Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom PS3 Review
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Developer: Magenta Software
Genre: Action Adventure Players: 1-4 Age Rating: 7+ Other console/handheld formats: N/A
There’s kids games that are squarely aimed at a young audience, and then there’s kids games that have broader appeal. Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom definitely falls into the former group, being a game that doesn’t really offer much for older players. With all the latter said, I am not suggesting in any way that there’s anything wrong with this at all.
The simple story certainly doesn’t get much more complex than a boy (the brilliantly named Hiro) from the real world entering the Invizimal world through a portal, although it should please the target audience and there’s also a likeable sense of humour.
The game itself isn’t really too much more complex than the storyline. It’s an action adventure game, which allows the young Hiro to transform into various creatures, the titular Invizimals. It’s the first time that the Invizimals series has appeared on a console, with previous games being limited to PSP release. While there’s connectivity through Cross-Play with Invizimals: The Alliance on Vita, which was released at the same time of this very game.
Yes, it’s not very long at all before understanding that there really isn’t much to Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom. The combat is very basic, with simple attacks and combos, a block button and AI that seems unwilling to kill you or even attack you the majority of the time. The combat is also rather slow and unexciting at times, and flashier fighting certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss, as this would have surely better appealed to the young target audience.
The different Invizimals that you unlock throughout the game (you earn their forms by beating them through very easy QTE sequences) allows you to make use of their own special skills. As a few examples, one allows you to grapple and climb walls, another allows you to swim, one can move around heavy objects and so on. Making use of their different skills not only helps you progress through the game, but these skills will also get you to areas which hold various collectibles for you to get hold of.
You can switch to any of the currently unlocked Invizimals at any time through a selection wheel, although if a specific types skills are wanted, you can change to the form with a simple button press, which is handy. You’ll get the use of eight of the Invizimals, which isn’t really that many considering that there’s over 100 of them in other games. There are eight more for you to find on top of the first eight, but these are basically reskinned versions of the ones that came before. I do have to say that the Invizimal designs are rather wonderful.
There’s little to do between fights and exploring, so Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom does feel rather repetitive at times. That’s why the occasional Panzer Dragoon-esque dragon sections as well as the rare boss fights feel refreshing. Yes, the game could have certainly done with more variety, particularly as, at 7+ hours, it’s got quite a long running time.
While Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom isn’t the best looking game on the market, it sure does have attractive art design. The Invizimals themselves are nicely detailed, and the colourful visuals make for a pleasant looking game.
The game also has a multiplayer battle mode for up to four players. This is an enjoyable mode that can be played locally, online as well as through Cross-Play with Vita, and it can also be played in single player, which is always a good way to level your Invizimal up before you confront another player. The multiplayer is all very simple, but offers plenty of amusement.
Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom isn’t the best kids game on the market, but it’s still enjoyable enough for what it is. Yes, the combat could be flashier and the single player portion of the game could offer more variation, but there are much worse examples out there and, with that said, it’s a decent stab at branching the series out in a new direction.