Mystery Inc. return, all set for some Mystery Machine mayhem and clue solving fun. But the question is will Warner Bros succeed in doing justice to the cartoon adventure title?
At first look it appears that Scooby Doo Unmasked has done just that, ticking all the right boxes. Child grasping storyline, decent graphics and lovable characters (most notably Scooby Doo and Shaggy) are all included in 'Unmasked'. However 10 minutes of game play makes you think otherwise.
The Jak and Daxter resembling game play is fairly enjoyable and you are required to make your way up onto moving platforms and dodge poisonous fluid to reach the next checkpoint or the 'Holy Grail' (Scooby snacks).
The only available character for selection during the course of the game is Scooby Doo, appearing in several different costumes. The first costume I experienced in the game was the Kung Fu costume. Kung Fu Scooby is then able to throw powerful flying kicks and karate chops and also a special wall breaking attack cleverly named the 'Scooby Doo'. Other costumes that Scooby changes into in the game are the bat costume, ninja costume and Robin Hood costume. All of which give Scooby unique attacks and abilities.
The storyline for Scooby Doo Unmasked is weak but fits the role of a Scooby Doo game perfectly. Special Effects monsters made out of 'Mubber', a new intuitive graphics creation, go out of control and it is Mystery Inc's job to find out who's behind the release of these monsters. The clips don't contain a lot of graphical detail and backgrounds to the characters are boxy however during game play Scooby looks crisp and complete. What I found extremely annoying through the clips was the addition of a fake audience roaring with laughter at the tiny hint of a joke by one of the Monster Inc. crew.
Even though there is a good contrast between the different levels they get a bit repetitive and frustrating at times and in each 5 or 10 minute section of game playing I advanced about 5% in overall completion. As you can see the game is aimed at the younger generation and is not really great for gamers looking for serious enjoyment from a cartoon adventure.
On the other hand some factors about the game were better than others. There is quite a wide variety of attacks to master such as the traditional 'Tasmanian spin' and an Indiana Jones type roll depending on which costume you are currently wearing. Scooby also adds some humour to the game such as when he is climbing across a ladder his legs run in midair and when nearing an edge he waves his paws in despair.
Along the way you have to pursue and collect clues which are then given to Velma (a whiz when it comes to anything intellectual) for her to help you with the next task. This is a good link from one assignment to another and keeps the game flowing nicely. As well as clues, Scooby Doo also collects the mubber left from destroyed SFX creatures, Scooby snacks to top up on health and also different types of food. This food is then taken to Shaggy in his porta-kitchen where he cooks something up for him and Scooby to enjoy.
Despite the fact that some features to the game are relatively good and amusing don't stray from the fact that the game disappoints in many departments, enjoyment being the most obvious. Plus, with Christmas approaching fast we are all thinking of a game to keep us occupied through the cold nights of winter, I'm afraid this isn't the one. It should only be considered for young children and Scooby fanatics.
4 out of 10