FlingSmash (Wii)

Game Review

FlingSmash Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Bryan Griffin


We really hope people don't judge the Wii RemotePlus based solely on this, because it's really capable of so much more. FlingSmash is a take on the paddle-and-ball genre that has you assuming the role of Zip, a dull yellow dot creature. Your mission is to liberate Suthon Island from a bad guy named Omminus and yes, the entire story uses uninspired puns as proper nouns. It's an attempt at an inside joke that quickly gets tired because of the lacklustre gameplay; asuperior game could get away with such a safe and lazy approach to storytelling because of exciting mechanics or a good gimmick, but when it already seems like no one was paying attention to detail in the development stage, corny and obvious humour just adds insult to injury. You also have to save a bland princess from the generically dangerous situation of falling under a sleeping spell: the number of painful cliches used to present the story is astounding.

As a game that includes Wii RemotePlus you would hope that the controls would be spot on in order to showcase the capabilities of a new and shiny peripheral. Not this time, as they're incredibly inaccurate and disapointing. The idea is that you bat Zip along with the Wii Remote to smash blocks, collect power-ups and progress through the stages. It's supposed to sense the angle that you're swinging the controller to send Zip flying accordingly, but it doesn't. You can also use the A button to stop him in mid-air, but you'll be most of the way through the game before you have to use it.

The random nature of when your swing will connect and the equally random timing of how long before you can hit again ruins everything. The game never feels like it has any weight to it, leaving the player feeling disconnected from the action. Most people will find themselves waggling and swinging in frustration because it has decided to ignore their calm, calculated aiming, and the game even has the audacity to scold you if you swing the Remote too fast. Panicked flailing often becomes necessary when the game is only picking up every other movement and your last opportunity to collect an essential item to pass the level is passing you by.

There are eight worlds to progress through, and most of them try to differ from each other by introducing a unique twist. The first couple are standard island-themed stages that pretty much serve as a tutorial, and after trudging your way through those the game hits an odd bright spot. The third and fourth worlds are brilliant and fun as our little hero is given some weight. In the third world Omminus curses you to become very heavy, which strangely becomes a blessing in disguise as the controls suddenly feel more responsive, letting you feel a connection to Zip for the first time through the simulated gravity. In the fourth world Zip is cursed with becoming very small, causing him to fly faster and bounce farther, also preferable to the standard weightless feeling that plagues the game play.

Some of the most fun to be had here is flying around quickly as mini-Zip, bouncing rapidly: it's fast paced, interesting and a welcome change from the nightmare zone that was the first couple of worlds. Sadly, the remainder of the game after the fourth environment reverts back to the irritating normal gameplay, employing some truly lazy gimmicks. Many of the later levels remove half the playing screen by filling the bottom with water or air currents, and although you won't lose a life if you sink below the halfway point, you simply can't move below it. The result is a claustrophobic and simple playing environment that is much too easy, even in an easy game like this.

One thing FlingSmash does well is keep track of how well you’re doing and reward you for it. You have to collect at least three of the five talismans in each level to pass it, and each time you complete a stage you are ranked based on your point score, which is saved so that you can go back and try for a higher one later. If you achieve at least an A rank in each level of a given world, you can unlock a mini-game that corresponds to a challenge you’ve faced in the storyline. These range from traditional block-breaking exercises to a tennis activity that’s similar to Pong. Most of these can be played with two players, so a friend can enjoy the mediocrity with you. It should be noted that you can actually play the entire game with another person, which makes it just a bit more tantalising to play if you have an extra RemotePlus or MotionPlus laying around. However, the already cramped and easy game play becomes more suffocating, and more frustration is the last thing someone playing FlingSmash needs.

The graphics are simple but not horrible, and would’ve been better if the game kept a faster pace, as most of the time you’ll be moving along at the speed of a scrolling level from Super Mario Bros 3. Once you’re in the swing of things, you realise just how slowly everything is going. Relatively few objects flash, sparkle, explode, twirl, shake or draw very much attention at all, leaving the visual presentation firmly on the dull side.


FlingSmash is a waste of an intriguing game mechanic. There is a glimmer of a good game in there somewhere, but it’s buried beneath lazy design choices and boring characters. You’ll want to keep in mind how short it is and that you can obtain a RemotePlus controller in other ways: your first experience with it shouldn’t be such a disappointing one. Nintendo might want to quietly sweep this one under the rug and just wait until everyone buys The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword before expecting RemotePlus to truly take off.

