The retail box for FusionFall will tell consumers that it is the first MMOG based on Cartoon Network characters. IÂm here to tell you that it is nothing short of a stroke of genius in the realm of family entertainment. The game is only slightly better than the average MMOG, but the pricing model and packaging are terrific. As a result, the game is sure to be a huge hit in 2009.
Players must help Dexter rebuild his time machine to return home.
Warning: Time Travel May Result in Killer Jetlag
The story of FusionFall centers on your character being propelled too far into the future via a combination of one of DexterÂs mad scientist-like devices and Dee DeeÂs penchant for mischief (see DexterÂs Laboratory or ask your local six year old for more information). The future is a world covered in Âgross, green, goopÂ to quote Numbuh Five (Codename: Kids Next Door). It seems the nefarious Fuse (every world needs a megalomaniac, right?) is placing goo generators throughout the world in an attempt to turn everything, wellÂ slimy. The plotÂs not going to win any awards, but do we really need any more of an excuse to hang out with the gang from Cartoon Network?
In addition to appearances by the crew of DexterÂs Laboratory and Codename: Kids Next Door, players will encounter personalities from several of Cartoon NetworkÂs finest programs:
- Ben 10: Alien Force
- Courage the Cowardly Dog
- Ed, Edd, and Eddy
- FosterÂs Home for Imaginary Friends
- Megas XLR
- Samurai Jack
- The Grimm Adventures of Billy & Mandy
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
- The Powerpuff Girls
Along the way, youÂll work to counter the sinister deeds of Fuse and try to collect the pieces to DexterÂs time machine so you can get back home (after saving the future world of course). If the characters mentioned or cartoon-themed games donÂt get you excited, FusionFall will appeal to you about as much as serving on jury duty. Meanwhile, families and Cartoon Network aficionados will think FusionFall is the greatest thing to happen since somebody got the idea to run a 24-hour cartoon station.
Mission Impossible (to Fail)
Action in FusionFall is episodic. The game, which you play in your browser after installation of a plug-in, downloads the zone you are about to enter next as you complete the missions in the zone you are already in. The gradual download allows players to enjoy the action without ever experiencing much of a delay (at least on broadband connections). Early missions get players accustomed to the controls, which work very well. Characters move forward and back with the W and S keys, respectively, while the mouse turns your point of view. Even though I hate Âmouse lookÂ controls, FusionFall executes perfectly.
The action starts immediately with you helping Ben 10 and Numbuh Five (non-player characters) fight off some creepy crawlies before getting your first solo mission from Numbuh Two, who challenges you to kill Oil Ogre. The battle is designed to make sure you know how to fight before sending you after bigger prey. YouÂll get the hang of aiming and firing your weapon here.
A subsequent beginner mission involves helping Buttercup find Dexter. Doing so nets the player his first nano power, which is a toggle skill to summon Buttercup. You instantly see how useful that is when a scripted event pits you against a winged terror as you head for your transport. Summoning nano Buttercup and using her power stuns the monster long enough for you to escape.
Continue to page two to find out about safety features and pricing for FussionFall.