When it comes to movie based games, the bar is set pretty low. Chances are really high that the videogame adaptation won’t deliver the same experience as the film, but it works both ways. As gamers, we’ve seen Hollywood drop the ball when it comes to adapting a film based on a game series that already has an established group of characters, story, and fan base. But the gaming industry is no saint. We constantly see really bad games based on great movies we love and one of those is How To train Your Dragon. Now, I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m willing to bet its not nearly as boring as this game.
Over the course of the main story, you’ll train your dragon and compete in several tournaments. The characters in the game are practically dead, no emotion mainly due to them not doing much. Its all about repetitive training and fighting. From the start, you’ll receive your first dragon and must train it by doing training missions. These training sessions require you to do a particular combo or move on the AI enough to win, but doing it once isn’t enough. In this game you’ll do every training mission four times if you want the extra experience, which you will. Leveling up your dragon will earn you points to level up certain abilities like fire and other things like stamina, strength and more. You will also unlock body parts for your dragon so that you can customize it. The customization isn’t deep but it’s nice to have and cool to be able to make your dragon your own.
Training your beastly dragon is only step one, now you must take it into battle and fight. The main gameplay is about one on one battles, much like your favorite fight game. Here you’ll face off against another trainer and his dragon in some very slow paced fights. Why are we fighting on a stage like this is Mortal Kombat? We have fucking dragons, lets fight in the air or something. The enemy AI isn’t terrible but it’s dead set on using its best strategy, blocking., only making fights longer. Beyond the terrible fighting, there are a few interesting mini games but nothing really worth trying.
The graphics are ok, nothing really special or great. It looked really plain to me, like the graphics department only wanted to get it to where it was tolerable. None of the cool Dreamworks animations are here. I also found the camera during battles to be just too far away from the action. I would of liked to see my dragon beating another in detail. The sound can be described with one word, repetitive. You’ll here a cycle of three different victory quotes after every battle. And of course, dragons don’t sound like how you would expect a beastly dragon to roar.
How To train Your Dragon is a game for kids, but I assure you that it’s a game for nobody. Your children will have more fun watching this on the big screen then bringing it home to play on your console. I will pretty much play just about every game, but having How To Train Your Dragon show up on my gamerscore is only a mark of a deep regret.