Piraka Attack Review!
Friday, April 7th, 2006 at 1:33am by Robert, BZPower Reporter
This is a review of the brand-new game on BIONICLE.com, Piraka Attack The game is currently available to anyone who has the ability to go online, and requires flash to play it.
The premise of this game is simple (if somewhat unexpected) The bloodthirsty Piraka have at last enslaved all of Voya Nui with their Zamor Spheres. But something went wrong! The last batch of Zamor Spheres was incorrect and now the Matoran are rebelling—but more than that, they have unheard of strength! You must play as one of the six ruthless Piraka and bring the island back under your control.
The graphics are really quite impressive for an online game. With the Piraka, Zamor, and Matoran all being easy to identify on the screen (Including the subtle differences in spine and faces on the Piraka) While the backgrounds are incredibly detailed and lush, the ice levels being done up in a palette of blues that looks quite realistic (and even including the occasional falling snowflake), the air levels being made to look like a lush jungle with falling leaves and nice green grass, the stone levels being very muted and brown, with a variety of holes placed around the area, the water levels being nice and tropical with only small pockets of sand (the rest being what seems to be shallow water), the fire levels being done up in incredibly vibrant reds and oranges, with fire and lava glowing through on the walls and floors, and finally the earth levels being done in a darker hue with cracks of bright green emanating from the ground.
Two notes of interest here are the repeated images of the Matoran masks before the beginning of each level (As well as the Voya Nui symbol) and the fact that the Piraka, when left to their own devices, can be seen to breathe briefly.
The gameplay is simplistic in concept, however, the higher you get in the levels, it becomes increasingly difficult. Essentially you must pilot your Piraka through each stage (Using the keyboard arrow keys) and re-Zamor all of the rebelling Matoran (via the left click on the mouse button) luckily this is a simple control system, because the closer you get to the end the more difficult it is!
However there’s more to it than this, each Piraka has their own respective strengths and weaknesses. Hakann for example is average in Speed, Intelligence, Agility, and Strength, whereas Zaktan is high in Intelligence, low in Strength, and average for both Agility and Speed. Each Piraka offers different pros and cons for the player in their quest to defeat the Matoran uprising.
I myself greatly enjoyed this style of gameplay as it was simple enough to grasp, which allowed me to ease myself right into the action and start enslaving the matoran once again!
Powerups and Enemies
I’m including this subsection to point out just how much thought went into the gameplay of this incredibly impressive game. There are six separate powerups which aid you in your quest, and six different enemies (run by essentially three AI)
The powerups are as listed:
Each doing essentially what they say. However the real fun comes from the enemy AI they’ve included. As I mentioned above there are only three separate AI powering six different enemies. For simplicities sake I will title them the Velika, the Kazi, and the Piruk
The first enemy encountered is Velika (obviously powered by the Velika AI) They are the most numerous enemy in the game and run on a very simple system of moving directly towards you, they can be dispatched in a single shot. The second enemy you encounter is Kazi (once again, obviously powered by the Kazi AI) they’re not very common throughout the game, with each level having at most 5 of them, and they move in a non-predetermined pattern launching bolts of energy at you, these will take two shots. Next is Piruk (I’m not even going to bother saying it) who becomes fairly prevalent throughout the game, this AI runs on a simple system of moving in a random pattern and hoping it crashes into you. Be careful however, as it moves very rapidly, once again they can be dealt with in two shots. The next enemy is Balta (powered by the Velika AI) Though stronger and faster (taking two shots) they follow the Velika AI and merely move towards you as quickly as they can. These will once again be a common occurrence throughout, they can be slowed down by obstacles if you move correctly. Next is Garan (powered by the Kazi AI) once again they will move around and attempt to hit you with bolts. However their bolts grow larger the longer they travel, be wary, these are slightly less common than Kazi. Finally there is the Dalu (once again powered by the Kazi AI) these are the least common enemy in the game (thankfully!) they move in the pattern accustomed to the Kazi AI, however they launch those bolts non-stop, LOOK OUT
In addition to this, however, there’s also the two-player mode. Selecting one stage from each level it allows two players to compete to see who can gain the most Matoran slaves, a very nice addition to the game, unexpected, but appreciated.
Interestingly enough, LEGO has offered some incentive for replaying Piraka Attack. Aside from the absolute fun (and occasional frustration) of taking command of one of the Piraka, there’s also the ability to earn awards. Some can be earned the first time through, others however will take some time. For example, the Island master and Courage award (beat the game losing only 3 lives and play 30 times, respectively) There’s also the fact that quite likely most of us made it through the game with only one or two of our favourite Piraka—but all six are offered!
There are various awards offered in the game, each offering its own special features. I will not be revealing what these features are (Where’s the fun in that?) but I will list the awards and what must be done.
Ice: Complete Level 5
Air: Complete level 10
Rock: Complete level 15
Water: Complete level 20
Lava: Complete level 25
Earth: Complete the game
Each of these is fairly obvious, and anyone who beats the game will gain every one of them. However LEGO went above and beyond and included some other special ones, just for those who want a challenge.
Island Novice: Complete level 5 without losing a life
Island Master: Complete the game losing only 3 lives
Courage: Play more than 30 games
Slave Driver: Get more than 100 Matoran slaves (This was likely a holdover from the beta version, which included a Matoran count. It still works here, however)
Challenger: Play a 2 player game
Secret: (I’m not going to ruin the surprise!)
Obviously with all these awards to be collected, it shows that LEGO put their all into this game and made it fun for everyone. Now I just gotta get that Island Master.
Sadly, this is the one place where LEGO has fallen down. Though it’s a nice tribal beat it gets incredibly annoying incredibly quick. The lack of any other tracks becomes grating, and personally I just prefer turning off the sound and listening to my own music.
However that does not mean that it’s all bad. Each action in the game has its own separate sound effect. From the Piraka’s growls, to the Zamor launch, to the high-pitched whine of the Speed upgrade, everything in this game has its own unique sound.
Definitely a plus.
Overall, if you’re not playing this, you should be. Now. Everything about this game is awesome (aside from a minor niggle about the music) but the absolute depth of this game is just amazing, honestly you’ve got to play it to appreciate it, so do so. Pronto.
Now to enslave Voya Nui once more!
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