For Wii, A Pleasant Pirate Adventure
Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure for the Nintendo Wii is a sweet adventure game with something to offer for young and old players. Capcom masterfully blends treasure hunting with the motion sensitive controllers with excellent results, and you absolutely need to experience it.
Zack is a pirate who works for a crew called the Sea Rabbits. He's off on a whirlwind adventure with his helpful assistant, a golden flying monkey named Wiki. Along the way, a renegade group called the Rose Rock pirates launch an ambush, forcing them to eject from their aircraft. They land on a nearby island and discover a magical skull in a treasure chest, belonging to the legendary pirate Barbaros. He strikes a deal with the pair – help him find his precious skeletal parts and he'll reward them with a wish. With Captain Rose and her fellow pirates in pursuit, the adventure begins.
The game solely uses the Wii remote. Zack moves from point to point by clicking on where you want him to go. Throughout the adventure, he gains access to numerous items, like a Centisaw (an insect turned into a cutting tool) and a bell (Wiki's main transformation).
You'll use the remote a number of different ways. One stage has you holding it straight up like an umbrella handle, pressing a button to activate it. Another has you cradling it like a newborn kitten, swaying back and forth. Quest For Barbaros' Treasure literally has dozens of these configurations, keeping the game fresh and lively throughout each stage. It's like Wario Ware's functions mapped into a platformer.
One word of caution, though – the game leans heavily on trial-and-error. If Zack makes a mistake, he dies in a comical fashion (think Wile E. Coyote) and returns to try again. Tips are available at any time, but Capcom wisely implemented a fee system. You want a way out of a certain situation? No problem – but it'll cost you some money.
Barbaros' Treasure's lasts several hours. Even after beating the game, however, there's plenty to do. A fun little co-op mode has you working alongside three friends as they point their remotes at the screen to lend you a hand. In addition, the game has lots of hidden treasures that are easy to see but hard to acquire.
As far as presentation goes, this Treasure looks excellent. The visuals employ cell-shading effects, sharp animation and diverse, beautiful levels that are a joy to behold. The game moves at a mostly solid sixty frames per second, only skipping on occasion if too much happens on-screen. In comparison, the audio sounds great. The effects are good and the music truthful to the heroic adventure theme. However, the voicework needs more work. Wiki's high-pitched whining will irritate the heck out of you.
If anything stops Quest For Barbaros' Treasure from being a perfect 10, it's the lack of personality. Zack and Wiki are likable enough but they lack that certain spark that other Capcom heroes possess. Little moments of humor shrine through, like Zack's penchant of eating candy bars even during the most tense of situations. Past that, though, they could've use a little something extra.
Even with a lack of identity, Zack and Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure is a must-own. Its wildly original gameplay and terrific presentation makes this a treasure worth discovering.