If you are already familiar with the Phineas & Ferb cartoon then the main premise of the fame will come as no surprise – two boys who are capable of building anything out of anything (sort of miniature versions of MacGyver in a way) with their main goal of getting back home to their own dimension. If you have seen the movie you will have noticed that the characters from the movie are in the game; however, the game is based on an alternate ending. In the movie it end with everyone getting home safely but in this game it starts with them leaving the 2nd dimension and exploring others to get home.
Each dimension (level) is different. It starts with one that looks just like the real world, with a few variations; from there they go to one that involves mostly bouncing on balloons to travel through the air and one where garden gnomes rule (you have to see it to believe it – it’s entertaining since they attack anything not dressed in a gnome suit!!). There are several other dimensions beyond these before the boys get home. In each dimension there is a puzzle of sorts to solve before they can leave to advance to the next one. It is not so much a puzzle as a figuring out how to open paths so they can travel through the dimension successfully. Each dimension also requires a device that has to be built. In order to do this the boys have to look through the entire dimensional level to find the parts; then they have to find the workbench and put the device together (according to the blueprints). Once done, they can active the device which helps them go further. Many of the devices are kept by the boys for future use, including: one that shoots out baseballs (for attacking), an anti-gravity beam (needed to move heavy objects), one that shoots out an unending stream of orange soda (also for an attack).
In every dimension as well, at various times, portals open up from nowhere and out pour streams of robots, which the boys have to battle and defeat (all the while continuing on their quest to finish the dimension. When in a dimension there is usually a pathway to follow. If you try to go off the path to far, the game simply will not allow you to go that way so you are forced to go in the right general direction. Of course, there are times when you have several directions to choose, such as when inside a building, but only one is the right way to go to start with – that you have to find out through trial and error. As you advance in the game as well you will find yourself needing to use the various devices you have picked up and built. The characters as well talk during the game, giving out advice or suggestions as to where to go next or what needs to be done – good suggestions all.
As the game continues you are given options. You start off with the characters of Phineas and Ferb; you eventually pick up the Phineas and Ferb from the 2nd dimension; you also pick up Agent P (Perry) and Agent T (Turtle). At the beginning of each level you get to choose which two characters you wish to work with. Each character has his own set of skills and abilities which may come in handy. And when you are playing one player, whichever character you are controlling the other is handled by the Wii game (when it comes to fighting). You can toggle back and forth to change which of the two characters you are controlling directly. There are large golden coins to pick up which allow you to play two different arcade games (a crane machine and skeetball which gives you tickets), both of which give you the opportunity to pick up upgrade and modifications (mods) for your weapons. Some of the upgrades and mods give your weapons more fire power or quicker recharging times; some just change the effects (for example having the orange soda shooting out in a different color or being able to hear Perry make noises).
I was very impressed with the graphics for this game. They are colorful, the detail is pretty good and the screen moves with you easily as you continue. The angle also changes as you move around. But you need to be careful. There are places in the game where jumping is required and the screen does not always give you a direct view of the jump – depth perception is important! Of course if you fall, nothing happens except your character reappears on the screen and you continue where you were. The sound effect and music are fairly good as well, never seeming to overwhelm you with sound or annoy you with repetition. Phineas & Ferb – Across the 2nd Dimension for Wii retails for $39.96 on Amazon.
The Good: Good graphics and sound effects; easy character recognition (for those familiar with the series); very player friendly – no visually disturbing fighting (if a robot is destroyed it is blown up, if a character is hurt, he either disappears and reappears or waves a white flag for a few seconds until recharged); the game requires some thinking to find the right path and solution to get through each dimension but it is not overwhelming; good for younger children as it is a very gentle game (even with the occasional fighting, it is only with robots).
The Bad: The game is equal parts thinking and fighting so if you prefer one to the other exclusively, this may not be for you.