Tying in with the release of the DreamWorks animated film bearing the same title, Puss in Boots by developer Blitz Games takes players on a wild, swashbuckling adventure with the feisty feline swordsman as he takes on the fairy tale quest to find the Golden Goose atop the giant beanstalk.
When Shrek 2 was released in 2004, the furry new character Puss was an instant fan favorite. Voiced by Antonio Banderas and having a Zorro-style personality and outfit, the digital feline far surpassed the fanbase of more mainstay characters, leading to the spin-off film Puss in Boots. Naturally, a video game tie-in was expected, and Blitz Games takes on the tough challenge of replicating the same charm that the film delivered.
The game contains much of the same characters and sequences found in the actual film. The storyline follows Puss as he attempts to recover the magic beans and retrieve the Golden Goose that lies inside the castle on top of the beanstalk. Players who have seen the film will be treated with nine levels that span the entire movie storyline which ranges from a common bar full of drunken bandits who want to carve you a new tail to the giant’s sprawling castle high atop the stratosphere.
Newcomers need not fret, because the Wii Puss in Boots game fills you in on the action through cutscenes that provide the needed momentum. Puss is voiced by a convincing Banderas impersonator, and the cutscenes contain the humor and wit the film franchise is known for.
Gameplay mostly involves rapid sword fighting as you swing and slash away at incoming enemies. Players use the Wii remote to mimic sword movements, and the motions are captured well onscreen. There are various power meters that, when filled, enable Puss to deliver more powerful attacks than the regular offensive moves.
The Puss in Boots Wii game also adds variety by having players go through game objectives other than the standard swordfights. These extra minigames include wooing feminine felines with your guitar strumming, sneaking past guards and other baddies, climbing and jumping through obstacles, and so on. They add a brief respite to break down the monotony of the swordplay once in a while.
Despite being given the default storyline, character popularity, and unique gameplay elements that would have made Puss in Boots an instant classic, this release suffers from a common symptom found in most video game tie-ins: insufficient development time. When game developers are trying to beat a tight schedule to coincide with the film’s release, creativity is severely hampered. Puss in Boots shows these problems in spades. The swashbuckling swordfights are repetitive, mostly involving swinging your Wii remote randomly, defeating an enemy, and fighting the next buccaneer in line. It’s an exercise without a purpose, and the thrill of beating an opponent is nowhere to be seen.
Similarly, there is limited interactivity within the game itself. In-between fight scenes, the different platforming and other minigames, while refreshing, seem to have no other purpose than to buy time until the next battle comes along. The game pretty much flows quickly on its own and ends after nine levels in short fashion. It won’t take the average gamer half a day to finish this title; two to six hours would suffice.
After the main campaign has been beaten, you can go through a challenge section if you want to spend some more time with Puss in Boots. However, even that won’t be enough to alleviate the boredom.
Puss in Boots is a single player game for the Wii console. It can be played with the standard Wii remote and does not require any special add-on.
Everybody loves Puss in Boots. Well, at least the film version. Puss in Boots the video game, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. The monotonous sword fighting betray the limited time worked on this game, and the short length signal that this title is not one for long term play. Although the cutscenes and wit are still present, they do little to salvage this mediocre title. The kids might want it if they’re fans of the feisty feline, but there are other titles out there that are much more enjoyable. Puss in Boots is average at best, and even Puss’ cute, round eyes won’t be enough to convince most players to like this game.