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User Comments (57)



Cipher said:

I had such high hopes for this as well. Let's hope we see a Wii Remote Plus bundle go on sale with Skyward Sword.



Weskerb said:

Nice review! When I saw Flingsmash had been reviewed on NL I thought 6 or 7, but you didn't shy away from slamming it like it deserves.



Raylax said:

Developer: Artoon

That explains it. Nintendo let those guys do Yoshi's Island DS, which turned out pretty crap (well, it was half-decent, but felt like little more than a ROM hack whilst somehow managing to have weaker graphics than the SNES original), and Yoshi's Universal Gravitation, which was... abysmal. Please dump these guys, Nintendo. They can't make a decent game to save their lives.



Sylverstone said:

I had a feeling of this but I thought of a 5. Thank God there's a Wii Remote Plus bundled in it.



HipsterDashie said:

It's strange, I really don't know what to make of this game. I've no intention of buying it, but I've seen review scores all over the place, ranging from the 8/10s to NL's 3/10.



Token_Girl said:

Well, no thanks for this one. I didn't want a black wiimote anyways. (Hopefully Zelda will be packed with a white one!) I also won't feel bad if this game doesn't sell well now, because it had to compete with Kirby and DK. I'd feel bad if it was a good game for such poor timing.



DiggerandIndy said:

The review looks harsh to me. A 6/10, perhaps? I never played it, so I don't really know yet.



warioswoods said:

I ordered this for considerably cheaper than the black Wii Remote Plus on its own -- so no regrets either way -- but I'll be interested to see if I have the same problems with controls. In the vast majority of cases where reviewers report difficulties with motion controls or the motion plus, I find that it works perfectly for me, so I've become skeptical of complaints.



FonistofCruxis said:

@raylax Yoahi's island ds may not have been as good as it's predcessor but it's still a great game! But, I agree with you on yoshi's universal gravitation. That is proabably the worst game starring a mario character that isn't educational or on the cdi.



Sean_Aaron said:

Well I can't say I had serious issues with this game; the key is gentle movements. I did have the odd case where it didn't do what I wanted, but it wasn't game-breakingly bad.

I'd suggest reading/watching a few reviews before making a final judgement on this game.



EdEN said:

Wow, really? That's a bit harsh. It's a $10 that's way better than Wii Play. You can enjoy it even more if playing with someone else and even a greater deal if playing with someone young.

For me it's a 7/10 sorta game. I even bought an extra copy for my godson since he's getting a Wii on christmas along with a full band kit of Guitar Hero: World Tour and an extra game and controller will help him get along with his sister without having to wrestle the Wiimote from each other's hands.



TheBaconator said:

That's 3 strikes Artoon. You know what that means...
Yoshi's Island DS wasn't a bad game, but they somehow managed to make an already great game, added more features and levels, but came out with a worse product.
Fossil Fighters was a terrible RPG and tried to imitate Pokemon, but failed miserably.
And then this game that isn't even worth paying the extra $10 if you're planning on buying a Wiimote+.



HappyHappy said:

I knew this game was terrible, the only reason this game will sell is because it comes with a Wiimote just like Wii Play.



accc said:

I've never seen a game that's left reviewers and gamers as divided as this one, seems like half the people who played it thinks it's unplayable and controls like crap and the other half seem to think it's a simple but fun game that has good replay value and controls almost perfectly.



Cheezy said:

I bet if you're into arcade style gameplay, you can bump the grade up.



DrCruse said:

I think its a great game. Probably the best game to use motion control effectively (except FPSes)



Lobster said:

Ouch! I was expecting a five or a six!

Oh well, I want a white MotionPlus controller anyway, then I can just order another decal online and it'll match my others (and my Wii).



JimLad said:

Huh, well that's a shame for the WR+
They could have expanded on Wii Sports Resort sword-fighting (online?) and packaged it instead.



Kyloctopus said:

Wait.... $10.00, that's a good deal for a short time waster and a wii remoteplus, I'll buy 2



Zach said:

I'm wondering who's selling this for $10, Amazon is selling it for about $32, knocked down from a list price of $49.99.



