Disaster: Day of Crisis
|Disaster: Day of Crisis|
European box art
Disaster: Day of Crisis (ディザスター デイ オブ クライシス Dizasutā Dei obu Kuraishisu?) is a video game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. It is an action-adventure survival game, where the player must survive through various natural disasters, all the while also battling terrorists and rescuing civilians. According to Nintendo, the game features “cutting-edge physics and gripping visuals” to re-create the sheer terror of major catastrophes.
Similar in style to Disaster Report, the game revolves around Raymond Bryce, a former US Marine and International Rescue Team member. When Ray and his partner Steve Hewitt were performing a routine rescue mission near the dormant volcano, Mt. Aguilas, tragedy struck when the volcano unexpectedly erupted. During their escape, Steve's life was lost as he fell into the magma below, having let himself go from Ray's grasp as he knew only one of them would be able to escape to safety. During the eruption, Steve passed on an antique compass to Ray, and made him promise to give it to his sister Lisa, just in case Steve didn't make it.
Now a year later, Ray has still not forgiven himself for Steve's death and lacks the courage to confront Lisa over the incident. Having quit the Rescue Team and now living the quiet life of a public servant, Ray is summoned to meet with special agent Olson of the Blue Ridge City FBI division. Olson reveals that a former military organization named SURGE has stolen several nuclear weapons and has kidnapped seismologist Dr. Davis and his assistant, Lisa Hewitt. SURGE has made demands upon the US government and are threatening to detonate the nukes if the White House does not comply within 24 hours. Hesitant at first, Ray then decides to join the mission on the account of Lisa's involvement, and vows to save her since he was not able to save Steve. While Olson only recruited Ray to be a liaison between the FBI and Blue Ridge City officials, Ray finds himself taking on all of SURGE single-handedly, during a day of complete and utter natural chaos.
In Disaster, players control Ray from a third-person point of view, with the player taking on jumping puzzles and navigating hazards that can hurt or kill Ray. Disaster also features rail shooter segments that use the pointer function of the Wii Remote to target enemies, as well as a number of Quick Time Events and minigames based around the motion controls of the Remote and Nunchuk. For example, during the game the player will perform actions such as pressing buttons in rhythm to perform CPR, moving heavy objects and running from flood waters and lava flows by quickly moving the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and driving a car by holding the Wii Remote on its side and tilting it left or right. During the shooting sequences the player will be able to duck and take cover, and take more accurate shots by using a limited but renewable ability to concentrate.
Players will also have to keep an eye on meters for Ray's stamina, heart and lungs, which can be depleted by strenuous activity and exposure to smoke and poisonous fumes, and replenished by eating food or taking in deep breaths of clean air respectively. Rescuing survivors involves bringing them to safety or completing a first aid minigame before their own stamina meter depletes and they die. During the game players will be able to improve Ray's skills including his strength, accuracy with firearms and mental concentration by collecting "Survival Points" earned by rescuing civilians, while "Battle Points" earned from killing SURGE members can be used to purchase and upgrade Ray's weapons and equipment.
The game covers 23 stages, which can be replayed for a higher score. The game also includes a shooting range, "stamina challenges", unlockable weapons and costumes and a more difficult "Real Disaster Mode".
Although initially there was little information about the game after its debut E3 2006 announcement, an interview with then-Nintendo of America marketing director Beth Llewelyn during E3 2007 revealed that Disaster was still in development.
The April 2008 issue of the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu later revealed the release date for Japan was to be July 3, 2008, but on May 17, 2008 Monolith announced that the release date for Disaster had been "postponed indefinitely" to “increase the quality of the finished product”. However, on August 13, 2008, the website of the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification listed the game with an M rating, suggesting it was nearing completion. Nintendo also stated that the game was "still in development" on August 19, 2008.
The game's North American release was cancelled due to poor sales outside the country.
Disaster: Day of Crisis received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. Famitsu gave Disaster a score of 34 out of 40. Official Nintendo Magazine praised the presentation and the mix of gameplay styles; though they felt the enemy AI was "woeful", the game was described as "a really enjoyable arcade-style experience." Siliconera likened it to "a vapid, but fun to watch summer action movie". IGN claimed Disaster delivers fun in "huge, preposterous spades", and believed the mix of genres and gameplay mechanics to be "relentlessly unpredictable and gloriously compulsive". However, they also found problems with the game's pacing, increasingly repetitive combat and adventuring, and unbalanced driving sections, and felt that some players will be put off by the number of "abstract game mechanics wrestled into a single plot-driven narrative". Cubed³ called Disaster "completely mesmerising", despite an inconsistent visual quality and difficulty level, praising the intentionally cheesy dialogue, high level of interactivity and "rousing" soundtrack. N-Europe said that while the game can be "great fun" and "brilliantly atmospheric", it is held back by poor graphics and lacklustre physics, especially in the driving segments.
In contrast, GameSpot called the game "unfocused and scatterbrained", with "lackluster" graphics and sound. Eurogamer also found fault with the unfocused and confusing mix of genres and had control issues with the driving and adventuring sections, though they called the shooter segments "lots of fun" and the plot entertaining and "unwittingly hilarious beyond belief".
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