Back in E3 2006 the Wii’s initial line up was shown. One of Nintendo’s new IPs was Disaster: Day of Crisis. After the E3 showing we didn’t see anything for Disaster for almost two years besides a few screen shots. Then out of nowhere the title had its release date announced only a few weeks before its launch date. Unfortunately Nintendo decided that Disaster Day of Crisis wasn’t worth the marketing push and put it out on store shelves with little to no marketing campaign. While Europe and Japan have gotten a release, Nintendo of America stands still saying Disaster Day of Crisis is currently not in their release schedule. Fortunately for importers even the Japanese version voice acting is entirely in English. So no matter which version you play, you will fully understand the plot. Does Disaster Day of Crisis deliver despite being ignored or is it really a disaster?
You play as Raymond Bryce, a former rescue worker who quit due to an incident where he lost his best friend on the job. One year after leaving the rescue force, Ray is called in by a group of special forces to look into a terrorist group who are currently holding two hostages. Ray finds himself in a fight against terrorists and Mother Nature, fighting for his own life while saving others as well. The story is pretty ridiculous and impossible but its entertaining none the less. One thing that Disaster does well is delivering the story while keeping the game play going. There is plenty of voice work that goes on during the game play, which come through radio broad casts and Ray talking to himself keep the story moving without breaking up the game play.
Disaster Day of Crisis dips its toes into many genres. The main style of game play is a on rail shooter, exploration plays a large part in between those section with minimal platforming, helping injured people have a wide variety of challenges with a very simple Trauma Center style mini game, and more. This makes the game fast paced but at the same time it breaks up the action early on, because the transition between different sections have a moment where it says “Mission Complete!” type text, but in the European version the text was removed, making it look out of place and pointless. Once the sections start becoming longer its less of a problem and isn’t as noticeable, helping the game flow better. The mix of genres will either make or break the game for players, some will enjoy the fast paced multi genre action while others will feel that the game overall lacks depth..
Disaster Day of Crisis graphics are a mixed bag. The NPC models are reused a lot and look blocky and blurry. It’s surprising at times that the game never suffers frame rate issues, collapsing buildings, raging fires, rushing water and many other great looking effects are in almost every portion of the game. There are a few blurry textures here and there but overall the game looks fairly decent for a Wii game Most of the animations look fine but the Jump animation is a bit awkward looking. Disaster has a very cinematic look while playing. These sections limit control but at the same time give you just enough control where you’re not just watching.
Disaster Day of Crisis main theme is top notch, but unfortunately it only appears on the title screen and credits. That being said the in game sound track is good but never reaches the level of the main theme. The voice acting, while cheesy at times, fit the B action movie style plot and works really well. Clever writing breaks up the serious tone and injects some humor into the game which is welcome. Sound effects are well done, making the natural disasters sound convincing. Gun shots sound effects from the Wii Remote could have been improved upon, they sound weak but sound effects for the head shots sound really satisfying.
The mix of multiple genres into one game keeps the game overall feeling fresh. Clocking in at about eight hours Disaster doesn’t over stay its welcome either, rarely do you ever feel that their just trying to artificially lengthen it during the main game. Special costumes and achievements are there for the people who want to 100%. You can also try to get high scores on Missions you have already played or on a shooting range type mini game to unlock different weapons to use like rocket launchers or cross bows.
Overall Disaster Day of Crisis is a good game, mixing many genres together in one action packed package. Its arcade like experience and quick “pick up and play” game play allows it to appeal to many people. Open minded gamers will enjoy it for what it is and casual players who want something that is a bit more mature then Wii Sports could probably enjoy this title as well. If you’re looking for a deep gritty action game on the Wii, Disaster Day of Crisis will not satisfy your needs. Its worth the £15 price point on Amazon. It will run Americans around $40 or more total, depending on the version if you import, which is probably a little too pricey for a eight hour game. (Keep in mind Wii is region locked. You will need to either purchase a Wii matching the region that you’re purchasing the game or use a alternative method.)