Spare Parts Reviews

  • TitleInLargeTitleInLarge283,926
    05 Sep 2011 18 Mar 2014
    11 6 0
    Spare Parts is a platforming arcade game developed by EA Brightlight. When you hear those two iconic letters and that one developtment team name, you have more than a reason to pause. You have a reason to cry and drop all expectations!

    Whilst not as lacklustre and badly executed as many EA games go, this game tries to be artistically unique, play with new character gimmicks and deliver a fresh breath of comic relief. Ultimately it fails to keep up with it's premise as the game goes along, and dips into the cliche and bland repetitive division which is used for a very lazy cash in…

    Lets talk about this game realistically.

    THE PLOT: (2/10) "Mind-numbingly forgettable"
    You play as a pair of robots called Mar-T and Chip who become stranded on a scrapyard planet owned by the Krofax (the enemy alien race which you fight). After a while of exploration they find an abandoned ship with a computer inside it named Con-Rad who offers who help the two escape the planet by finding all of the Ship Parts.

    The two robots set off to go and find these parts whilst fighting through enemies along their way, including some boss fights. During the game progression you will pick up upgrades to power-up your robots being able to unlock new combat attacks and key abilities to open doors.

    During your progression, the game almost completely forgets that its even telling a story. There isn't any depth, anything memorable or anything worth exploring once you go through the levels doing the same tasks which involves beating up enemies, beating up enemies, jump across a platform and beating up enemies.
    The final climax or in fact every climax is a boring disappointment which results in pressing buttons, retracting your steps and repeating the patterns again.

    GAMEPLAY: (3/10) "Bland"
    As the protagonists are two robots, co-op is very much something we all hope for. Luckily what you see is what you get.
    This game does feature Co-op Locally which requires a second controller to work and Xbox Live co-op to play with only players from your friendslist.
    UPDATE: EA have shut down more servers (again!)... This game as of April 13th 2012 no longer has Live co-op... It is now permanently gone...facepalm

    On your way there are several robots allies who are also stranded that need rescuing, which when successfully done will recruit to your team and you can play as that robot (by heading back to the Hull of the ship).

    The first impressions of the game were actually pretty decent considering it looks fun and cute to play. Sadly the further you go, the worse it becomes due to the repetitive tasks you have to do.
    In a nutshell, Collectable finding is your only objective during the entire game... Enemies that are thrown at you seem to add unnecessary play to make the game last longer…

    Coins are dropped from enemies and environmental objects when destroyed which you can spend on purchasing upgrades for your combat moves and "Behind the Scenes" artwork. We all love the nature of collecting and hoarding currency in games, and this game does half a good job of it. Reason I say this is because you will have half of an empty feeling when you spend. Rather then feel like you've achieved something, you're left wondering if what you did was even worth it. Almost like this feature was only window dressing for the game as it didnt really have much content to offer. Concept art, minor upgrades… and thats it.

    Boss fights have a reputation for difficulty which requires strategic tactics. In this game however, the boss fights are treated as platforming levels that do not stand out from each other. You do have to take out the boss at a certain hit-marker but only after crossing over platform to platform. You will notice a pattern going on within this game that doesn't dare to change or take risks.

    VOICE ACTING: (3/10) "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!"
    There is only one voice actor in the game. Simon Pegg, who plays the role for Con-Rad (the ship's computer) that guides you across your adventure. Great right? Unfortunately the cringe-worthy personality of the computer, the computer's pedophiliac face and Simon's limbo voice acting which EA forced him to do just doesn't go well together… To make things unreasonably worse EA added a robotic synthesiser on top of Simon's voice which drowns out his unique persona he delivers when he talks. As he is the only voice spoken in the game, this artificial plastering EA slapped on him ruins the personality of the computer when you see his character's face. Simon should have been his hilarious self like in his comedic films, but hey... EA makes the orders I guess.

    SOUND / MUSIC: (3/10) "Mute it!"
    The in-game music is described with two words, cheesy and annoying. It is purely a montage of songs that must have each been written within 30 minutes during music college. Being the cheapskates EA are, they must have decided to use the group collections as the final OST. If you want to game through with a better experience, put on your own music or mute the game music in the settings. I promise you won't regret it.

    The sound effects are mediocre and slapstick, especially coming from EA which I have to admit is known for very top notch sound design and orchestrated music. What happened?! Whilst it certainly isn't the best sound library, none of the clips pack any force or deliver any kick to your ears. Your controller when mixed with your actions and the sounds comes across as empty aggressive feedback rather than solid delivery that guns and driving can achieve.

    GRAPHICS: (3/10) "Outdated yet… unique"
    The graphics as charming as they can be in this game are otherwise be very flat and pixelated. The resolutions of motion textures and spray textures are very low that it doesn't work with the colourful and high quality textures to compliment the final presentation.

    Burned textures are common after the game loads despite the fact the is supposed to load the texture beforehand. They do clean up after some time but how long it takes is the game's decision as it can take seconds to minutes.

    Some creative technological, natural and mechanical environments stand out with creativity as others are thrown aside with no regard for care. Its as if the lead artist must have had a specific vision upon making the environment designs but at the same time never intended to share any other ideas from the art team who could have helped out. Its a mixed bag of creative art with generic blandness.

    GLITCHES: (5/10) "A few here and there, by they don't go unmissed"
    *The B button doesn't always respond when most needed during gameplay.
    *Commonly, boss fights require you to restart as they seem to take absolutely no damage no matter how many times you hit them.
    *If you play co-op then you need to ensure that you play the whole game with your friend all the way through because if the host of the game continues in single player and gains even one collectable without you, the joining player will have to replay the game up to the point of the missed collectable to get the achievement(s).
    *The game can freeze randomly on Co-op mode.
    *Activating buttons with Magno/Rocket boots don't activate when supposed to (sometimes due to lag).
    *And a visual glitch removing the shading of the environments making them look revolting (Comes at random times)

    ACHIEVEMENTS: (3/10) "Unoriginal in every way"
    All of the achievements are relatively easy to get as they don't come with any imagination or thought. However two of them require you to waste hours on end replaying repetitive gameplay.

    One to be expected in a collectable-based game is to grab all of the collectables. You will not be able to achieve this if you don't have a second player/controller helping you out. Originally there was a glitch that made this impossible to obtain until a patch was released soon after. I highly recommend you don't delete your cache if you intend on going for this.

    FINAL VERDICT: "A very forgettable waste of time"
    Brightlight has a reputation for games full of glitches and poor replay value whilst EA games, well, publishing quickly for a quick buck is the description that comes to mind; they seem to think that getting your money's worth out of a game means replaying the game over and over again to attain all the achievements, or maybe they didn't even consider that thought...

    All I can advise you is this. If you have a kid you want to keep amused for a hour or two, then surely this game would be a "meh" time killer, otherwise if you're a achievement hunter or hardcore gamer expecting a good experience, don't waste you time or money on this... (unless you like the taste of boring torture) There is no replay value to be found here.

    It certainly isn't one of the worst games out there, but this is a poor product that is the price equivalent of some of the best games the Xbox Live marketplace has to offer.