Review by Ihaul
"Call me, beep me... and you'll get a generic platformer"
Some time ago, 2D platformers were a dime a dozen. It is not like that any more, and that works in favor of this game. Oh, and by the way, as this is a game inspired by a tv show, maybe some word about that show: Kim Possible is an animated TV series about the eponymous heroine Kim Possible (KP) a teenage special agent crime commando who deals with evil geniuses bent on global domination, cheerleading and teenage issues on a daily basis. As wiki puts it: "The show is action-oriented, but also has a light-hearted atmosphere and often lampoons the conventions and cliches of the secret-agent and action genres."
Visual Presentation 7/10
Although the presentation is oriented on the TV show, the locales look rather abstract. For example, in one stage you are on a ship, but you would not guess from how the level looks like. There are a few scenes between and during stages which are done in cell shade graphics. I feel they do not really catch the visual presentation of the show and do not look extraordinary aside from that.
Sound & Music 6/10
If I read the credits right, they only got a few of the show's voice talents. Well, the voice acting in the scenes is good enough, but when the protagonists or some of your opponents speak during levels, you hardly understand anything. I guess they are supposed to be witty remarks of some sort, but even those which you understand are not that witty. I am a little disappointed by the music too, mainly because I do not like the interpretation of the shows theme, but that is a matter of taste. The other music is ok, but it sounds all rather similar.
As I said, it is a generic platformer. You can double- jump, wall jump, pull yourself from ledges, make use of the hookshot to swing from certain ceilings, punch, kick, slide, cartwheel and that's it more or less. You play as either KP or her evil counterpart Shego. Both characters have exactly the same move sets. The only difference are the gimmicks: Both have a hookshot (Shego has some kind of energy whip, if you want to get technical), but the other 2 things are different. During stages you move towards the end of the stage. Sometimes you have to press buttons, move boxes or defeat a number of enemies to be able to proceed, nothing where you have to use your brain too much.
In a few stages you have to play as everyone's favorite mole rat Rufus. He can cling to walls, run, press buttons and gnaw on cables. That's it. His stages are rather short and normally not much fun.
Within stages you can collect symbols (I think they shall be kimmunicators), tacos (these unlock costumes) and cubes (these unlock secret stages). There are up to 250 symbols in each stage, they unlock stuff like artwork, music etc. In each stages there are 3 tacos for KP and 3 for Shego and I guess only one cube, but I found only a few and they are very well hidden.
Controls work fine, no big issues here. As all backgrounds are made in fully 3D, but you only move in 2D, when the background "moves" it can be confusing in a few instances. Only major problems I had were within the Rufus stages: Running while sticking to a wall and then jumping to cling to the wall on the opposite side just does not work optimally.
Nothing to write home about. Dr. Drakken and Ron get... let's say affected, so I don't spoil anything, by some mysterious, magic artifact. Which gets promptly stolen by some evil genius or other and KP and Shego have to get it back. It's not as funny as the show and there is nothing which can be called a plot twist, just an excuse for one at best. What I liked were the references to the show, e.g. you can unlock a "Fearless Ferret" costume for KP or there are ads for Dr D's brain wash shampoo in the background. Still, no lampooning cliches here.
Game length, replayability, difficulty, multiplayer, unlockables
The game is not very long, but on the other side it is a generic 2D platformer, so maybe the length is appropriate. Replayability is ok, as I already mentioned there is a lot of stuff to unlock (costumes, artwork, music, secret stages), some which require very thorough searches of the stages. Difficulty is medium, there are a few frustrating moments here and there, but they can be tolerated, the secret stages are really difficult, but entirely optional. I did not try multiplayer.
In a nutshell 7/10
It is a generic 2D platformer with a KP license. It is not innovative, shiny or extraordinary in any way, but it is not bad either. So if you like 2D platformers and Disney's Kim Possible you really should get it. If you like only one of the two, you can consider a purchase - or a rent, you won't be disappointed if you do not expect too much.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/06/09
Game Release: Disney's Kim Possible: What's the Switch? (US, 10/19/06)
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