In the not too distant future an experiment gone wrong spreads waves of rogue nanite machines across the entire surface of planet Earth, leaving absolutely no living creature uninfected. While the nanites normally don’t seem to do much of anything at all, the entire populace now lives in perpetual fear of the fact that at any given moment the nanites inside of them could activate and turn them into rampaging monsters known as EVOs. Providence – a clandestine organization formed to combat EVO incidences – has a secret weapon in the form of Rex, a teenager who can actively control the nanites inside his body to form various mechanical weapons at will.
Turner Broadcasting System’s recent Generator Rex: Enemy Alliance (out now, $0.99), loosely based on the plot of the episode where Rex and Van Kleiss have to work together to stop ZAG-RS, claims to be an action packed Beat’em Up game based on the Generator Rex TV series. The game is definitely a Beat’em Up in that it provides the player with a handful of basic and special attack moves to pummel enemies with, all of which are nicely animated in the art style of the TV series itself, but claiming that this game is also action packed is a bit of a stretch. I am going to get this off my chest right now before I move on to discussing how this game works: I finished the entire game on my first play through, without dying a single time, in about ten minutes.
In this game you control Rex’s movements by sliding your left thumb along the left side of the screen, essentially treating the entire left side of the screen like one big drifting virtual analog joystick. You can also make Rex perform a basic attack with his mechanical axes by tapping on the right side of the screen, and you furthermore make Rex jump by pressing and holding on the right side of the screen as well. This scenario forces you to initiate a running jump about a half second before you actually need to jump, which is really annoying since Rex already only barely jumps the exact distance needed to clear floor based obstacles.
Every time Rex attacks an enemy with a basic attack he recharges his supply of nanites, which can then in turn be used to activate one of three special attacks that have superior range and damage. The first two attacks are performed by either executing a vertical or horizontal swipe on the right hand side of the screen, but the game will often mistake these instead for a generic attack attempt. For the most powerful special attack – which Rex performs with the help of Van Kleiss – you shake the entire device itself, this is particularly sensitive and will often accidentally trigger if you move the unit slightly for any given reason.
As awkward as these controls sound – and they are definitely awkward – you can actually come to terms with them after a little bit of playing, unfortunately that’s also how long it takes you to have utterly completed everything there is to see in the game. The game only has three short sections filled with two different generic enemy types, and one of the enemies is only a slightly bigger – and somewhat differently tinted – version of the first. After a short while of pummeling your way through these mostly unthreatening foes you will eventually come upon the game’s super-computer boss, ZAG-RS, whom then proceeds to telegraph its only attack move with a giant warning window. After winning you will get a single congratulatory victory image of Rex and Van Kleiss standing together before being kicked back to the title screen, having utterly drained the game of its entire entertainment value a mere ten minutes after you first turned it on.
iFanzine Verdict: As a long time gamer I went into this title knowing full well just how bad games based on licensed properties usually end up being, but I never could have prepared myself for the dearth of content contained within Generator Rex: Enemy Alliance. If this had been a demo for a longer game – rather than being the entire game itself – I would have still been intrigued to see where it was going, especially since the attack and walk animations were sort of nice. If this had merely been the tutorial level for a longer game, and it really does come off like one, I would have still been somewhat hopeful for where the rest of the game was going. Generator Rex: Enemy Alliance – however – is none of those things, and there simply isn’t enough to do here to justify the price tag even if you are a fan of the TV series the game is based upon.