Tron: Evolution Battle Grids
This Wii tie-in for the upcoming Tron: Legacy doesn’t even try to pull off the spectacle of the 360 and PS3 games, much less the excitement of the film. Instead, it strings together a handful of minigames based on competitions within the Tron universe with the weakest of plots. This wouldn’t be the worst decision if these events were a lot of fun to play, but with most of them being entirely forgettable, the game settles on mediocrity.
Whether you’re competing in the story mode to become the Game Grids Champion or playing in a tournament with a couple of friends, Battle Grids’ biggest problem is that its minigames are a mixed bag. Events like hyperball, where you try to dissolve your opponent’s platform by ricocheting balls at each other’s feet, control well and offer genuine excitement within their structured gameplay. Alongside the passable events, however, is garbage like the iconic light cycle races. These events are plagued by broken steering mechanics (you hold the controller sideways and tilt it to turn), and I exploded so frequently that I wanted to drive into my own light trail just to make the misery end.
Each event has multiple variations that change gameplay in fun ways, and you can set up your own custom tournaments. Choosing your lineup of events helps you avoid the worst minigames, and playing with friends alleviates some of the frustration of playing against the computer.
The Wii isn’t known as a graphical powerhouse, but even in a room full of ugly ducklings, Battle Grids has reason to feel self-conscious. The character models sport a cartoony style reminiscent of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but the fuzzy visuals and minimal detail take away from the charm. I know the game is supposed to take place inside Tron’s cyber world, but some of the digital environments are so basic that I thought I was playing an N64 game.
Battle Grids may not be able to compete with the Wii’s more robust minigame collections, but if for some reason you can’t get enough Tron, this family-friendly title is a better choice than the 360/PS3 adaptation.