Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review #116: Dexter's Laboratory - Robot Rampage

 Done with it in a spell.
 Remember Dexter's Lab? It was a fantastic series, back when Cartoon Network actually showed Cartoons, and the Cartoons were actually good. Robot Rampage is, unmistakably, an Elevator Action reskin. For some reason, Bam! saw fit, when bringing Elevator Action to USA, to make it a Dexter game, which is a bit baffling as Elevator Action actually had an audience.

 There actually is a story for the game, Mandark has taken control over Dexter's lab, and Dexter must now gather the keys, discs, passwords or what have you in order to defeat Mandark and save his laboratory. There're four stages with four levels each, in each you must either climb down or up the building, while looking for red doors, which possess either the keys that you must gather, or optional weapon power ups. Levels have an assortment of elevators, which both you and the endlessly spawning enemies can use to ascend or descend through the levels, escalators and later on, gaps and alarms. Dropping from distances beyond one floor will outright kill Dexter, which is why you must make use of the elevators and escalators throughout the maze-like buildings.
 You can play as 3 different forms of Dexter, plus an unlockable character. Each character has slightly different running and jumping stats, so they allow for experimentation, although you are not allowed to change characters upon death. As for the weapons, some are more useful than others, so you might want to avoid weapon-possessing red doors once you finally get a good one! Another thing to keep in mind, is that sometimes, avoiding getting hit is impossible, but infinite continues soften the blow. As a whole, I liked the gameplay, it's a very fun Elevator Action game, the red doors being randomized on each playthrough allows replays to feel a bit different. The game can be beat in an hour or two, but there's no battery save or passwords, so you must finish it in one sitting.

 The presentation is disappointing on two fronts: the graphics themselves are unimpressive, with minimal animation and the fact that it doesn't make the most of the license. The only character from the show you'll recognize is Dexter, sure Mandark makes an appearance in cut-scene form before each Stage, but he isn't even the last boss. The enemies are simple generic robots that don't even borrow from the show's artstyle, so it ends up being a missed opportunity to make a good Dexter game. Music is... average, sorta generic, and it gets old after a while.

 All in all, as far as Elevator Action games go, this is a pretty average version. The Dexter reskin is superfluous at most. If you are looking for a Dexter game, this is not the game you want, but if you want Elevator Action on the go, this is not a bad choice.
 6.0 out of 10.

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