‘G-Force’ by Disney the guinea pig of 3-D games

To parents and kids, “G-Force” is merely a poorly reviewed 3-D movie where sassy guinea pigs toil as U.S.-trained soldiers, battling against waffle irons and ordinary appliances that have come to evil life.

To me, “G-Force” is a mildly fun video game based on that movie — and the game’s technology is a step in a bold direction for the video game world at large.

That’s because “G-Force” comes with 3-D glasses so you can play the game either in flat 2-D or broader 3-D. It’s. About. Time.

Real 3-D is something games never offer, but should. Why can’t I play “Call of Duty” in 3-D, seeing bullets whiz at my face from enemy soldiers. How cool would that be?

In fact, I hereby challenge third-party game companies around the world to take 3-D to the next level: To invent and sell a peripheral that translates any video game into a holographic chess board hovering over your living room floor. Sound crazy? It ain’t.

It should be relatively easy to create a holographic device compatible with games, because games already are drawn and programmed so that characters and settings (battlefields, houses, etc.) are rendered internally as 360-degree models inside your Xbox 360 and PS 3.

The big obstacle might be retail cost, since such a device would require expensive visual display points to work. But the way the business world spins, a holographic add-on would be expensive at first, then cheaper as supplies became produced in bulk.

OK, so there’s my soapbox. On with the game: It’s better than expected, but I’m not sure there’s much replay value in it.

In “G-Force,” you play as a guinea pig who has weapons strapped all over his little body. You use a laser gun to shoot things; a laser whip to whip things (it’s like a rubbery light saber); and a jetpack to reach vents.

You need these weapons because the world has come alive with evil anthropomorphic appliances. A blender sprouts legs and tries to blend you to death. Alarm clocks hover in the air and fire electricity, as if they were in “War of the Worlds.” Paper shredders — stay away from them.

Sometimes, the anthropomorphic villains don’t make sense. You’ll find yourself as the guinea pig crawling through an air conditioning vent, where a waffle iron is waiting to bite at you. What’s a waffle iron doing hanging out in a vent?

But “G-Force” creates a surprisingly creative array of weapons, villains and puzzles. I say “surprising” because movie games usually stink, and this movie in question is a product of, ohhh, Jerry Bruckheimer.

The only problems: Place settings are stale (you travel through metallic government offices); you can wrap this game up in a moderate number of hours; the 3-D images look blurry sometimes; and like I said, I’m not sure how much replay you’re getting for your dollar.

However, it’s a fine little game, which is itself a guinea pig to see how 3-D can fly us into a future where much more is possible.

(“G-Force” by Disney retails for $50 for Wii, PS 3 and Xbox 360; $30 for PS 2, PSP and DS — Plays mildly fun, more so in 3-D. Looks good. Moderately challenging. Rated “E 10+” for fantasy violence. Three stars out of four.)

Contact Doug Elfman at 383-0391 or e-mail him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He also blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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