If you know me, then you know I clearly have a thing for nostalgia and old school games/shows. Code Lyoko was one of the shows that would come on as a kid and me and my brother would always watch it, with its super cool 2D and 3D animation, it was great for the time, or so I thought. I was going through a bargain bin and found this Wii Game and thought to myself, ‘Aw no way! I hope its good since its based of video game elements!’
For those that may not remember or know what Code Lyoko is, it is centered around a group of kids that go to an academy and end up getting involved with a virtual world where some monstrous virus named X.A.N.A. (Xanax for short) is trying to take over our world. He sometimes does things that actually interfere with our world, like causing airborne illness or power outages and the kids get ‘virtualized’ into his world where they go take down his Towers of Powers. Whenever the kids are in the human world, they are 2D characters while going to school, but once they go into the virtual world they become 3D models to fight X.A.N.A.
Once you get to meet the cast you see similarities between them and a lot of the stereotypical kids cartoon show groups, like Scooby Doo. Ulrich is the calm and collected leader of the group, Odd is the goofy comic relief character, Jeremy is the hacker wiz-kid, and Yumi is actually the only normal one in the group. Aelita is the final cast member and she is an actual computer program that has the power to shut down the towers in the virtual world.
So upon putting in the disk, you are greeted with the original theme song from the show (GOOD STUFF!). The game picks up on one of the kids regular days going through school, until Jeremy calls and says that the virtual world is in trouble and that they have to come and fix it. One major piece of the show that I might have missed is some story arc about a guy named WIlliam, who was once one of their friends but got taken by X.A.N.A and made to be an antagonist for the series. They reference him through your first few missions to go and take down towers and eventually they run into him and a few monsters. If you happened to not watch the show growing up, there isn’t a lot of back coverage to explain the story so you may need to reference this review or watch some short synopsis. But just know that it is a children’s cartoon and it isn’t too hard to deduct who is who and what is what.
While on the subject of monsters, they are a good half of the challenges in this game. If you watched the show you will remember they were almost all awkwardly constructed, some being big flys, or cubes with legs, or even a rolling tank. Each has so much HP to take down and as you progress there are variations that make it more challenging to fight them so it isn’t too monotonous (plot twist it is still monotonous just harder). The kids all have different ways of fighting, Ulrich uses a sword, Yumi has her fans, Aelita uses energy orbs that she shoots from her hands, and Odd uses wrist arrows (why is he like this they aren’t even rockets, they are arrows, lame as hell). You can pick which character you use to fight the monsters so it ends up becoming your own way, whether you are shooting with Odd and Aelita or doing close combat with Ulrich and Yumi. As you defeat the monsters, you get points that you use to upgrade the character, like make them stronger, or lessen time between shots. The monsters for me were nostalgic, but at the same time I was just thinking ‘who the hell made this crap up?’. Some of the designs can be really weird looking, but it doesn’t affect that it still only takes so many hits or shots to bring them down.
The other half of the challenges are the platforming in between fights. Most of these can be simple run, jump, and make it across platforms, but they actually put some work into making these difficult. As you are playing you will see that you can change character at any time during the levels and that is important because they all have separate abilities that can be used to help overcome certain obstacles, like Odd can Wall Jump, or Aelita can make enemies frozen so you can jump on them. A few of the segments require you to run, jump and gun at the same time, which with the Wiimote cursor, can be hard to manage all at once. The cursor itself isn’t too much of an issue with aiming, the only thing is that it also points your character in that direction. So if you are moving forward, and your cursor is to the left, the character will run facing left, and it can make the platforming feel awkward if the characters movements aren’t matching what you are doing visually.
When you aren’t platforming or fighting the waves of monsters, there isn’t much else to do. It puts you in a visual novel-esque screen where you can scroll across and talk to the other students and teachers that the kids interact within the show. This part that remains pretty true to the show where you interact with characters from the show. Some of the dynamic characters are retained, like the preppy popular girl still tries to hit on Ulrich, or the gym teacher turned method actor are nice to see again. I think the voice actors are all the same, I can’t quite find the list of people for the game, but I went ahead and watched an episode for comparison and if they aren’t the same, they are pretty damn close. Overall for its fitting into the story and its own episodic sequence of the show, I wouldn’t quite say the game could be canon, but like another episode of the show, we can call it ‘pseudo-canon’. Apart from them, you can access a bedroom where you can look at the few collectibles that you can find throughout the levels and keep track of your progress through there. One part that I found was really cool was that there is a gallery you can look at where kids sent in their own drawings of monsters for what I am assuming was a contest to have your name in the game and some girl name Sarah won, so congrats to her!
So going into this game, I had low expectations, and I feel that was a safe thing to have for the Quest for Infinity. It wasn’t particularly a blast and my nostalgia goggles didn’t quite cloud my vision to make it seem better than it was. If it wasn’t just a platformer-shooter with a cartoon associated with it I feel it could have been a better game, or at least freed itself from outer lore to depend on. If it was its own individual game, maybe it would have bode better for it. But I can say I’m glad to have witnessed so that if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. You are welcome.