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Tomena Sanner (Wii) artwork

Tomena Sanner (Wii) review


"Tomena Sanner is fun for a short while, but once the joke wears off it'll feel like a hollow waste of time. Plainly put: it's big on style, short on substance. "



This is a story of love and loss. It begins with spending some Wii Points and ends with a broken heart.

I once fell in love with a game called Tomena Sanner. Odd title, right? It's not something that rolls off the tongue. I couldn't help but admire its slick moves, its goofy atmosphere, its horrifically Japanese camp, or the hilarity that ensued every time I hit the A button. It just looked and played so beautifully.

Our love affair ignited when I realized Tomena Sanner wasn't like all of the other side-scrollers. It only made use of one button: A. It told a the tale of a hurrying business man running through various bits of scenery to reach a goal. Impeding him was every damn thing known to man: pandas, school girls, dinosaurs, gangbangers... It's like education and pop culture both got very drunk and barfed on a platformer. Using this grand skill called “timing”, I had to hit the A button at the right time and leap over the obstacles. Oh, but that wasn't the addictive part. Hit the button at juuuuussssst the right time and our little business man will do something funny. He could dance with a line of school girls, kick someone in the groin, flip a triceratops over, or, and this happens most of the time, he'll do a smooth dodge and run right past the impediment.

It was tricky trying to boogie past giant reptiles and robot superheroes while abiding a time limit. I failed my timing quite often and stumbled back more times than I could count. Thankfully, causing hilarity added time to my timer.

And if you thought this affair was nothing but loveless running, there were loads of times to collect just to make the running feel more worthwhile.

Can any of you see what was wrong with this perfect relationship?

I played Tomena Sanner one night, gawking at the screen in lustful awe, and realized that all I was doing was gawking at the screen and arbitrarily hitting the A button. I wasn't playing anything. There was very little interaction or challenge. I was simply hitting the A button while staring at animated weirdness. Upon realizing this I felt a sharp stab deep in my chest. Something happened that day. The world I once knew turned a few shades grayer and all I could think about was eating ice cream and watching depressing French movies. I knew what this feeling was: heartbreak.

I felt betrayed. How could Tomena Sanner lead me to believe it was a quirky game when really it was just an interactive movie sans a plot? Watching the action that ensues is funny for about an hour. Once you've been there and done that, it becomes like someone telling you the punchline to a joke repeatedly in the hopes that you will laugh just as hard as you did the first time.

Sorry, I need something more in a game, something meaty. Bit.Trip Runner took the same idea and improved vastly upon it, adding interactivity, challenge and something Tomena Sanner doesn't have: substance. That and it utilized more than one button.

Tomena Sanner is fun for a short while, but once the joke wears off it'll feel like a hollow waste of time. Plainly put: it's big on style, short on substance.

Rating: 4/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (July 20, 2011)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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threetimes posted July 20, 2011:

"The world I once knew turned a few shades grayer and all I could think about was eating ice cream and watching depressing French movies. I knew what this feeling was: heartbreak."

I love this bit! So evocative.

Though I was a bit confused.I thought at first you'd played some other game with a similar name, which you loved, and that this Wii one was another version that wasn't as good.

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JoeTheDestroyer posted July 20, 2011:

Haha, thanks. I did enjoy this at first until I realized I was only pushing a single button. I became totally bored of it after that, and it almost felt like playing a different game. I do admit, though, that my opinion is not the popular one. Whether or not someone will enjoy this depends totally on whether or not you can stand only pushing a single button.

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