Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: Cloning Clyde

This is supposed to be a gaming website, but there are only three reviews? That doesn't sound right. How many have I written? None? Well, let's solve that problem today. I could choose a new'ish game, or arbitrarily choose some game that I enjoyed...

Cloning Clyde
Xbox 360

Overall Score: 7.9

Quick fix:
++Smooth controls, and easy platforming let you focus on the puzzle aspect of the game
++Many different types of Clydes to transform into, most with unique and fun abilities
+ Switching between clones makes for fun puzzles, and you get to work together with yourself

--Multiplayer mode was thrown together, and isn't worth it
- Not that difficult
- Feels a little repetitive at times
- Destroying security bots is just button mashing


In Cloning Clyde, you are the subject of a scientific experiment gone completely awry. As the name implies, you have been cloned. In fact, you have been cloned a lot. Your goal is to make it out of the lab, and if you're nice, bring as many clones of yourself as possible too. What's stopping you? Evil security machines which are pictured below. In order to escape the lab, and beat the game, you must destroy all of these security machines, and pass through the levels.

The gameplay is a mix of platforming and puzzles. The controls work pretty smoothly, and allow you to move Clyde up and down ladders, to pull switches, and throw rocks to let yourself escape. You can also switch between Clydes and work together to solve the puzzles which let you escape. As for the destruction of the security machines, it's pretty boring; just tap X and you'll use your pathetic looking kung fu skills to destroy the machine while it throws exploding chickens at you.

From that it sounds decent, but nothing special. The clones add an interesting spice to it, but still pretty mild. How could they make it better? Genetic modification. Not only can you clone yourself, but you can combine your DNA with other things. What happens when you cross your DNA with a monkey? There's a picture below.

These genetically modified Clydes allow you to have special abilities. Splice yourself with a chicken, and now you can fly! A frog? Easily swim through water and not drown. A barrel of dynamite??? Repeatedly explode at will.

The combination of multiple Clydes to manuever, and a variety of Clydes to choose from leads to some pretty interesting puzzles. I didn't find any of the puzzles to be super challenging, but definitely fun. The platforming aspect of is not difficult at all, in most cases just a means to maneuver through the puzzles. That's not a problem, it's just not the focus of the game.

A downside is that there aren't that many cases where you utilize more than one type of Clyde per level. It happens some in the later levels, but I wish they would have done it a lot more. While there is a nice variety of levels and mechanics with all of the different Clydes, it still feels a little repetitive at times.

The video above is one of the earlier levels, but demonstrates the gameplay pretty well. Since this is on the 360, it of course has achievements. They're a great motivator to explore every aspect of the game. I'll discuss some of them here:

Killer Kudos: Throughout the game there are Killer Kenn Action Figures scattered about, just tokens for you to pick up, and if you collect all 100 of them you get this one.
Poultry Party, Becoming Baaaad, etc.: Achievements are given for turning into various forms of Clyde. You'll collect these as you go through the game.
Duplicone Dash: Each level has a target time, and if you beat all of the levels' target times, you'll get this one.
Foolish Freedom: As I mentioned earlier, you can let your clones escape the lab as well. If you pass all of the Clydes through the levels, you'll get this one.
Battle Addict: This you get just by playing multiplayer once, which I will discuss next.

I did not like the multiplayer mode at all; it wasn't well explained, and it didn't work unless people knew what they were doing. There are two modes: co-op and versus. You can either work together through the levels, or try and destroy each other's security machines. Honestly, I didn't give it too much of a shot, but the game is also over 2 years old, so there aren't many people to play with either.

As a whole, it's a great single player game, and well worth the $10, er 800 Microsoft points. To sum it up the puzzles are fun, and the idea is great, but it's not hard enough, even in hard mode, and they shouldn't have bothered with a multiplayer mode.

Overall Score: 7.9

Screenshot: MTV Multiplayer
Screenshots: IGN



Richard R. said...

Cool, thanks for writing a review Will! It's especally awesome that you do a review for a Xbox 360 game as I don't own that system.

I do wish I had more time to complete games. College does eat up alot of time. I refuse to write a review for a game however, until I feel that I have beaten the game, or if the game isn't beatable (e.g. Tetris), play until I feel I have explored every area of the game.

I can't justifably give a game a fair review if I haven't played all of it. A perfect example of this is how some of my friends disliked Halo 2 upon reaching the cliffhanger ending. Crappy endings like that will affect the entire review.

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