Monday, September 22nd, 2003 at 12:51am
Once you start up the game and skip through all the legal credits and logo’s and get to the menu, three stone disks with familiar patterns etched out on them float above an unusual moving landscape, just waiting for you to select one of them. The obvious immediate choice is play, taking you to a short movie telling you about the Bionicle legend and why the Toa are on Mata-Nui. After that, you go directly to the character selection screen. Unlike the game that was planned for PC, you can play whatever character want, you don’t have to earn the other Toa.
Pressing the left and right buttons takes you from one Toa to another, showing you your current selected Toa by having them shuffle around whilst their name floats above their head. Once you’re happy with your selection, your Toa will run up to the center of the temple in the middle of the screen and get transported to their home environment. Takua then gives you your “mission outline”, and from there it’s up to you to save the Matoran, with Takua prompting you whenever there is a new move to be learned, or when he senses a frightened Matoran nearby.
So what is the whole point of the game? You save Matoran, and once you’ve saved enough they help the Turaga make a key to open the lair of the evil character currently threatening that wahi. What’s interesting about this is that all the Matoran you’ll be saving are Nuparu look-alikes. It seems his engineering capabilities are needed to make the keys.
Unfortunately, the game starts at the time of the Bohrok attacks, not at the time of the Toa’s arrival. While the game sticks fairly close to the Bionicle mythology and powers of characters, don’t expect it to be sticking close to the storyline. There are no swarms of Bohrok, only one of each kind of Bohrok to battle. Don’t expect to see any Kal, either. While is says the story is about the Bohrok, it seems more like the Kal saga, except the characters are in their earlier forms (Both Toa and Bohrok).
Hows the gameplay? Well, expect to be getting pretty frustrated at first. Mastering the controls took me a few hours, and then it took even longer to master the different abilities of each Toa. However, after that point the game gets much easier, and all the battles you face seem more like minor obstacles to get around before your next problem-solving activity.
Once you defeat a Bohrok, it drops that Toa’s nuva-symbol, and the area is rendered “completed”-though you can still play it again. From there, it’s onto another Toa, and you do the same thing all over again. Once you complete every one of the characters, you get to play as the Toa Nuva. What is unfortunate about this is that you just look different, your powers are not increased, and you’re playing in the EXACT same place all over again. Except this time, you’re pitted against Rahkshi, you have to save twice as many Matoran, and you have access to more areas than you did as a Toa Olda.
What happens from there? Well, that’s for you to find out yourself. The game is excellent, and very addictive-it’s hard to stop playing once you learn the controls and finish the Toa Olda’s chronicles. While the game is not what I expected, it is still a very impressive game. The graphics are great, the gameplay is great, the only downfall is the fact that it is not exactly true to the Bionicle storyline, and that it is very frustrating in those first few minutes. Overall, I give it a B+, the game is a must-have for any Bionicle fan, new or old.
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