The New Game Called Drawn to Life The Next Chapter info:
The Next Chapter has some stuff going for it. It's telling a detailed story, it's pretty, the creation aspect is cool, and there is a lot to do. Sadly, those parts don't come together in the end. The pacing is off thanks to conversations that go on and on, the cool creation stuff isn't used enough, the platforming is a bit boring, and the new transformations come in too late to make them feel valuable.
Drawn to Life isn't broken, but its ho-hum parts meant that it was incredibly rare for me to say I was having fun with a given part of the title.....
Two years ago, Drawn to Life hit the Nintendo DS and brought with it a whole lot of potential. The game was pretty, but the bigger deal was that it allowed you to draw the main components of the platformer so that your hero and his world were uniquely your own. That said, there were still issues -- less than ideal controls, not nearly enough customization, and so on.
Sadly, Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter adds a couple things to the formula and fixes the camera, but complaints remain and suck the fun out of this quirky title.
We catch up with the Raposa race after the events of the first game. Mari's the mayor, the world is a bright and cheery watercolor, and everyone's as happy as a clam. But soon a little girl goes missing, a dark portal opens up, and Wilfre arrives to begin sucking all of the color out of the world. The townspeople flee, and we're on a world-spanning journey to restore the vibrant imagery of this realm and stop a madmanIn this mixed-up world where the townspeople find refuge on a city on the back of a massive turtle, you'll play as the Creator. A god to these bunny/cat-like creatures, you'll create a hero to send their way. This will be character you directly control in the overworld map and use to platform through the levels needed to save the day, but you're also going to have to create birds, ships, moving platforms, surfboards and more.
When it comes time to whip one of these things up, your touch screen will be a simple white background with some guide boxes on it -- blocks for head, torso, arms and legs for the hero; the body of a gun and the type of bullet; etc. You draw whatever you want in these areas, and the game inserts them as platforms, launchers, and wherever else they need to be inserted.
Let's make one thing clear here: this is an awesome idea. Creating my hero -- Zod -- and making him look like Bizarro Superman was some of the most fun I had in this game. When they asked me to make a weapon - there's a pistol, sword, and mace-like deal to unlock and make with the coins you collect this time around -- I promptly made a green lightsaber. Stationary platforms were the Weezer symbol, my surfboard was a pink shark, and later-level gears were insults about IGN's Media Mike. Creating your own world is an awesome, engaging feature.
The trouble is that it's not nearly used enough.
I made all of these inside jokes, and they only get used every once in a while. I used that pink shark once in the beginning of the game, and then he was gone. The Weezer platforms disappeared for a long time before popping up in the later levels. It got to the point where I felt like I was taking longer to design stuff than I was actually seeing the creations on the screen. That's not really motivating me to keep trying my best every time the stylus icon pops up. Another problem is that these creations just don't look that good. Yes, creating really detailed and intricate stuff with the stylus is tough, but I'm talking more about how the color palettes don't even match here. Drawn to Life features this lovely watercolor theme for everything that's from the developers, but then all of my stuff are these blocks of primary color. Seems like both sides of the equation could have been tweaked to make for a more engrossing experience.
Still, that's not even close to the biggest problem when it comes to wrapping you up in this experience. These creation moments are cool, but they're buried beyond dozens and dozens of "Press A to Continue" conversations that explain this story to death. Not only did I not find the tale interesting (He's stealing the color; I got it), but every world you go to starts with the same boring, take-forever-explanation of people getting kidnapped, you arriving, and you needing to go fix everything. I get it. Let me play.