Setup & Timing
Xiaolin Showdown's setup is easy to use. Everything in the interface, both in the menu system and the game itself, is self-explanatory and easy to use. Download time is approximately 40 seconds.
Menus & Navigation
Everything is the menu system was easy to tap and options were well-spaced. The one complaint I had about the menu system was the fact that it housed the mini games under "Bonus Games" while this makes sense when compared to the other options, calling it "Mini Games" or adding in a multiplayer option to the main menu would have been a little easier for casual gamers and new gamers to "pick up and go with it" instead of guesses or exploration.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Because of big differences in each mini game, the easiest way to write this section of the review is to split it for the four games...
- Wind Hockey: The control in this game is excellent. The paddles react perfectly to the touch-screen input. The only problem compared to the real thing is that the paddles seemed too heavy (they deadened the movement of the puck a little more than in real life). On the other side of the coin, the simulated air pressure that kept the puck elevated and moving with (vitrtually) no friction works better than in real life (based on my experience).
- Boulder Basho: Despite the extra "o" at the end of the mini game's name, this is a workable Breakout clone with good reaction times on the paddle control. There's virtually no depth, but then again, it is a mini game. The paddle moves right along with the stylus flawlessly.
- Fire Bowling: Fire Bowling, when the player is careful and deliberate with their actions, reacts beautifully. The ball goes exactly where you sent it. Unfortunately, the physics that relate to the pins don't bring down as many via the domino effect as the real-life physics do with real-life pins in the same situation.
- Water Warriors: Water Warriors is easily the wonkiest of the games. It's not terrible, but it artificially increases the difficulty level. Bounces aren't always as easy to predict and, while pulling the warriors back and slinshotting works alright, you never know where either of the warriors will end up, unless your target's inside an open door on the edge or unless you miss them altogether.
Xiaolin Showdown's got a nice look, 3D for the bowling and 2D with 3D elements for the others. The colors are bright and vibrant and the animation is smooth. The graphics are appropriate to both the game and the show. The sound is repetitve, but no bad - the games can be played without it, but it does help create a mood. There are four unique games, but no difficulty settings, etc.
While several of the sites that do full reviews weren't thoroughly thrilled with Xiaolin Showdown's main game (to see some of those sights, check out DSSingleCard.com's Xiaolin Showdown Game Profile. I, however, was very pleasantly surprised with the variety of games offered through single-card download, the quality of those games, and the fact that only one download is needed to make all of them available. Setting the download up as a demo would have been really nice, allowing the guest to play against the CPU and allowing two guests to play demo-vs-demo. Four players would also have been nice. But the content that the programmers chose to include is smooth, fun, and appropriate. I've seen much worse than what's included here. The games are thorough and fun. I don't review the main, single-player experience, but I recommend the Single-Card Download mini games in this compilation. I know I'll be playing them again.
Display a tap-able graphic for all of the games simultaneously (instead of only showing one of them at a time).
Create a similar experience, but set it up as a demo - allowing both guest-vs-CPU and demo-vs-demo (one guest vs another).
Allow for up to four players.
Program in difficulty settings.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 87 / 100 (a.k.a. 43.5/50)
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