|Ape Escape 2 |
|Ape Escape 2 Reviewed On PS2 |
| I really, REALLY like this game, and for a person who ain't a fan of "world" style games, that's saying something. |
The game starts out with your usual cutesy, amine style cartoon intro which contains some very bad acting, but outlines the storyline and your goals nice and succinctly.
Ape Escape 2 is based on the somewhat far-fetched storyline of the accidental dropping of intelligence enhancing helmets and special monkey pants (is their any other kind?) on a planet full of chimps (I ask you, what are the odds), which whilst rendering them vaguely reminiscent of Tommy Cooper (Who? Ask someone over the age of 30) in cycling shorts, under the control of the evil specter, they go rampaging off around a beautifully constructed and vastly challenging landscape. Naturally, it is your task to capture the apes and reclaim the lost helmets and pants. You have the standard fare of a wide variation of locations in your "world" including a beach resort and a temple to battle through and a fantastic array of different and often funny and clever weapons with which to catch your chimps, as well as the obligatory net you can choose from the monkey locating radar, a water pistol, a club and even a banana-rang! Not only that, your journey is aided by tanks, subs and boats!
What I liked about Ape Escape 2 was that each of the chimps has a different personality and as a result, each are of varying degrees of difficulty to catch giving the game far greater longevity and range. Not that game length is a problem as once you've completed the game once, you get to do it again, either as the ape snatching incumbent of the first incarnation of the game, Spike or with level extensions and more attack gadgets.
As with so many of these games the longevity is aided by a great 2-player mode that will have you and your mates entertained for hours.
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| This is one of those unique titles that take a bit of a risk by introducing a new type of control method but after about half an hour of play you're sooooo glad they did. All movement and attacks are carried out by using both analogue sticks with jumps being controlled by the shoulder buttons. At first, you feel a bit like a baby giraffe taking it's first steps, as you have to try and forget everything that 15 years of using a joypad has taught you and find yourself wildly changing weapons rather than jumping that ravine! However, be patient, it'll come and it makes playing the game a much richer experience because of it. The attacks you make are no longer restricted to directly in front of you, or having the computer make the decision for you, now you can attack to the front, the rear or side to side at will. |
Confused? You will be. But there's no need to be concerned, as the learning curve accounts for this very well, making the first couple of levels ludicrously simple and throwing in handy tutorials whenever you encounter a new piece of kit to use which you can keep going back to until you have the hang of it.
The movement and gameplay are both very slick and the whole game comes together nicely as a package. The music and sound effects are adequate without being groundbreaking but that's ok, as aside from squeaks from monkeys and the usual background music, what more do you need?
It's quite clearly been designed with the Japanese market firmly in mind and as a result, some may find it all a bit cutesy and occasionally, downright weird. As a result Sony might find that Ape Escape 2 is more likely to win a larger fan base in the younger end of the market. However, if you, as a very sensible grown up, can get past all the cuteness and weirdness, what you're left with is a rip-snorter of a puzzle adventure game with a shelf life longer than a tin of atomic baked beans!
8.0 out of 10