RELEASED: May 2003
AVAILABLE ON: GBA, GCN, MAC, PC, PS2, Xbox
DEVELOPER(S): Traveller's Tales, Vicarious Visions (GBA)
Pixar's fifth full-length feature Finding Nemo is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed animated movies of all time. As a trivia note, it's good to mention that the DVD of the movie is the best-selling home video of all time. What to make of a video game based on Finding Nemo without even trying it? Can it possibly be half decent? I can't imagine. Let's find out.
Easy as clownfish pie
Ever since his flock was attacked and killed by a barracuda, the cowardly clownfish Marlin has become extremely overprotective of his only surviving child, the wild and carefree Nemo. When an Australian deep sea diver manages to capture Nemo, Marlin has no choice but to overcome his fear of the ocean and track his son down, with the help of a kind-hearted tang named Dory, who suffers from short-term memory loss.
Finding Nemo is not quite as visually impressive as I thought it would be, but basically it looks all right. It's a very colourful game with nice, colourful and detailed sprites. There are some nice backgrounds - the aquarium looks awesome - but most of them are quite bland. The Mode 7 "races" are quite messy, but at least the framerate's up to par. The music's actually very good, it's a brand new mix of tunes from the German Shin'en Multimedia studio. Very relaxing, pleasant stuff.
|An ocean of rough pixels.|
The only things for you to collect in the game are star rings. You'll sometimes find these star rings floating around, but the most common way to collect them is to swim through bubble rings. Swimming through ten of them results in one star ring deposited in your bank. These star rings are practically chances for a very easy, 12-card memory game that follows each level. To completely beat the game, you need to conquer each memory challenge. Removing all cards reveals a mosaic related to the previous level, which goes to your gallery. So, in the end, you should have unlocked 12 pictures. If you haven't, just check the ones that are missing, replay the corresponding levels, beat the memory games, and that's it. Nice and easy.
After finishing Finding Nemo and giving it a lot of thought, I just can't be bitter. It has some very crappy and hollow moments, it's incredibly easy, there's not one bit of tension in it - except maybe for two seconds during the shark chase - but there's nothing terribly wrong with it. I'm sure a lot of kids would find it entertaining, even if just that once. Check the game out if you have kids and happen to stumble on it in a mid-price bin.
GRAPHICS : 8.0
SOUND : 8.9
PLAYABILITY : 7.1
LIFESPAN : 4.5
CONCLUSION : 6.5
a.k.a. Disney's Finding Nemo
GameRankings: 68.50% (GBA), 61.84% (GCN), 65.50% (PC), 64.70% (PS2), 63.05% (Xbox)
THQ published two sequels to the Game Boy Advance version. Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2004, and Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue was released on the Nintendo DS in 2006. The two games share a similar storyline.