Crunc said:

Amazon.com is selling this for $32, cheaper then the Wii Remote Plus alone, so everyone should buy it if they want a Wii Remote Plus or 2 or 3 or 4.



Skotski said:


Actually, he gave it a 7/10:

The review's a tad harsh, but honest.

Thing is though: Several reviews complained about the controls, but the two reviewers I love watching the most (CGR & TheBitBlock) never had real problems with controls.
Which is basically telling me the other reviews are giving it the same "problems with Tenchu's camera"-form of treatment most games are given nowadays.
I myself never had a problem with "finnicky camera control" that most reviewers had, nor have I ever had the "odd controller set up" problem... in that sense, I wouldn't really trust reviews that say "bad controls".

But other than that, this game's made to be a short arcade game. Plays like block-breaker games, simple controls, aim for the high score arcade-style. Doesn't deserve the 3/10.

Oh... and go easy on the Wiimote, you shouldn't be flailing your arms at crazy speeds -- the Wiimote gets confused and constantly needs calibration (we all should've learned that with Wii Sports Resort Swordplay).



triforceofcourage said:

NP gave it a 7.5
but i think this review makes a lot of sense.

@ crunc: i bought my extra wiimotion+ for $25 form gamestop.... who ripped you off?



Caliko said:

Haven't had a single problem with controls. It's a perfect demo for what MotionPlus can do. It's true 1:1 and more developers should take notice. I have no idea why many people can't get the controls right.



WaveGhoul said:

I'm passing. Instead I asked for a White Wii Remote Plus for Christmas. Yet there's not one game I'll be using MotionPlus for.....I never play Wii sports Resort anymore, I could care less about RedSteel 2 or EA's Tennis or Tiger Woods game, so where does that leave me? Waiting for freakin Skyward sword that's what! eh, I guess I'll give Wii Sports Resort a go just to test out how it feels without the MotionPlus attached. But part of me wan'ts to wait for Zelda Skyward Sword instead just to get that 'new' Wii Remote Plus feeling....I'll probably leave it unopened until that very day.

And It's pretty sad that they choice this game to come bundled with the new Wii remote plus....Nintendo would of been smarter to release a Wii Play 2 instead.



argus said:

Amazon has Wii Remote Plus for $38.99 right now, but Flingsmash w/ Wiimote Plus is $32. So by my calculations, this game costs -$6.99 for people who want a Wiimote Plus. It was even cheaper on Black Friday ($29.99)! I'm not sure how that should be figured into the review score, but maybe we should go easy on it, since it's basically a free game. Maybe we should just think of Flingsmash as a "coupon" for WM+, since buying the package with the game will save you money. It's perfect for people who want a second WM+ for Wii Sports Resort or whatever.



TheLonelyGamer said:

I see why this game got a 3/10, it was made by Artoon, and I personally thought Yoshi's Island DS was good, certainly wasn't as amazing as Yoshi's Island SNES though. FlingSmash seems kinda gimmicky including a Wii Remote Plus too.



Wolfenstein83 said:

Such a disappointment.
I was planning on getting a Wii-Motion Plus in anticipation for the new Zelda game next year, now I guess I will just get the remote on it's own.
I was hoping this game wouldn't suck.
It would be cool if the new Zelda game came with the remote too.



dhowerter said:

I would suggest taking this review with a LARGE grain of salt.

For example, here are links to TWO (relatively lengthy) video reviews for the game, who BOTH repeatedly state how accurate the controls are (except for the occassional "hiccup", as one reviewer put it

Review 1 (BitBlock): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTLeDi6ukhs

Review 2 (Classic Game Room):

Overall, FlingSmash sounds like an excellent 2D side-scrolling arcade-style game with a cute / colorful art style and an excellent scoring / powerup system. (and in addition to a number of neat variations on the standard gameplay like heavy zip (gravity) , mini zip,etc.)

SO yeah, try to rent this if you can or just buy it if you need a wii remote since, as a poster stated above, you get the wii remote plus with the game for cheaper than you would if you just bought the wii remote plus by itself

Oh and btw, if anyone has the Wii Remote Plus, is it heavier than the normal Wii Remote WITHOUT the Motion Plus add-on attached?



dhowerter said:

Oh and lay off Artoon, Yoshi's Island DS is an excellent game.

