Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ
I am a simple man, the littlest things amuse me. So when I see a game called “Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ,” for the Nintendo DS, I am going to pick it up because it has an awesome title. All I expect from the game is two things: Zombies, and a way to kill them. The game does not disappoint in this department.
The story is simple. An undead plague has spread through the different lands from fairy tales. So naturally, Little Red Riding Hood along with Momotaro, who is apparently a character from a Japanese fable, must try and stop it. That’s it, nothing complicated, but I really wouldn’t expect complexity from a game that has an undead Santa for a boss.
The gameplay itself is something unique, sort of resembling old shooters like “Galaga”, but with a few added elements. Your character stays on the bottom of the touch screen, and there is a horizontal bar along the bottom of the screen. Pressing left or right will cause your character to move left and right, or you can use the stylus to touch anywhere along that bar to have them quickly move to that spot. Double tapping your character has them duck, which is useful when there are too many projectiles coming at you at once. To shoot, hold the stylus at any point on the touch screen and your character will continually shoot. You never run out of ammo for the basic gun, and double tapping at any point will cause you to throw grenades, which are not unlimited. Stronger guns can be found, like the shotgun and flamethrower, but they are somewhat rare and better off saved for the boss fights.
The game takes you through multiple worlds, fighting famous undead versions of popular fairytales, such as Pinocchio (Apparently the plague affects things that don’t even HAVE flesh), Sleeping Beauty and, as I mentioned, Santa. To get to these fights you will have to battle your way through a good number of generic zombies, but it’s a fun ride, and the creativity of the bosses allows you to overlook this.
Don’t let the anime inspired art style or the goofy name fool you; this game has a level of difficulty not seen since the old console games and arcades. Enemies will constantly bombard you and you will have to do multiple stages and bosses multiple times before beating them. There are no checkpoints either, complete the level or go right back to the start. Your game does get saved between levels, so it’s not impossible, but it will take some practice to get a handle on the mechanics.
Unfortunately, the game’s major flaw is what I consider to be the biggest mistake a developer can make: You can’t beat the game on normal difficulty. You get to the end (no easy task, even on normal), and you get a message telling you to see the end of the game, you need to beat it on the hard difficulty. This is not mentioned when you start the game and select your difficulty in the beginning, and it just leaves you annoyed that the developers were trying to artificially extend the length of the game.
Overall, Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ is a quirky title that is worth picking up. It makes a simple promise of mixing killing zombies and fairytales, and it delivers wonderfully. Just be aware of the difficulty going in, especially if you want to see the end.