Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Reviewed

Bringing the smash hit movie into the hands of young gamers everywhere, Activision set the Nintendo DS alight with Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Combining the latest Hollywood trickery and stunning CGI graphics, Activision have brought the third installment of the children’s favourite to life on the Nintendo DS handheld system.

Given that most of us began our gaming addictions when we were all but mere ‘lads and lasses’ it seems fitting that in my first Nintendo review for GamesMediaPro that I am blessed with bringing one of the more recent children’s classics of movie and videogaming. That being the title in question, Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. But seeing as how I am also the only member of the GamesMediaPro team that has young children also, maybe that also had some sway over the Editor in his decision to grant me power of all things Nintendo, seeing as how the nature of the format is aimed more at the younger gaming audience as opposed to the more hardcore and action based antics of the Xbox360 or its rival the Playstation 3. Although not a new title release Ice Age 3 has still a mass market appeal to a wide audience the world over with its fine attention to detail and also its thoroughly engrossing storyline and gameplay.

We begin at the onset of the game’s storyline that see’s the games resident mischief-maker, Sid, being captured and kidnapped by an over protective mother following his unsuccessful attempt at relieving the proud parent of three of her eggs in a botched ‘adoption’ of the dinosaur offspring. Obviously the irate matriarch is more than a little peeved at the idea of the furry one making off with three of her beloved dino-babies and so take Sid with her as a form of ‘see how you like it’ punishment.

The game is an absoltue joy to play for children of all ages. The way that Activision has managed to take the big screen feel of the game and transport that sensation of being in a hugs prehistoric panorama as you venture through the land is quite remarkable. Though adults may feel that the game offers to many helpful hints and pointers, such as the gentle blowing winds that blow in the direction that you are intended to travel, we have to say that the game does not suffer for it and considering that the title is aimed at a far younger age group than the reviewer who have been a little more than unkind to the title, all we have to say in the games defence is that it was meant for your children’s enjoyment, not to put smiles on the faces of forty something hardcore fragheads.

Ice Age 3 is a great fun title for children and one that will not leave them switching off after only half an hours grumpy play because they cannot find their way or stuck on an objective or task. The use of the split screen system of the DS also acts as an added assistant for the kid’s and brings up additional maps and menu’s as well as assisting in the mini games.Of which all are thoroughly enjoyable. The characters themselves are great fun and all are true to their Hollywood counterparts. The graphics are a joy to behold, and Activision have done a sterling job at transforming one of the biggest box office draws of children’s cinema over to the gaming screens of the Nintendo DS system.

So aff you trot on the path to rescuing your pal Sid the Sloth from the clutches of the huge quadruped, with the ‘Usual Suspects’ of Buck, Diego, Manny and Scrat in tow to name but a few of the playable characters on offer. The gameplay works well  with the level design and there are plenty of cracking little side missions such as the immensely enjoyable section where you have to shoot pterodactyl’s out of the sky with our ‘plant gun.’ All in all, great fun and with the commendable cast of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah providing some stellar voice acting as well as chuckle fest humour, this is a game that will keep the kid’s occupied and contented for many a long trip in the car, or for when you are looking for that perfect piece of tranquility during a fine summer afternoon.

This may not be a contender for game of the year but then it was never meant to be. But we have to say for the audience that the title was aimed at, what it does it does very well. The kid’s will absolutely love spending time as any one of the fun-loving fur balls as they find their way through the game’s storyline never once being overawed or in any danger of having things become overcomplicated for them. It’s just good wholesome inoffensive fun of the kind you would happily pay the purchase price to let your children take advantage of and enjoy.

Graphics: When all is said and done the fact that Activision have manged to accomplish something that looks so good on such a small screen, albeit that the system has two of them, is quite simply astonishing. The game looks fantastic.                7

Gameplay: Good solid gaming for the little ones that has a leaning toward repetition before reigning itself back in before the kids reach for the off switch. Good stuff once again from Activision,a real crowd pleaser as the children will see it.    6   

RePlay Value: May just turn out to be one of the most frequently reached for titles by little hands. If you have children and they have a Nintendo DS, just make sure that they have a copy of this on hand for when you have a long journey planned in the car. The ensuing silence can enjoyed repeatedly.          6

Presentation: It’s yet another sizzler for the award-winning developers over at Activision. Children everywhere from 3-13 will love playing this game. Everything is well catered for and with the quality of the graphics and the first-rate voice acting from the highly commendable character cast we can honestly say that we enjoyed it as much as the kids. Great gaming for kids. 7

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