There is one thing I have learned from the years I have been reviewing games. That games that are made from movie licenses have a tendency to never do the movie justice. I don’t know what it is but the plague of movie license games has lived on even through the current generation consoles. Now with the recent release of the movie Shark Tale, Activision caught the license and teamed up with developers Edge of Reality to bring us the Shark Tale the video game for the Xbox. So can Shark Tale bite a piece of glory? Read our review to find that out!
For those of you who might be confused about what the movie Shark Tale is, here is a little clarification. Pixar in 2003 released their movie Finding Nemo, now DreamWorks Studios has released the movie Shark Tale, a similar type of movie. In the game Shark Tale you will play the role of Oscar, a very outspoken fish who always thinks he has the answer to get rich fast. Yet he finds out every time that his schemes never seem to pan out. In the game Oscar owes Don Lino (a mob type character) 5,000 clamshells for a loan he took out. Oscar gets the money from his girlfriend Angie but ends up gambling it all away at the sea horse track. So Oscar meets up with Lenny who came to pick up the money from Oscar, but the two end up hitting it off and attempt to get Oscar out of this horrible mess. If you ask me the storyline behind the game is actually a really entertaining one. Although it is not overly original or deep, it’s humorous and entertaining and keeps you wanting to go through the game.
You can see the goal of Shark Tale was to create a game that didn’t work like most games with a movie license, instead a game that combines a whole lot of different game types into one game. Now this type of thing can be quite risky as many types of the gameplay end up being more of a novelty instead of solid gameplay. So can Edge of Reality create a game that combines a bunch of different ideas into one game?
Each level in Shark Tale includes one main objective and two bonus objectives that work as incentives for extra coins for fame in the game, which helps to unlock some nice goodies along the way. You will notice that one of the biggest upsides for Shark Tale is the mere fact that the game does an amazing job of keeping things fresh in the game. There is plenty of variety in the gameplay, which range from Dancing (yes they Dance), to some stealth, to some fighting. Now not everything in the game is great but they all get the job done. Let us talk about a few, shall we?
The fighting portions of the game to me are the most entertaining in my eyes, as you can dodge attacks as well as try to hit your opponent. The gameplay in these scenarios is quite simplistic but quite fun at the same time. You also have some stealth in the game where Oscar will have to hide behind objects to try and stay out of the sight of the bad guys. Although Oscar can’t compete with Solid Snake or Sam Fisher, he does in a fun sort of way. Like I mentioned before there is also some dancing which is basically just a cheap rip-off of Dance Dance Revolution. But what’s nice is they don’t put a whole lot of emphasis on this aspect of the game but instead just flash it at times, trying to vary the game as much as possible.
OK now, here is where we get to the reality check of Shark Tale. So far I may seem to be raving about how diverse the game is, and I will admit at first it really did impress me. Having said that, there are some downsides to this. This includes a pretty short gaming experience. The game will take gamers young and old alike around a day maybe two to complete. Although there are some tricky levels, for the most part the game remains to be quite short.
Overall the game has some great ideas and some interesting different games to play with but when it is all said and done they just don’t amount to as much as they could. In my opinion Shark Tale had some wonderful potential to really be amazing, but instead it ends up being a game that will be enjoyable for the young crowd, but even they may find some parts to a bit on the lame side.
What I think would be the most difficult in a game such as this is trying to create the visuals even close to how impressive the movie looked. With all of the rich effects that the movie had could the game somehow follow suit?
The one thing that really stood out to me about Shark Tale was the amazing job that was done on the visuals of the game. While the character models are really good, the environments are what really impress me. The water effects while playing is something to really be admired. You can see the developers spent quite a bit of time really working on all of the different effects of the game. The environments in the game are heavily detailed and really look like some of the environments from the actual movie.
Overall Shark Tale won’t win any awards for their visuals, but I would give them the thumbs up for making a very solid looking action adventure game.
At first I must admit I was quite impressed with the diversity the game portrayed. But as time went by the more and more I realized that the game just didn’t offer enough to even keep young one interested for the entirety of the game. This is not to say the game is without some entertaining parts because I did enjoy the fighting sequences and even the stealth. It’s just that as time wore on so did the fun of the game, and it ended up being just another movie made into a game.
For those of you who may be thinking about purchasing this game for a son or daughter or brother or sister, or even niece or nephew for this holiday season, I would say that most kids will find the game to be a pretty enjoyable experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.