Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension for the PS3 brings the two quirky brothers along with the rest of the cartoon gang from Disney’s popular Phineas and Ferb show to the world of gaming in a title that was clearly built from the ground up for younger fans of the show. That’s not to say the parents that find the inventive antics of the two brothers amusing won’t like the game, but without going into too much detail right away I can say the difficulty level has been turned down to super low.
You start off by picking either Phineas or his brother Ferb to get the action going. You’re also able to choose from other members of the cartoon cast later on as you unlock them. The actual gameplay revolves around shooting enemies that spawn throughout levels as you try to find the necessary pieces to complete your invention and get to the next challenge. The next challenge is of course the same thing in a new area. It’s nice to see developers making games accessible for children, but this one seems to be easy enough that anyone three and up might be able to manage it. You rarely need to gather more than a few pieces in each level before returning to your blue prints and moving on. The shooting aspect wouldn’t be so bad except that your initial weapon is so powerful that nothing can really stop you.
It might sound like a lot of griping over nothing. It is a game meant for kids after all. However as a parent who actually laughs at and enjoys watching Phineas and Ferb episodes with my kids, I would think Disney would realize some parents would want to give this game a go when the kiddies are done with it. Thankfully the humor and quirkiness of the show translates well into the game and helps offset the lack of challenge. Adults will still laugh at Dr. Doofenshmirtz, but the simple controls leave a lot to be desired. It’s not like games for kids can’t have challenge embedded in them. Look at the extremely profitable and popular LEGO line of games that are targeted at gamers under the age of twelve, but still provide enough difficulty that grown-ups will still pick up and play them right along with their children.
If you actually do watch the cartoon, then you’ll appreciate how this game looks on the TV. The cel-shaded graphics really work well and translate from kid’s show to video game seamlessly. The story does a great job of providing lots of wacky environments that are all done very nicely and deliver enough color and objects to keep the young ones glued to the screen. The camera did cause a few headaches however due to the fixed angle. Because of this, players will occasionally miss some of the action going on or in some cases actually run into stationary objects.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension won’t go down in history as the greatest game ever. That isn’t a result of the few flaws it has, but because that isn’t the goal of the game. It was designed with kids in mind and based on a cartoon and does a great job of knowing what it is; a kid’s game. Those mature gamers that enjoying sitting back and watching the Disney Channel with their kids will find this game equally entertaining, especially the casual gaming moms and dads out there that rarely pick up a controller. Provided you go into Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension expecting a light-hearted title rather than a Killzone shooter, you’ll be pleased. If your tastes lean more towards the hardcore however, leave this one to the kids.