Summer is here again. The schools are emptied, bees are buzzing, and movie studios are biding for our hard-earned dollars with new summer blockbusters – and with it the inevitable video game tie-in. Sony has released a new movie from ther newly created animation studio, “Surf’s Up”, about a surfing penguin who has to overcome something and win the heart of someone while learning an important life lesson. Last year Sony released “Open Season” to compete with the other computer-animated children’s movies, which had lackluster success both at the box office and game sales.
Most movie/video game translations don’t do well, in either direction. A video game about a movie (Shrek, Open Season, The Matrix, Spiderman) is usually mediocre at best, and movies based on a video game (think Resident Evil and Doom) are usually horrible. Surf’s Up has a bad legacy to overcome, so let’s take a closer look….
You control one of eight surfers, not all of which are penguins (one of them is a burnt-out rooster, and there is one unlockable character from Open Season… yay). The game starts out with standard fare; there are several racing tiers and you must complete a tier before you move onto the next. You start off with only one race available, and must complete that (which includes a training round) before moving onto the main island.
There are 3 objectives within each race, which are apparently optional. You must achieve a minimum amount of points (obtained by doing tricks), go through a minimum number of gates throughout the track, and optionally rank up another level of points for uber-rewards… and of course finish the race first.