I received this game from my dad for my 14th birthday, back in late December 2007. It was in a 2 in 1 package with another game called Ninjabread Man - with I thought was a bit odd at first sight. However, after tearing off the plastic and trying out the games, I could see exactly why.
I don't know who copied who here, but this game is practically identical to Ninjabread Man in every way possible. I swear, literally the only difference Ninjabread Man has from Anubis II is the fact that has a candyland theme as opposed to an Egyptian theme. So, consider this a two-in-one review for both games.
This game is a port of a very old PS2/PC game, and was obviously cobbled together and released again in 2007 for some quick cash. In fact, the game developers were so stupid that the final (and only) boss of the game is a boring piece of crap, and the name with which identifies himself in the game doesn't even match the name he was given on the back of the game case.
First, I'm going to note that the title of this game is rather misleading. Even though it's "Anubis II", this game is NOT a sequel to any other game, alright? There is NO "Anubis" or "Anubis I". Anyway, moving on.
Story - 2/10
Okay, your Anubis, the Guardian of the Underworld... and that's about it. The game has absolutely no intro, cutscenes or dialog whatsoever. There was a very short plot summary on the back of the game case, but regardless, there's absolutely nothing thats elaborates on it in the game. Yes, the story in Anubis II exists only on the game case. The game's only boss isn't even named right, so it is blatantly obvious that the developers couldn't have cared less about the storyline.
Honestly, the game doesn't seem to have any story whatsoever, just like its brother, Ninjabread Man.
I was very disappointed. Seriously, when I saw the title, I thought this game would at LEAST have a really cool ancient-Egyptian themed plot and story line. I could not have been more wrong.
Graphics - 4/10
Unless you are either stupid or completely ignorant of history, you'll know that this game has an ancient Egyptian theme just by looking at the title. In fact, this was the reason my dad bought the game for me in the first place, because I have a thing for Egyptian stuff.
The scenery itself is nice - pyramids, glyphs, mummy-like monsters, obelisks, etc. The sad thing is, the graphics are crap. Pretty much the only thing that is anywhere near reasonably well-animated is your character, Anubis, but he shows absolutely no expression and still looks ugly. The graphics are cheap, blocky trash like from the days of N64 - and again, this is the exact same case with Ninjabread Man, because someone couldn't be assed to update the graphics to conform to the Wii's far superior capabilities. The environments are hard on the eyes and very barren, which means you're constantly getting lost. The enemies are ugly too, and the motions Anubis and his enemies make look freakish and unnatural.
Music/Sound - 1/10
Not much that can be said here. I usually don't really pay attention to background music, but honestly, it's not that great. There are very few sound effects which basically just get repeated over and over. The music does not fit the intended theme of the game at all, and it gets annoying very very quickly.
Gameplay - 1/10
If everything else wasn't bad enough as it is, the gameplay is what takes the cake. Basically, you just aimlessly wander around the level, collecting all these mini-pyramid things in order to open a telelportor to advance to the next level, while slaughtering "fearsome" enemies with your weapon, such as giant mosquitoes and walking mummy skulls. All of this in itself is shitty enough, but throw in the control issues, the graphics, the camera, and the very high speed and range of Anubis' enemies, and this game becomes nothing more than a test to see how long you can play this game without furiously whipping the Wiimote at your television.
Throughout the practically identically laid out levels, you will encounter absolutely nothing. The levels are bare and empty, with nearly no scenery or hazards besides the occasional river/pool of lava and incredibly frustrating moving/disappearing platforms. The level designs themselves are awful, and as I said with the quality of the graphics, you will often find yourself lost. There is an arrow on the bottom of the screen pointing towards the nearest mini-pyramid, but it will almost always be of no help.
As for the controls, even worse. Jumping is done by thrusting the nunchuck upwards, which believe me is very awkward indeed because often this will result in unintentionally double jumping when you don't want to.
You move Anubis around with the Nunchuk's control stick. Even this aspect of the controls is awful, as Anubis will rarely do anything but run, unless you tilt the control stick a tiny little bit, in which case Anubis may
decide to walk.
Another big thing: Anubis's main weapon is the Sceptre of Ra, which he swings like a sword. It's SUPPOSED to work by swinging the Wiimote... but half the time, this simply doesn't happen. It's very strange, and it was also a big problem with Ninjabread Man. Someone did a very piss poor job of reprogramming the controls when they ported it off More than half the time, it simply won't sense you desperately swinging your Wiimote, which makes killing even a single, simple enemy nearly impossible without losing most, if not all, of your health.
Anubis' other attacks are practically impossible to pull off. The motion to have Anubis throw a bomb is completely broken, which is a massive problem as the final boss can only be defeated by throwing bombs at it. There is also a weird move which has Anubis swinging his sceptre around in the air to trigger events, but the motion for this is often confused for the motion for the cane attack. Finally, Anubis can fire weak blasts of energy from with cane which grow stronger as you defeat enemies by pointing the Wii Remote at the Screen. This attack actually works better than all of the others, so you will be relying on this to beat the game.
If you are lucky enough to finish a level, you will unlock a bonus level and a variety of bonus modes for the completed level. As with everything else in this game, these suck as well. Of the four bonus levels in the game, all have nearly identical layouts just like the main levels, and the exact same goal. The unlockable bonus features for the normal levels include Time Attack mode (which usually doesn't give you anywhere near enough time to complete the level), Artifact Hunt (you have to find artifacts in obscure locations that blend in perfectly with the background, making this mode an awful pain the ass), and Treasure Grab (The most fun mode where you find a bunch of pickups, but the pickup locations are awful).
Replay Value- 1/10
As I've mentioned before, the game's unlockables are horrible, along with everything else, so I cannot see most people playing past the first level.
Overall - 1/10
Pros? It's a cheap game.
Cons? Practically everything.
Basically, this game is just flat out horrible. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of person who just goes around giving 1's to games I hate. This game truly deserves it and there's tons of people out there who agree with me. Practically no effort or money went into it, which really is too bad; this had an outstanding potential to be a great game.
How the developers could fuck up so badly, especially with a port, is beyond my understanding. Perhaps they were to busy snorting rock on the job to give a damn.
I happily returned this game, along with its twin Ninjabread Man, to the Blockbuster up the road from my house a few days later. I was so glad my dad paid less than 20 bucks for both games, because I exchanged them for a copy of Super Paper Mario, which I absolutely adore.
Do not buy this terrible mess of a game, or even bother renting it, unless you want to see what an awful game is truly like. This game was horrible when it was originally released, and now it is even worse. Avoid it like the plague.