Emergency Mayhem Review

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Graphics: 3.0
Sound : 3.0
Gameplay : 4.0
Multiplayer : 3.0
Overall : 3.5
Review by Chris Matel
Well, it’s no Mario Party…

If you haven’t figured it out by now, Nintendo’s Wii is the de facto home to casual games—some good, okay but a majority being oh-so horrible—as well as the aptly dubbed, shovelware. In this case, Supersonic’s Emergency Mayhem falls into the latter category as it helplessly struggles for the former. There’s not much to explain about Emergency Mayhem; the game is just a shallow, arcade-style driver.

Consider Emergency Mayhem the Bizarro to Grand Theft Auto: it’s smaller, simpler, lacking in depth and gameplay, and delivers no consequences for your actions. In an effort to emulate the popular SEGA title, Crazy Taxi, this arcade-driver combines A-to-B racing against a clock, and emergency-themed mini-games.

Crisis? In Crisis City? No way…

The premise is straight forward and simple: You play as one of three different emergency response departments (police, fire unit or medical) called in to calm four areas of the precariously dubbed Crisis City. As you guessed it, Crisis City is in mayhem with sick people on the streets, criminals on the loose and fires bursting from buildings. Along for the ride is your dispatcher who gives you updates on what is going on, and how you are performing. Each department has their own specific emergencies to deal with that boil down to one of four different crises (timed delivery, delivery, delicate delivery or special missions), which upon completion, add time to the ticking counter in the upper-left corner of the screen.

Although the game controls exceptionally well, both in driving and Wii-mote integration (waggling, pointing and shaking), controller mechanics alone don’t make for a good game. Ultimately, the game is geared towards a younger audience, but the repetition of ho-hum mini-games is insulting to any age group. Within five minutes of playing the first section of the game, you come to realize that each mission is the same, and pops up over and over again. Things don’t get any better, however, as you move on to the next areas of the city since the same exact missions populate each of the four areas; and don’t bother playing the Crisis City mode, as it’s the same experience, just with all four areas opened up to make one big, repetitive open world.

It’s apparent the game tries to capture the same fun and charm of the Crazy Taxi games, but it falls short in nearly every way. Driving the streets of Crisis City is mundane, as, although there is crazy mayhem going on everywhere, there’s nothing to do other than pick up bonuses or capture certain kinds of pedestrians by running over them—yes: running, them, over.

Who needs streets, when sidewalks are so much easier to drive…

What’s funny is how “violent” open-world games receive a lot scrutiny for showing bodies flying and a little bit of blood after people get hit by cars; at least you’re sanctioned in those games for your actions. In Emergency Mayhem, however, you’re able to run into cars and people, and all you get is a scolding from your dispatcher; there’s no negative reinforcement for using the sidewalk as a highway.

Unfortunately, things get worse when you hear from your dispatcher. It’s evident not much thought or care was taken in recording the dialogue for the game, as, just like the mission structure, the dispatcher will bark the same comments over and over again. In staying in the vein of critiquing the child-friendly nature of the game, make sure your kids don’t fail at missions. Instead of a simple, “You Failed. Try Again?” expect the job-hating dispatcher to rip into the player with harsh, ego-busting comments. For a kid-friendly game, Emergency Mayhem can be unfriendly to whoever is playing.

There are also multiplayer games to play, but they’re ripped straight from the single-player experience, with fewer options to play than any other decent mini-game filled title out there.

Parents, it’s the perfect bargaining chip…

It’s true, there are good Wii titles out there which are casual-player friendly, comprised solely of mini-games. However, Emergency Mayhem fails at filling such a category. Spot-on driving and control mechanics aren’t enough to offset absurdly-repetitive missions and generally-boring gameplay. Overly-harsh and repetitive dialogue further detract from the experience, along with a clichéd, whimsical soundtrack. Similarly disappointing are the bland, lifeless graphics and models, which are juxtaposed with the great amount of color.

All is not lost however, as, parents, the game is a perfect tool to buy for your kids—to threaten them with if they fail to do their chores.

Hell yeah:
+ Solid arcade driving controls
+ Colorful
+ Multiplayer…

Oh, hell no:

- Everything else