WiiWare Review: Stop Stress: A Day of Fury

About as misleading name as Final Fantasy…

Jack’s dreams have become a nightmare, and only you can help him to get out. Climb into the skin of the most stressed-out man in the world, grab the baseball bat and prepare to let off more steam than ever before. Destroy everything around you, beat a path through traffic or at the office, and face off against incredible hallucinations. How far will a day of fury take you?

The object of Stop Stress is to simply smash objects and enemies that come into your view. The game is in first-person, but it’s hardly L4D. It can be quite fun to smash everything in your apartment, but the controls are just undeniably awful and inaccurate. For example, you get a baseball bat early on and it seems to randomly decide which direction it swings…which can cause problems when you really want to hit it in the direction you want.

The biggest complaint with the controls has to be simply walking around. You use the d-pad to move which doesn’t exactly work very well with a game that has a first person view when you are waggling the Wiimote. It just doesn’t feel right and worst of all, becomes more frustrating as you play it. I guess that Stop Stress can get away with the trade descriptions act due to the subtitle of “A Day of Fury” but only gamers playing this will be suffering their own day of fury.

On a positive note, the comic-book style cutscenes between levels are well done and I’d like to see more games done in this style. But really, that’s probably the only redeeming thing about the entire game…the rest is a complete mess. There’s no one moment where I can say that I really enjoyed doing something, smashing is satisfying but only briefly…after a while, you’ll get sick of the controls and just the way the game is presented. The idea of having to smash things to relieve stress is perfect for a game, but Abylight just didn’t find the right balance between the concept and decent gameplay. Visually, the game is also very weak and hardly pushes the Wii hardware. Audio is also forgettable and at times, annoying.

The Verdict

You would expect a game called Stop Stress to be quite calm and relaxing…instead it’s incredibly stressful and frustrating. The idea is a good one, but it’s poorly executed with naff controls and ugly visuals.