Thor: God of Thunder
What? A decent movie based game on a portable system? The gods must be crazy.
Developer WayForward is like a box of chocolates. As Forrest Gump would say, you never know what you're going to get. The company's responsible for Ping Pals, one of the worst games on DS, as well as Contra 4, arguably one of the best. Sega's Thor: God of Thunder sits somewhere in the middle. It's a sharp looking 2D brawler with loose ties to the upcoming film, but repetitive combat and a lack of depth keep it from greatness.
If you grew up playing Super Nintendo and Genesis or just have a soft spot for 16-bit beat-em-ups, Thor offers several hours of monster bashing fun. Obviously, you play as the Norse god, charged with saving Asgard from a troll invasion.
To get the job done, you'll mash the Y button repeatedly to unleash multi-hit combos with Thor's almighty hammer, Mjolnir, cracking skulls and sending ugly looking critters across the screen. You also have the option of throwing the weapon to hit hard to reach targets.
In addition, Thor acquires runes throughout the journey that imbue the hero with new abilities, allowing you to pack a more serious punch on the battlefield. Choosing which ones to use, though, is about as deep as the game gets.
That said, it's still provides a good time. Multiple creatures appear at once, begging for a beat down, and the developers display the action across the top and bottom DS screen; you often need to chuck the hammer across both.
Boss fights stand out for precisely this reason, as Thor squares off against foes that consume a hefty chunk of screen real estate. Battles devolve into simple pattern recognition, but are still impressive, nonetheless.
Of course, it also helps that Thor: God of Thunder is one fine looking game that pays homage to old school superhero romps, with detailed characters, attractive hand drawn backgrounds and plenty of little touches, including the god powers that cause lightning to rain down from the heavens.
On the flip side, the one note style of play gets old, and fast. We kept waiting for things to evolve, or for the developers to throw some new wrinkle into the game, but it just doesn't happen. You literally mash Y at least 85 percent of the way.
At the same time, it's still among the best portable movie games we've seen; we realize that's not saying much. Our advice? Accept Thor for what it is, and if you can't justify spending $29.99, wait for the inevitable price drop.
What's Hot: Attractive 16-bit style graphics, action across both screens, humongous bosses, a variety of runes to equip.
What's Not: Supremely repetitive.