Heck, I just checked Metacritic and the game has an 81 score with quite a number of the critics heaping praise on the game (and giving it 9s or 10s), and some even said it was BETTER than the original.

Hardly sounds like a "flop" or even an "average" game to me. (It's AT LEAST "good"




theblackdragon said:

@dhowerter: this review aside, Yoshi's Island DS was a terrible game IMO. I don't care what the critics had to say about it, it was gimmicky as hell. Also, the gap between the screens was pretty intolerable in terms of attempting to aim eggs properly. I played the ever-loving hell out of the original Yoshi's Island and can still not figure out how people loved the DS game so much. bleh.



B-ry said:

Mmmmm I love salt. I want popcorn.
This was a major disappointment. Such wasted potential!



Sean_Aaron said:

@dhowerter: I cannot feel any difference between the Remote Plus and a regular Remote myself, though the fact that it's black with a black silicone sleeve causes me to feel extra special when using it. I can't say I'm going to replace all my remotes, but I'm giving serious thought to replacing the one I have plugged into Wii Motion Plus with a colourful one.




I bought it for £34 on release day so I'm happy.

I think the review is well written but harsh. You need to play full Grand Slam Tennis style strokes and imagine Zip is being hit by a paddle and then it'll comes to you. It can discend into a waggle fest if your not careful and it isn't a good demo for the wiimoteplus - but its fun, accessible and kirby-esque charming.

It did take me a good 2 hours to get used to playing proper strokes, however and it doesn't have a huge amount of content (as expected)

A mid or HIGH SIX for me.



accc said:

Yoshi's Island DS was indeed an excellent game. One of the best games on the DS, actually. The people who hate it are just blinded by nostalgia for the original.



warioswoods said:

@44 has it right - you can control this game quite well once you begin to think of it as a tennis match, and make big, calculated swings at the right times, rather than constantly flipping around. The presentation is also quite good; I certainly wouldn't give this a 3/10. Somewhere in the range of 7 seems much more appropriate.



California_Jake said:

A 7.5 from Nintendo Power, a 3 from Nintendo Life. Man. Wildly mixed reviews. Looks like a skip for me. Oh well. Did not look very fun anyway.



theblackdragon said:

@accc: those of us who didn't like it aren't 'blinded by nostalgia' so much as we were expecting better if they were going to make a Yoshi's Island game. They had big shoes to fill, and they failed miserably.



WAM2 said:

Whatever. Looked pretty boring to me anyway. Heh, I got Sonic Colors for my birthday; who needs this?



jkgatling said:

a 3/10... is not a fair score, the game is a cheap thing with a wiimote, a 6/10 at least, it controls decent in my opinion,



ToastyYogurt said:

Maybe Nintendo bundled a Wiimote Plus with it because they thought it was weak and they wanted to boost sales?

But if that's the case, why didn't they reject the game? Or Artoon?



Ecto-1 said:

Did you actually play through the entire game? If so, I applaud you. This game was easily the most disappointing game I have picked up this year, although the remote and the Club Nintendo coins redeemed it a bit ... but not much. The game controlled so poorly that I thought that my new remote may have been defective, at least until I tried Wii Sports Resort and had no trouble.



Colors said:

amazon.com isn't selling this for 32.50, thats JUST FOR THE GAME. not the remote.



suburban_sensei said:

Bummer to hear that the game isn't too great. I saw it on sale at Best Buy for $35 (game and remote), and was going to use my $5 reward zone coupon on it, but REALLY glad I checked out the review before rushing down to BB and picking it up.



SKTTR said:

I've just beaten it. I have to say the controls are great and the game is very fun in 2p-co-op. With 40 stages (full of highscore-hunting replay value) and 7 minigames to unlock, pretty good visuals, adorable character screams, and unique gameplay this at least an 8/10 since I got this new for 39.99 with a black WiiMotePlus so the game was free.
Besides my recommendation, I should note that the controls need some time to get used to, and it's muscle training for your arms if you play long sessions.



HawkeyeWii said:

I may be the only one on here that would say this, but I didn't really think it was that bad of a game. Its a little more fun with another person, that saying that you would need another Motionplus too.

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