The wild west town of Dirt welcomes older boys to experience Rango The Videogame on Nintendo DS. The action-adventure game opens with the loveable hero chameleon Rango saving the town from a drought, and now trying to protect his fellow "Dirtonians" from Bad Bill and his no good ways. To do so, Rango takes on the roles of sheriff, duelist and excavator in order to save the day, and deals with the discovery of mysterious metallic rocks along the way. The game is all about Rango’s quest for these mysterious metallic rocks, and solving the mystery around why people who touch them seem to be disappearing.
At the outset of the game, there's trouble at the Gas Can Saloon. One of the characters, Slim, has found something in the desert, and believes he's been "Radiactified! Infected!" After Slim disappears into thin air, Bad Bill steals the mysterious rock and you need to pursue him into the desert, fighting through bad guys to get to his hideout.
Initially you can fight as either a Sheriff, equipped with a peashooter, or "Out of Character" where Rango plays the part of himself, equipped only with his “fisticuffs.” Along the way players accumulate metal bits, the local currency, and tokens. While you can take metal bits to Mr Furgas at the General Store where you can buy more Tokens, you can also go directly to the Blacksmith to upgrade your fisticuffs damage, run speed, peashooter damage, and health capacity among many other abilities.
Once you complete the first mission of tracking down Bad Bill, reclaiming the mysterious rock and returning it back to town, you'll be qualified to be an Excavator, which gives you access to new areas, and new skills like digging in the ground for treasure where "X" marks the spot. Digging on the spot reveals small sums of metal bits and tokens which can help you to more quickly amass enough to increase your powers.
Some Skill Required
While Rango is rated E for Everyone, this game is well suited for older kids, around seven years or older. The fast-paced action required to defeat enemies and the multi-button functions on the DS require both larger hands to reach all the buttons and the dexterity to perform certain actions. For instance, you’ll need to press and hold the L button on the top of the DS, while using the Control Pad to rotate between the different Rango characters which possess specific skills.
There is some puzzle solving, and kids must have the capacity to figure out the sequencing of certain clues and the dexterity to control the Control Pad on the DS to steer the "Golden Bullet”, a steerable projectile that you maneuver in order to hit certain targets that will move Rango on in the game, or discover objects that are required to complete missions.
Additionally, certain objects can only be destroyed, and specific enemies can only be defeated by transforming Rango into the correct character, be it the Excavator, Sheriff or Duelist.
While the first level is repetitious and offers little more than shooting characters and the thrill of navigating Rango from a birds-eye view, subsequent levels add more challenging characters, clever puzzles and an entertaining storyline that extends the life of the movie. The game will appeal more to boys than girls due to the constant shooting and the desert theme game play, however the versatility of the different Rango characters keeps the game interesting as you help Rango yet again save the day.
ESRB: Everyone (E)
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Content and Licensing: Paramount Digital Entertainment
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts