Winx Club: Join the Club Review

There is a certain degree of masochism to this job, but the moment Winx arrived on my desk, I knew I was in for something bad. "To Bri, <3 Me" was written on the cellophane with permanent ink. "Me" would be my editor, Brendon. He likes to give me these gifts from time to time, but this is the first time he’s ever outright taunted me with it. Whatever the copy written on the back of the box indicated, I knew this game wasn’t going to be very good. Having played the game thoroughly now, I can honestly say that Winx wasn’t just bad — Winx is the first game to actually offend me.

I’ll get some of the technical details out of the way first. Winx is basically unplayable. Every single aspect of the game says "rush job," in bold, 36 point font. I popped the game in and navigated to the icon in my PSP menu, and didn’t get any of the standard music and animation most games offer. That’s fine with me, I’ve always found that annoying, but then, upon actually booting the game, I didn’t even get a splash screen. Instead, I got thrown right into one of the worst loading screens I’ve ever experienced, and I played Dark Messiah on the PC with only 512MB of RAM. I ended up waiting a solid minute and ten seconds just to get to the INTRO VIDEO. I don’t get it. Is n-Space taunting me!?

I got to the menu right after that, but I went through another loading sequence — this time for about 40 seconds — just to get to the map screen. We’re talking a static image here… This is basically a jpeg and some background music, and it takes a full 40 seconds to load. I selected the first location, Red Fountain, and waited over a full minute and fifteen seconds more just to get to an area where I could select a mission to do. Needless to say, all the missions have their own incredibly long load times as well. God forbid you EVER go to the wrong map location or mission, because you’ll be enduring almost 5 minutes of loading time just to get back to what you wanted. This game is a minefield of long, boring loading screens just waiting to get you. I rapidly learned to hate the girls from the Winx Club, staring at me with their gigantic, dead eyes, smiling at me mockingly as I endured load screen after load screen just to get to some actual gameplay.

The substance of the game is a series of mini-games where you do stupid things like rearrange items on somebody’s desk, try to spot the differences between a character you just saw and a series of doppelgangers, and a ton of missions where you either run from or at things and try to dodge obstacles, but, SPOILER ALERT: no matter which mission you end up doing you’re going to hate it. The game engine slows down with nothing on-screen, the game mechanics are shoddy and unperfected, and the things you end up doing are just plain dumb. The first mission I endured featured me as the Winx Club member Layla, sneaking into a boy’s room to see if he likes my friend, getting accosted by an evil witch, and having to rearrange the items on his tables as she blew them off with her magic, over and over again. What kind of fool would put up with that?!

And this brings me to the point where the game becomes an outright offense. ALL of your missions are just about some boy. They might as well have named Winx Club the Little Whore Training Kit. I’ve never encountered a game so patronizing to women in my life. Besides looking exactly like hookers, the girls in the Winx Club have almost no capabilities of their own. Half of the missions are you fleeing things so you can get to the safety of the male members of the academy. The weirdest part is that, even though the girls are the main characters, they are still almost completely at the mercy of the men. The only semi-capable women in the game, the witches, are petty and evil. That’s a pretty good set of values to teach your little girls.

Winx Club relegates women to this strange underclass whose only value is based on beauty. I’m just surprised there aren’t any missions where you have to practice cooking. Unfortunately, cleaning IS in there. The worst part is that you can’t buy birth control with the money you make from completing minigames. I mean, why be irresponsible when we’re already training our little girls to be sex objects totally devoid of personality?

So there’s Winx in a nutshell. A bad game based on a ridiculously patronizing cartoon that will probably sell pretty well because of all the Wal-Mart shoppers picking up the sparkly, pink, fairy covered box for their little girls.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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