By Emily Balistrieri 05/23/2007 "Righteous!" A penguin does a backflip in midair, spins 360 degrees and lands smoothly back on a slab of ice. It sounds like a weird YouTube video, or maybe a Coke commercial, so it isn't all that surprising that this will be happening on pretty much every console you can think of (including GBA) when Surf's Up, the video game, releases next week ahead of the animated summer flick.
Racing on surfboards around circuit tracks seems improbable, but somehow it's plausible in the cartoon game world. Here penguins and a rather stereotypical (dare we say stoned?) "surfer" chicken take to the waves on ice, corn, or any old surfboard-like object to compete in Reggie Belafonte's Big Z Memorial Surf-Off.
Despite the nearly surfboard-like shape of the Wii Remote, the Wii version's controls rely on the Nunchuck's analog stick for steering, with tricks mapped to buttons on the remote. Shaking the remote gets you a speed boost provided your energy bar is full.
SCREENS: Click the image above to check out all Surf's Up screens.
In the DS version, controls are similarly straightforward, with tricks completed by thumbing big touch screen buttons on your way off the ramp. Rather than starting the race with a secretly timed speed boost, players have to button tap to paddle up to speed. The amount of time this takes is one of the differences between characters.
While the home console and PC versions of the game seem to focus on collecting items or smashing environmental barriers for points, the DS game is a little more combat oriented, with Mario Kart-style "Launch Tools" such as Electric Eel Torpedoes to zap the guy in front of you and Worm Goo Grenades to splatter your opponent's screen with green slime.
Other tracks, new characters, and movie footage blurbs unlock as you go, so here's hoping each version of the game will provide a decent diversion for young fans of the movie.