Review by Gojira346
"Short and sweet. Like one big movie, but one small game."
Whether or not you are a fan of the 1930's flick King Kong, this game still has plenty more to offer than a big ape collecting tokens. This is a video game based on a movie done right, and more games from movies like this would make a better gaming community.
Though this game will still be a wonder for many Kong fans, like the rest of the game, the Kong sections are shortlived, but thankfully, some of the funnest big monster melee one can see. This will surely endear Kong fans, though they will wish for more out of the nostalgic New york/Empire state building section.
The gameplay, whether ape or man, is quite frantic, but rarely ever in a frustrating way. The game will notably drop the difficulty for a player whom dies consistantly, and add difficulty for a skilled player whom drops dinos and solves the simple but fitting puzzles efficiently.
Just like surviving our own rise to civilization, fire becomes your most important tool. Whether you get it from an oil lamp, a pot, or from a fire you have already set to bramble to unblock a path or fry dinos and giant bugs, fire is your spears best friend throughout the game.
Though guns are present, this is definitley not Halo or Metroid Prime. You can't expend ammo insanely into an enemy and expect to live, and your health is not shown on screen, but by the color of the screen itself. The darker red, the closer to death you are. Generally 2-3 hits will do you in, along with your friends. Your friends tend to open doors while you distract or destroy dinos, or provide cover for you while you swim, run, etc. There is no hud at all, but a targeting reticule is available in options, but simply isn't needed. If you point and shoot in the general direction, you'll hit your target 99 percent of the time.
Spears, however, are your main weapons and tools, and can be used repeatedly from fallen or injured foes and the method for picking them up and lobbing them is ingenious to say the least. Spears also provide a good source of distraction because downed enemies will eat each other, and some helpless, harmless animals can be attached to spears and thrown for a much needed distraction.
Kong, on the other hand, does platforming and fighting, neither of which are grossly complicated, but the complexity of his combat options during battle is stunning considering the simplicity. The god of war type kills work great and look brutal, and the rage mode gives you a wrecking ball feeling that doesn't end until after the carnage is aside. The platforming sections normally are only lost if you sit still, and in only one instance can Kong fall to his death, because, let's face it, a beast like that doesn't fall.
Lucious. Filling. Detailed. Convincing. THe jungle environment feels alive, and you'll rarely be reminded that it is not a real world, though the flat floor textures are a little dull, the rest is astonishing. The cutscenes happen in game, and you have full control during them. THis fact alone makes the entire experience feel like a seemless movie. And that's a good thing.
Hearing your ammo count out loud helps, and oddly enough, isn't a waste of a button as you would think. The characters, especially Jack Black's character Carl Denham, give truly honest to god good voice acting and you will soon become attached to each character.
THe roars and squawks of dinos are all apropiatly done, and the first time your screen blurs and the t rex wails out a low note, you'll shout expletives in true fear. The music also helps set this frantic mood, and an apropriate slowdown and melencholy theme plays as you near death.
Honestly, the game is a little too short, so this game is more of a rental unless you are a big Kong fan, or convert to one after seeing the new Peter Jackson version. Though bonuses can be unlocked by playing through again on a score system, the real reason to replay is for the frantic action and the Kong levels.
Perfect except for one area of a Kong level where the frame rate ALWAYS drops.
bottom line 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/28/05
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