Phineas & Ferb is a favourite cartoon of mine, with Doofensmirtz ranking high in the list of incompetent but lovable villains. So to play a game based on Phineas and Ferb with implication from the title that Doofensmirtz would get a lot of attention was a natural decision. What Virtual Toys has created in this Vita exclusive is a fun action platformer, but it isn’t 100% perfect.
The plot of Day Of Doofenshmirtz sees a world in which the scientist’s latest invention brings all the appliances in the city of Danville to life, and they are not happy being controlled by humans. One machine that is given life is Phineas and Ferb’s Carsaurus Moto-Rex, a large T-Rex styled robot that starts to rampage through Danville. This means the brothers have to chase it down together through a number of stages. While they’re preoccupied with that Perry the Platypus is busy pursuing Doofensmirtz.
The three characters each gain access to three weapons through the early levels, with one acting like a standard gun would, while another has ammo with the properties of fire, while the third the attributes of ice and water. These aren’t just style choices as there are areas in the game where a certain gun is requires to progress, or to gain access to an area to collect coins. For example you may need to melt a giant ice cube which has encased a switch. Ammo varies from simple shots, to bombs, and shotgun style blasts, but these variations have to be unlocked.
To do this you need coin to spend in the shop, with most of them littered around levels. But you can also earn coins by playing the first person shooter style arcade game within Day Of Doofensmirtz’s shop, in which ships fly towards you. If they crash into you three times you lose the coins that you spent to unlock the level. It is a nice and fun distraction, but play consistently well for about fifteen minutes and you’ll earn enough coin to purchase most things, be they ammo types or costumes, before even setting foot into the main campaign.
Across the five stages, each of which contain four to five levels, you’ll encounter a lot of variance in the settings that Phineas, Ferb, and Perry must navigate. For example in one stage Phineas and Ferb may have to move boxes to activate doors so they can move forward, while in another Perry pilots a small air vehicle in a side scrolling shoot ’em up. There’s never really a moment where Day of Doofensmirtz feels repetitive, though some levels are more enjoyable to play than others.
Day of Doofensmirtz is a very bright and colourful game, mimicking the looks of the cartoon near perfectly in a 3D setting. From the little streets of Danville, the Mall, and every surprising area afterwards the game just looks so good. Sometimes though parts of the environment will get in the way of the camera, though a silhouette of the character you are controlling will be visible so you’re not completely lost. There were a couple of times where the depth perception felt a bit off as platforms sometimes looked further than they actually were, which led to jumping too far and falling. Thankfully the checkpointing is forgiving.
One of the best things about the Phineas and Ferb cartoon is the voice acting, with the tone and delivery adding to the comedic moments. Unfortunately Day of Doofensmirtz has no voice work whatsoever, even in the opening credits that are the same as the cartoon. It really does detract from the experience since the comic style the game goes for doesn’t quite deliver the humour as well as it could have with voice work. However, the music at least is well done and relatively catchy.
There were a couple of moments where the difficulty did seem to jump, leading to death after death due to the large amount of powerful enemies on screen. The game’s title also feels a bit misleading as Doofensmirtz doesn’t actually have that much of a presence once things get going, apart from appearing in a couple of the comic panels. It’s a shame when he’s a fun character who could have added a lot to the comedy element of the game.
Phineas & Ferb: Day Of Doofensmirtz does have a surprising addition to it that incorporates the Vita’s AR functionality too. Outside of the main campaign you can create a robot in the extras menu and have it perform some moves on the surface of your choice. While the robot isn’t a major part it is nice to see Virtual Toys try to utilise as much of the Vita as possible.
Phineas and Ferb: Day Of Doofenshmirtz is a fun action-platformer for the Vita that never feels stale. Each mission has a unique moment to it, so you’re never quite sure what to expect next. It looks good and colourful and the writing of the story matches the tone of the cartoon. However the lack of voice acting and Doofenshmirtz, despite being billed as a central part, does take away somewhat from the experience, since the humour would be better with vocal delivery. If you are looking for a good game for the Vita though, that doesn’t take too long to complete, then Day Of Doofenshmirtz could be worth your time.