Feeding Frenzy Xbox Live Review

Welcome to the newest addition to the XBLA universe: Feeding Frenzy. It’s such a simple little game, a game where all the action takes place on one screen. You may ask how a simple little game that takes place on one screen could be fun and we would be very quick to tell you it does work but after less than half a day messing about with Feeding Frenzy we will also be very quick to tell you it does not work all of the time.

Something’s A Bit Fishy

PopCap Games have a great track record with their work on XBLA with both Bejeweled 2 and Zuma offering up many hours of fun gameplay for a price that won’t break the bank. All records have got to end sometime and Feeding Frenzy is where PopCap Games completely miss the mark on delivering an XBLA game that is fun to play. The basic premise of Feeding Frenzy is to gobble up fish; you must eat fish that are smaller than you. The more fish you get the bigger you get and the bigger fish you can eat, which give you a higher score. Those last sentences are Feeding Frenzy in a nutshell, not just one section of the game, or one level of the game, that is what the whole game is about. In my opinion even for a game that cost less than £10 that does sound very basic.

Of course you could argue that Geometry Wars is just all about shooting things and you would be right but at least Geometry Wars is challenging and thus comes another disappointment for Feeding Frenzy as it fails to be challenging in any way. From the 40 stages that are shown, none of them, other than the last half dozen, will greatly bother you. There is also no difficulty slider or hard mode option to make the game more challenging which just further aggravates matters. If there comes a point you may think you are going to get eaten then there is always a power-up nearby to help you out. The game seems to want to hold your hand all the way though and not let you fight the odds (or cods [sorry!]) yourself. Even special abilities such as the option to lunge forward or vacuum up thing at the touch of a button or the inclusion of a time attack mode help rise the game out of being anything more than dire.

Presentation

As you can see from the screens dotted around this page, the game looks crisp and colourful with loads of vibrant colours on show, while running on high-definition these colours really do pop out and make the game look beautiful. The distinctiveness of each of the characters on screen also make it easy to see everything on screen and spot even the smallest of fish which means you won’t get eaten by accident (does this make an already easy game even easier though?) The animation of the fish is also well done, it is probably one of the best looking XBLA games with a nice art style that is very distinctive. Then there is the audio which does not live up to the fanfare of the graphics. The sound effects on show are of an ok but very simple quality; as is the music. There is this one guy that shouts “Feeding Frenzy” at you when you fill up a gauge. This guy’s voice is the single most annoying thing I ever heard in my life and he single handing ruins any good points that sound had going for it.

Overall

Once you have played Feeding Frenzy for about ten minutes you will have seen almost everything the game has to offer. By then you will be wondering why you spent those 800 Microsoft Points and wishing to the high heavens you had the memory of a goldfish so you could enjoy the game all over again. Want to play with a fish then go jump in a lake or watch Finding Nemo but whatever you do don’t by this game as it is in no way addictive compelling to play. The complete opposite of what an XBLA title should strive to be.

3.1 out of 10

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