Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm Review

August 11, 2009 at 1:44 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Tv’s cutest, deadliest critters make it to the Xbox Live Arcade…

‘Happy Tree Friends’. Say it out loud to yourself. Happy. Tree. Friends. Cute, isn’t it? Awwww. Then you look at the characters, cute little cuddly munch kins that you just want to hug and squeeze.

Not in a million years would you think from a name like that, that the writers behind this cartoon would take you hugging and squeezing these characters, but hugging them so hard there head explodes, and possibly some guts flow out. Throw an eyeball and a limb in there for good measure eh?

For those of you unaware of the truth behind Happy Tree Friends, let me explain. HTF is usually a bunch of comic shorts of the cute and cuddly characters all meeting gruesome, somewhat imaginative and just down right nasty deaths. You’ll start the show with 5. And finish with enough body parts to make barely even the one.

Although, with the general idea of watching the show to see your favorites get killed, in False Alarm, our goal is quite the opposite.

Each of the 10 different levels are split into 3 sections each which you must complete to progress. Whilst the first expectations is that you control the little critters to their safety your actually in for more of a ‘Sims’ style of play where the group will set off on their journey and you using your four abilities to keep them safe from the environment that awaits them.

Your 4 abilities are assigned each to of your main buttons, which are Fire; this can be used to scare your friends in order to speed them up on their travels, or to melt ice. Freeze/Ice; can be used to freeze certain items as well as your HTF’s to slow them down or bring them to a complete halt. Nitro; used to destroy hazardous items and to safely un-freeze your friends and finally your typical action/interact button, to open doors, flip switches and levers.

Now, all those things you can use to help, you’ll still find yourself getting your lil guys in trouble. Fire, electrocution, being crushed, stabbed, impaled, even radiation to gamma are your enemies here. If you manage to make your friends over to safety you’ll be awarded for your time finishing the level, and how much health your little guys have left. Depending on this you’ll be awarded with a bronze, silver or gold medal for your troubles.

So, with time being an important factor in the game, you’d like for the A.I. to be very well handled, and not mess you about a bit. Though I found on quite a few occasions some of my guys would get stuck on simple things, like doorways, or just run in the wrong direction. Causing you to lose points for time, and often points for their health. As getting them unstuck often means you setting them ablaze to get them moving. Not helpful if your after those gold medals.

The game looks very clean and keeps true with the cartoon and animation of the series allowing them to put most of the effort in the characters and moving objects. However if this games being played on a standard definition television the visuals can be very blurred and small for an arcade game, this doesn’t heavily effect your game play as such but doesn’t always do your eyes any good. Got a HD TV? In that case, you’re good to go!

If listening to the sound of cuddly creatures being maimed and burnt is your kind of thing then this game is definitely your best friend. If your easily irritable than this game is not. We all know and love the theme tune to Happy Tree Friends, but I ask you NOT to leave the main menu screen on for too long. The song will drive you…insane. Not that I can down play it for that of course.

The game being only a single player relies much on how much enjoyment you get from the game. Although the game has 10 levels divided into 3 bits each, these levels last from a minute to 3. So although the game has a lot to it, fear of repetitiveness may lead you to leaving the game for periods of time. If not however, there’s the second half of an episode to unlock (upon starting the story mode your given one half of an episode, completing the game will unlock the other half), there’s 12 achievements, ready for you to try to collect, varying from getting gold medals to having killed 200 friends with fire.

Although not a long game with a lot of depth, Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm is a fun game with a lot of those ‘No…slow down….no…don’t walk into that!!! Eewww’ moments. Which will keep you laughing, or squirming, whatever your mental health. There’s a lot of potential with a gaming series of HTF, lets just hope we can control them next time round.

Rating: 6.5

Published by: SEGA
Developed by: Stainless Games
Release Date: Unreleased (UK)
Genre: Puzzle Action
No. Of Players: 1

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