Monster House, PS2 Review, THQ
Monster House, the video game, was released in conjunction with the film that is currently on at the cinema. The films visuals delight both children and adults alike but will the game do the same?
After the main character, teenager, DJ, discovers that the house across the street is alive he sets a task of destroying it in an attempt to stop the house engulfing unlucky `trick-or-treat'ers' visiting the house on Halloween. He recruits two of his friends, Chowder and Jenny, to help him on his quest and on Halloween they enter the house.
The three children are equipped with water pistols that are their only chance of defeating the house. These pistols can be upgraded by collecting rewards after defeating an abundance of enemies or a boss. They also have secondary weapons, slingshot (Jenny), camera with a flash (DJ) and water bombs (Chowder).
Throughout the game you switch between the three friends who were separated at the beginning of the game and are trying to find each other as well as battling the house. This should provide some variety but all the rooms you enter with each character are very similar and can become boring.
Enemies that are encountered in the game come in the form of furniture. What seem to be normal chairs suddenly spring to life and attack you as do apparently innocent lamps and fireplaces? These enemies appear everywhere and are relatively easy to defeat. The enemies seem quite innovative to start with but as they are included everywhere throughout the game the novelty wears off quickly. The locking-on system is very unreliable and sometimes proves difficult to target an enemy and destroy it. This makes fights against large numbers of enemies annoyingly tricky.
One of the high points about Monster house is many of the key scenes from the film are included in the game and after seeing the film it was good to be able to re live the best moments. The graphics are also good and the characters look identical to their movie screen counterparts. The cut scenes are great and help to understand the story and find out more about the house as well.
Another good factor in the game was the sound. The film is quite scary for young children and the game replicates this by having eerie sounds and music throughout. Walking through the house proves to be quite scary as well. Especially when in the corner of the screen you see something move or if a tree trunk erupts from the wall trying to grab you.
Monster House is quite easy to complete and with only 9 chapters to work through can be completed in about 6 hours. I would have liked a longer more varied game but the approach they have taken to creating the game is to attract younger gamers.
This game is perfect for children aged 7-14 and would give them a good gaming experience and perhaps a scary one too. Although if you are an older gamer then this game does little to impress in the game-play department and the simple controls are designed for children more than adults. On the other hand, if you have watched and enjoyed Monster House the film then the game does include a lot from it and was quite fun playing.
6.5 out of 10