Both characters won't always be on the same screen
Here at Co-Optimus we applaud any game that contains co-op. However, for a game to be a co-op must buy, the controls and mechanics of co-op itself must work well. Unfortunately, there are several aspects of Spare Parts that feel like the game was a little under tested. Setting up an online co-op game is not as straight forward as it should be; it took me several minutes to work out how to open my game to friends. When you do finally start playing co-op, the game can only concentrate on one player at a time. Player A will be the center of attention as the camera follows their actions; this means that player B can become lost off screen. The issue is similar to the problems seen in Fable 2. The saving grace for Spare Parts is that when the central player dies the emphasis shifts to the other player; back and forth throughout the game. Both gamers take it in turns to have the slightly poorer gaming experience, rather than one player being lumbered throughout.
Other aspects of the game that flounder are not co-op specific. On more than one occasion I managed to find a glitch in the game, such as managing to get into an area that was supposedly locked until later. The level design also feels confused as the vibrant colors and enclosed levels mean you do not always know were to jump. Finally, the combat feels repetitive and I ended up running past as many baddies as possible to avoid fighting them. This combination of slightly confused level design, colorful imagery, glitches and hurtling through levels, gives the game a distinctive Fairytale Fights feel. A comparison I doubt EA Bright Light would have hoped for.
With around 10 hours of gameplay to fully complete the game, Spare Parts is a fun downloadable title that at a cost of 800 MSPs or $9.99 is a good value prospect, especially if you are looking for a lighter game to play with someone who is new to HD gaming. This is a game that could have been like many download only games and remained offline co-op only. EA Bright Light should be praised for going the extra mile to give co-op fans an online experience. There are numerous issues with level design that prevent it from being a must have, but fans of the LEGO games should at least try the trial if they have finished all the games from that series. Though we’ve got some more LEGO games to look forward to this year…
The Co-Op Experience: Two players work together (locally or online) to find secret areas, be rewarded by co-op machines and utilise co-op moves to help you survive in the planet’s hostile environment.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.