When you read tall tales of completed games being shelved and subsequently released at a later date for a new platform, trouble always seems to arise. Unfortunately, Yuji Naka’s (Sonic, Nights into Dreams) latest game, Rodea the Sky Soldier, is no exception to the rule.
That’s not to say that Rodea isn’t fun, as most of the stages have their moments - from the ziplines that you charmingly hang on to by your tail, to the enjoyable smash of Rodea’s skull on every checkpoint bell. The classic arcade style of gameplay is also broken-up with small tasks like collecting herbs, something that definitely helps both the flow of the game and it’s droll little story.
The sheer amount of stages, medals, collectibles and rankings here are also a huge selling point. For those that can get to grips with the controls and routine camera niggles, there’s a treasure trove of lastability. The stages themselves are quite long, and many of the boss encounters can be tough, so you’re looking at many hours of gameplay here - it’ll just depend on your patience with the aforementioned issues.
There are some great ideas here and a good game hiding away somewhere, we just can’t get past the controls and poor camera. The soundtrack is marvelous and the voice acting amazingly, joyously bad, but outside of the audio, the game’s an all round disappointment. Wii remote controls not being available for the Wii U version are an unforgivable oversight - if that’s the control scheme the game was created for and the control method is compatible, why don’t we have access to it?
All in all, Rodea aims high, but flaps ungraciously back to earth in this missed opportunity.
Are you a fan of Yuji Naka’s work? Have you picked up Rodea, and if so, on what platform? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, or on the forums.