LifeisXbox’s DreamWorks Spirit Lucky’s Big Adventure review | I can’t recall the last movie to video game adaptation. This is something that was popular a few years ago but slowly vanished beside the odd few. On most occasions, there was a big dip in quality for these kinds of games. Likely because of strict deadlines and budget. This repeats itself with DreamWorks Spirit Lucky’s Big Adventure as the galloping Spirit regularly struggles to keep up with the pace. Important to know while you are reading this review, Spirit’s new game is aimed towards kids so we take that into consideration. Outright Games, not a stranger for parents as they published Ben 10, DreamWorks Dragons, Scrat’s Nutty Adventure, Trollhunters, and Gigantosaurus has a respectful thing going on that their games are always decent purchases for younger gamers. This time they disappoint and there is nothing harder than seeing a disappointed kid, especially one who loves the Spirit franchise. So be warned, horses aren’t always a guarantee for a lovely time.
Before I forget. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, an animation movie that came out in 2002 is one of my childhood favorites! I still have to watch Spirit Untamed, which will definitely happen! It is currently not doing so well with mixed critic reviews and low movie theater attendance… but with Covid that might not be a surprise. Anyway, this game is based on the new spin-off movie but there is no requirement to see the movie before playing this game.
We played DreamWorks Spirit Lucky’s Big Adventure for three hours on Xbox Series X. The game is also available on pc, Playstation and Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- Soundtrack | Catchy tunes and what the missions lack can be found in the soundtrack, creativity! When you enter the town of Miradero you’re invited to an incredible Western-themed song. I absolutely loved it and prolonged my stay so the song finished. Regularly you’ll hear banjos in the music tracks, giving the game that Western edge. That’s the only positive thing I can say about the sound, as dialogues have good voice acting but the script is smaller than a horse tick. For a licensed game, I was expecting a more fleshed-out story…
- Decent visuals but many glitches and pop-up | Colorful environments and decently detailed character models, including the horses, give a lot of charm and warmth. The semi-open world has a lot of variation and is surely wonderful to explore for younger kids. You can’t help but immediately notice the low drawing distance though. Grass, objects, and shadows constantly appear out of nowhere. When you just watched the insane drawing distance from Forza Horizon 5 or played Assassin’s Creed Valhalla you really start to wonder how that’s even possible with this game. As I said, it looks decent but on the scale of Xbox One expectations. Even bushes or taller grass near you regularly vanishes and reappears. One thing I loved was the emotional manga-like cutscenes while talking to friends or your dad. For example, a confused avatar when Lucky’s dad lost his tools or an angry avatar when a friend had to do some chores. It might be a bit disappointing to have a lack of cinematics but this cheaper solution ain’t that bad either.
- Horse riding mechanics | If you recently played Biomutant and mounted one of the cute creatures then you’ll know exactly how controlling Spirit works. Minor a few differences, one of them is the super annoying meter that shows how tired Spirit is. You have the option to make Spirit gallop but this has limited use. When the fatigue meter is empty you’ll need to hug Spirit so he is instantly full of energy again. I know this makes little sense but depending on how dirty Spirit is the less you can use the sprint option. Once in a while, you’ll need to brush him at the stable to give him his full sprinting capacity back. I did have a decently fun time riding Spirit and I can imagine that little girls (or boys) will love it but the limited use in galloping gets frustrating fast.
What we disliked
- Performance issues | Whenever you hear ‘yehaaaaw, let’s go, Spirit’ you’ll start to gallop faster and it regularly happens that the game becomes a slideshow. Even while slowly walking around as Lucky the game struggles with the frame rate. Even with the audience in mind, I’m sure this will be an annoyance for them. Even worse, in the short time it takes to finish this game Spirit got stuck in the environment; not even rarely. Ghosting half through the floor, getting stuck inside a tree or rock happened pretty often. A quick fast-travel fixes this but kids will hardly understand why Spirit doesn’t want to come or isn’t moving as expected.
- Where is the content? | It is easily possible to finish DreamWorks Spirit Lucky’s Big Adventure in one hour and a half. In that short amount of time, you only feel like your doing other people’s chores. I ain’t lying here, there’s even an Achievement called CHORES, CHORES AND CHORES. There is no creative idea in this game, everything is about collecting things and bringing them back. A toolbox, a hammer, blue ribbons. It’s constantly the same boring goal of getting from point a to b. With only very few missions that are a little different, like chasing someone. I completely understand that the idea behind this game was to give the opportunity to ride Spirit but come on… it is all about the horse riding mechanics but I’m sure it could have been with more creative and fun missions.
- Meaningless side-quests and empty world | For a game that focuses so much on horse riding there is a serious lack of meaningful content. Nothing encourages the player to explore the world, you have a handful of new outfits that are hidden in plain sight but that’s it. The town called Miradero is still under some kind of Covid-lockdown or they fear horses as all townspeople are completely absent. Wildlife like butterflies, deers, and other horses can be found in the world but don’t make up for an overall empty explorable world. NPCs (six of them) hand out additional meaningless fetch quests with ZERO rewards, absolutely nothing… not even Achievements. Another funny thing is that your father and Lucky’s friends can clone themselves as they can be spotted in different locations at the same time, maybe that’s the reason for the empty Miradero? Townpeople fear the dark magic from the quest NPCs!
How long to beat the story | 2 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 2 hours
Similar with | Horse Riding Tales and My Little Riding Champion
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