Mini game Heaven in the Rio review round-up!

Coming in on the back of a wave of positive publicity from the box office success of its silver screen sibling is Rio: The Videogame. Players will breeze through the myriad of mini-games in THQ’s latest movie cross over title aimed at the younger gaming audience.    

Taking a different approach to the usual  movie tie-in title Rio takes gamers on a very different adventure from its Big Screen brother as players of all ages are invited to test their talents in a whole array of marvellous mini’s in this wonderful family based title from THQ.      

Celebrating the launch of the movie version of Rio, the latest animated adventure to hit the cinema’s, comes its console based sibling for video gamers of all ages. But instead of following the usual route of recreating situations and storyline’s from the Hollywood smash hit, THQ have opted to lead gamers on a very different path by allowing them to play as any one of four of the film’s main characters in this compendium of cracking mini-games that will have players of all ages chuckling into their controllers for many an hour to come.

Graphically the game is near identical to the blockbuster of the big screen with the animations being very crisp and clean.  Bright and bold is the order of the day here as gamers are treated to a visual feast of colour that is brought to you in the Day-Glo variety by the game s developers. There are no multiplayer  issues involving lag, and even though there is a capable co-op mode where you get to ply your talents to torment up to three friends there are no problems with any of the sorts of hitches and glitches that dog videogames the world over. THQ have managed to produce a near as perfect title as is humanly possible, as far as screen tearing, lag and frame rate are concerned.

With little to no plot clogging up the load times Rio, then, jumps right on into the action like a cliff diver leaping into a sea of vivid colour, as quick-fire rounds and come at you thick and fast in this compendium of quality games.

From the moment you enter into the menu you will notice that pomposity and over-complicated instructions have been, thankfully, dispensed with, and what you have instead is a title that just wants to be played and not pondered over for too long. So after selecting any one of three difficulty settings from easy, normal and hard you then press on to decide which of our feathered friends you will play as in the fun time frivolities.

The characters, Blu, Jewel, Eva, Nico,Rafael, and Pedro all come from the movie and are all have their own special abilities and attributes as each differs slightly in size, wight and speed. You then decide on which mode you would like to attempt, from Story Mode to the rapid fire fun of the Party Mode which allows you and your friends to choose which of the mini-games you would like to play.

Story Mode is a collection of games that are played out across settings and locations from the movie, and in between these moments of family fun there re a clip’s from the animated blockbuster to keep players entertained as they await the next instalment in the adequately long ‘campaign’.

With the game being aimed at the younger members of the gaming fraternity it is little surprise then that most og the mini-games on offer have only basic control’s with which to master the mode, but that being said Rio does offer up a splendid opportunity for some fantastic family orientated party fun as all the household can partake of THQ’s latest title with ease, and not have older and younger members shying away from the experience due to complicated controls or over enthusiastic motion control.

The control system’s vary for each game, with some being similar to each other, but on the whole there really is nothing out of reach of the average aged child of three or four, with basic left and right or up and down movements usually taking care of the required participation. On occasion players my have distinctly more, or less, to do, but on the whole Rio is more about having a good time and less about mastering an intricate menu and control system that is, quite frankly, beyond the reach of most adults let alone the average child.

With leaderboards allowing players to claim bragging rights and prestige over their opponents Rio has enough going on to keep gamers coming back for more.

This is good old-fashioned family based fun at its very best, make no mistake about it. But if you are the kind of gamer who seeks to top the leaderboards of every game with the most headshots then its safe to say that this may well not be for you.  If, however, you are a casual gamer who enjoys interaction with friends, loved ones, family members and children then without a shadow of a doubt this game should be adorning your collection before too long.

Rio is perfect for those day’s when the weather has taken a turn for the worst and the children are looking longingly at you for inspiration and entertainment. Do you and them a favour by nipping along to your local gaming retailer and grabbing yourself a copy of Rio, then calmly sit back and watch in complete safety that you know that the little ones are being taken care of and entertained without a blood splatter or curse word polluting their little minds.

Graphics: Big, bold and brightly coloured Rio offers seamless gaming to those wise enough to pick up one of the few movie tie-in titles that actually has some quality gameplay contained therein to keep its target audience captivated. No problems whatsoever to bring to light regarding frame rate drop, screen tearing or lag.  8

Gameplay: When the age group that you are aiming for with a title is that of children it is best then to limit their controller issues to a minimum to prolong interest and prevent the inevitable tantrum’s and storming off that are the result of over complicated controls. THQ has understood this and taken it into account when designing Rio, and thankfully have constructed a system that allows even the youngest and oldest of players the opportunity to experience some genuinely entertaining gameplay. With over 40 mini-games and a good length Story Mode to keep players satisfied Rio is a new breed of movie crossover title for gamers of all ages to thoroughly enjoy.   8

RePlay Value: The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating, and so with that thought in mind we invited over a handful of relatives and their children, over the course of a weekend, to experience the game and relay their thoughts on THQ’s title first hand. What we discovered was that the children loved the game and that the adults loved the peace and quiet that the title afforded them as they had to do little more than occasionally peek their head’s through the door to check that the kid’s were still in the room. Rio was, as one nephew stated, ” Kewl, can we come back after school next week and play?” A finer endorsement of a product we have not come across. For that reason Rio scores 9

Presentation: As with all THQ titles Rio follows the same pattern and standard of high quality craftmanship that comes as a given with all of the award-winning developers games these days. Perfectly presented for the target audience, and with a sterling attention to detail Rio will have children the world over revelling in its digital delights for many a day to come, and then some. If you have children in the house then Rio is a ‘must have’ title. 


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