai around mostly consists of running and jumping. His normal movement is slightly awkward, as his whole body moves in different directions as a straight whole without bending. Also, jumping can be problematic at times, again due to this stiffness in his strange angular movement. Collision detection is generally good, and the camera angles are decent.
This game looks to have the potential to be another good Disney action game, almost on the par with the excellent 102 Dalmatians. We especially enjoyed the humorous remarks of Koda, which were too funny.
There is a lot of game here, though, with plenty of easy exploration and item collecting. The game even allows kids to choose to jump automatically, which certainly helps in bringing this game to their level! One mini-game we played, the ice run, was a total hoot to play! It's a race between Kenai and Koda, and it's a whole lot of fun. It can be replayed at any time during the game.
A fun action game for the kids that has the potential to be a very good game.
People who downloaded Disney's Brother Bear have also downloaded:
Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, Disney's Lilo & Stitch: Trouble in Paradise, DogDay, Discworld 2: Mortality Bytes, Discworld, Discworld Noir, Tarzan Action Game (a.k.a. Disney's Tarzan), Down Under Dan
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