The Polar Express

Overview

Movie to game conversions - the plague that has lived on since the beginning of video games. For some reason developers just can’t grasp the concept of making a movie into a successful game. It has happened, but the majority of games that go from movie to game are for the most part pretty poor. So is Polar Express a follower of the trend or do the developers break the curse? Read our review to find out.

Gameplay

You know the movie Polar Express has a few things working for it (aka: Tom Hanks), and some things working against like it’s a little too early for a Christmas movie. Although I have not seen the movie, I have heard pretty mixed feelings about it, with some saying good and others were saying bad. With that being said which way will the game go?

Creating a game in which will be approved by a young person is not that hard. When you create a video game that kids will enjoy is just making a simple yet enjoyable experience. In Polar Express you will be playing through an adventure style game, where you have a pretty basic set of moves, which include run, jump, duck, and action. The controls of the game start the list of problems, which is a long one. The controls in the game seem so loose and so off that I think most kids will get too annoyed by them. You can see right when you star the game that this is one title that needed a lot more developmental time.

The one feature in which the developers did a solid job on was making everything very diverse in the game. Throughout the game they put you in plenty of different mini-games in which can be somewhat enjoyable. There is plenty of different styles of games to play all in which we have seen done in other games. What’s nice about this is you won’t have to play the same sort of game over and over again, which gives you plenty of variety.

So, sure you have a good assortment of mini-games, but then again you also have one of the shortest video games ever to hit the PS2. The first time through this game will take the normal gamer 2-3 hours, and someone who really tries at it, an hour and a half tops. This is to say the least a pathetic effort. I don’t care who this game is made for, if I am going to be purchasing a video game I want more then an hour or two worth of gameplay. Even a child could finish this game in a few hours, it’s just way too easy and way too short.

Overall it’s just quite sad to look at this game, which was to say the least poorly developed. There are not a whole lot of positive things to say about this game, except for the variety of mini games. But even that is not enough to help this game as it just one of the year’s most disappointing games.

Graphics

If only I had a hundred dollars for every time I have said putting a movie into a game and making it look good is not done very often, I’d be a millionaire now. With that being said this is another game that proves this point.

Polar Express is a game that has a lot of elements, raging from the average, bad, and really bad. The visuals of the game really need a huge facelift because they are struggling. Everything in the game is lacking any sort of color or detail. It’s like the whole world of Polar Express in which is supposed to be a happy environment, is made into a very dull boring environment. For only a few hours of gameplay you would really come to expect more out of the game, but even the character models are sketchy. There is just nothing these games visuals that could help the games cause, especially with the somewhat annoying camera problems that occur as well.

Fun Factor

For a game that only offers a few hours of gameplay, there are not many times where the game has a whole lot to offer. There are a few mini games in particular that did provide a small amount of fun. But for the most part the few hours of gameplay in which the game offers, didn’t provide a whole lot of entertainment. Even though the game was made for kids, I can’t imagine why kids would even joy this. This is one of those games that not only looks rushed, but plays rushed too.

Overall

Polar Express may be a decent movie, but the game just does not cut it. It has so many flaws, combined with the short span of the game, makes for one that would be near impossible to recommend. Unless you’re dying to get your kids the latest Polar Express game, this one can just stay on the store shelves.

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.