Review by Gbness

"A shattered mediocricity."

Animorphs is considered by many one of the best book series' ever. The series is comprised of about 52 books in the main series, occasional chronicles of aliens, and a lot of super books, so in all there are about 60 books that the author wrote. That's a lot, so obviously they had to take it further. There were Animorphs posters everywhere, as well as movies and games. Unfortunately, book-based games are never that good...

The story is pathetic. It does follow what you could expect from the series, but it has absolutely nothing to do with any of the books or anything. Visser Three (the leader of the parasitic evil alien race called the Yeerk) is inventing a weapon, built upon a crystal. However, the weapon was so powerful that it broke the crystal, shattering reality itself. So it's the Animorphs' jobs (the Animorphs are regular kids who have the ability to morph into animals) to return it.

What exactly makes the story so pathetic is that the game never even explains what the goal of the game is. The game starts out with a clip of Visser Three's crystal exploding and that fate rests upon the Animorphs. But it didn't say anything about reality being unshattered. If I didn't read the instruction manual, I'd have absolutely no clue what the hell was going on. The levels don't make it any better, since there are no cutscenes, no big talks or battles, no nothing. It's just a linear game that leads to Visser Three, where he is defeated and you see a puny ending and the crystal being restored.

Control in the game is one of the few things that I don't have much to complain about. Although the characters don't jump high enough and move too slow (which is very annoying in some of the difficult later levels), they all move wherever you want them to. Just about the only problem is that when a character is about to get in a battle, they automatically morph. But sometimes it takes quite a while to get them to, in which I really dislike. Overall I have no real problems with the controls, except that.

Animorphs: Shattered Reality is a very linear game comprised of only eight levels. This will mean that it is extremely short. Well, it can be completed in about two or three hours if you play it nonstop for all that time. All of the levels are also almost exactly the same. I mean, the first level is mostly a bunch of jumps and using elevators. The levels are pretty long and mostly just that. It's fun at first but it just gets annoying later. The third level and fifth level are almost exactly the same as the first level was. Jumps, straight walking, etc.

There are, however, some pretty good levels. Levels 2, 4, and 6 are levels where the characters are in morphs. The second level is a dolphin form, the fourth is a bug form, and the sixth is a bat form. Although they are exactly the same, they are pretty nice and unique. There is also a battle system where you find an enemy around, and then the character automatically morphs into an animal. You then have two minutes to finish the enemy off (because animals have two hours before they are trapped in that form forever) by attacking it. Most of these battles are pretty fun, but unfortunately these are the only two good points.

Animorphs: Shattered Reality also isn't a very challenging game. Around the places you go, there are so many extra lives around that just no matter how much you die in levels, you will never get a game over. Battles aren't that much worse either, because all of them (including Visser Three) are so easy that I cannot imagine how anyone could have trouble with them. A few of the later levels have some nasty obstacles, but that is just about the only thing that you will ever find the slightest bit of difficulty within.

The replay value in Animorphs: Shattered Reality isn't any better either. In fact, I cannot imagine feeling the urge to replay any of the levels except perhaps the fight with Visser Three again. You won't even want to complete the game, because you'll know that it's not worth it and you are simply wasting your time. Hell, even the ending sucked. Once you complete it, there will be zero chance that you'll ever even look at the game disc again. It's a very sad thing indeed.

In-game graphics aren't that bad though. All of the characters that we all know from the books (Jake, Tobias, Cassie, Rachel, and Marco) look exactly like they do in the movie/book pictures, and when they morph into an animal, it always looks very realistic. Jake's tiger and Rachel's grizzly bear are perfect examples. Visser Three in his amazing monster form that you fight him in at the end of the game looks downright awesome with the swords that he holds, and most of the enemies aren't bad themselves. Overall the graphics are pretty nice.

The music is without a single doubt, the strongest point of the game. A track that plays in a level called ''The Swamp'' and even in the ending is one of the best video game songs I have ever heard outside on an RPG. The song that plays in the end of a level called The City is simply magnificent and makes you feel like you're in a huge city. All the music seems to fit the location. There are a couple bad songs, but nothing is really major. A great job here, Infogrames.

Sound in the game is decent... nothing more. Nowhere near as good as the music. Those nasty aliens occasionally make some sounds like laughing and growling when they're hit, and the animals make some great roars and things. There actually isn't very much sound in the game, seeing as no one talks in the game or anything like that. Overall there really isn't much to say here, but all the sound in the game is decent. Not much better than that though.

Overall I was quite disappointed by Animorphs: Shattered Reality. It has pretty good graphics and the soundtrack is great, but the storyline is confusing and the game is extremely linear, and the game simply is not fun at all. There is also zero replay value to be found, and there isn't any challenge either. If a game has all these bad points, it's not a good game. Overall I give Animorphs: Shattered Reality a 4/10. A pretty bad action game, and I only recommend the game to hardcore Animorphs fans.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 11/10/03

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