Review: Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ (DSiWare)

Not your childhood's Little Red Riding Hood!

You might've heard of Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ before; after all, a classic fairytale character blasting zombies to pieces should be almost guaranteed to get your attention. Chances are, however, that you never saw the game in stores — this is because the game never actually saw release in Europe, so the only way to get it would be to import.

Those who waited patiently have now been rewarded as the full, uncut game is now available as a DSiWare download for a measly 800 DSi Points. Nintendo and their A Little Bit of... series should take note!

The premise is simple. Storyland, the place where all fairytale folk live, has somehow turned into a land of the dead. Zombies roam the streets and various storybook characters, like Little Red Riding Hood's granny, the three little pigs, Pinocchio and even Santa Claus, have all turned into demonic versions of themselves. The only characters that are still human are Little Red "Ready to Rock" Riding Hood and Momotaro (Or Momo Taro, as the game spells it), the mythical Japanese boy who was born from a peach. Logically, they join forces to restore Storyland to its former glory.

The gameplay is quite simple: as either Red or Momotaro, you walk upwards through the level, blasting all enemies that come at you. At the bottom of the screen are seven blue squares, which represent the spots you can stand on. You can move between them with the D-pad or A and Y buttons (allowing lefty flip), but you can also touch the squares with your stylus to instantly move to them if you're in a hurry.

By touching and holding a spot on the touch screen other than the squares for about half a second, your character will begin firing in that direction. Your default weapon is a machine gun, which has infinite ammo; however, that doesn't mean reloading is unnecessary, which is done by lifting your stylus. As you progress through the levels, you'll also get the opportunity to break barrels and crates, which reveal additional weapons like a shotgun, laser beam and flamethrower. These all have limited shots, so use them wisely. They can be selected by tapping their icon, which will appear in one of the top corners of the screen.

Finally, you also have a grenade launcher with limited ammo, which can be fired by quickly tapping a target on the touch screen twice. Red and Momotaro also have a few physical moves — should a zombie grab them, you can break free (and instantly kill the zombie) by tapping your character. Tapping your character when free will make them crouch and allow them to dodge certain projectiles.

After every few stages, you'll have to deal with a boss. These offer a bit of a challenge and will require some strategy to beat, as they have an arsenal of different attacks to deal with. Just look for the visual cues and act accordingly!

The game wastes no time in ramping up the difficulty. After just a few stages the amount of zombies will have increased drastically, and there will be other obstacles to deal with as well. Luckily, there's both Normal and Hard difficulties to choose from (as well as an Extreme mode after beating Hard, for the true masochists) so if you're not exactly confident in your zombie-slaying skills, you can start off easy. Beating the game will also unlock further modes, such as a boss attack mode.

The game's music isn't "good" in the sense of being catchy, per se, but it's definitely good for laughs — rock music makes any fairytale hilarious. The graphics weren't too impressive for a retail game, but now, as a DSiWare game, they definitely are. The standard enemies and player characters are 2D, but the main menu, levels and bosses are all 3D. The retail game actually even suffered from some framerate issues, which developer EnjoyUp has managed to remedy for this release.

Conclusion

The retail game was already budget-priced, making it a great deal, but at a mere 800 DSi Points this is an even better one. Some might find that there's not much variety in the gameplay, but when it's this fun, who cares? Europe never got the original retail release, so you should definitely seize this opportunity and snag up this great little game for cheap.