Review by True Darem

Reviewed: 08/06/03

A worthy sequel at last...

How many of you actually played the original Ape Escape? And how many of you played it to the end?

*Pause*

Always the same hands... Either way, if you played the first game, you\'ll love this one. If you never played the first game, you\'ll still like it. Now to why:

Storyline - It\'s roughly the same as the first game: A boy named Jimmy (cousin of the original\'s Spike) accidently gives the Peak Point Helmets (which boost the brains of primates) to the inhabinants of Monkey Park, which include Specter, the recurring villain of the series. The monkeys proceed to break loose and spread across the world, and it\'s Jimmy\'s job to catch them. What makes this one more interesting is the introduction of the Freaky Monkey Five, a group of elite monkeys enhanced by Vita-Z Bananas (long story). This gives the game a big boost over its original - interesting bosses, instead of the rather scarce and lame ones of the original.

Graphics - The PS2 gets a lot of bashing over the fact that its graphics aren\'t as good as GC or Xbox. Well, GC\'s a sinking ship, the Xbox is a haven of tech demos, and the PS2\'s doing pretty well... Oh, wait, I digress. Either way, this game\'s graphics are rather good, not better than they need to be, but okay. For some reason, none of the characters have noses, but I let that slide in FFT, so I\'ll let it slide now.

Music/Voices: I loved the music in this game. It beats out the original by quite a bit, especially in the last few levels. As for the voices, there\'s one big problem: Jimmy and Natalie have the exact same voices as, respectively, Ash and Misty from Pokemon. (And when Spike shows up at the end, he\'s got Yugi\'s voice from Yu-Gi-Oh.) The bosses, on the other hand, have very appropriate voices...

Characters: Natalie and the Professor return from the first game (in their roles as Jimmy\'s aides), as does Specter, the villain. (Jake and the computer do not appear.) I didn\'t really take to Jimmy, the new hero - he was just a tad too much like Pokemon\'s Ash, right down to the voice. His little monkey sidekick Pipochi, despite figuring in the plot quite a bit, reminded me far too much of Pikachu. Kudos to Ubi Soft, however, for giving every one of the 300 monkeys in the game unique personality traits. Even better are the Freaky Monkey Five - Pink Monkey\'s fight, in particular, is utterly hilarious.

Controls: The first Ape Escape was famous for using every button on the Dual Shock controller, including both Analog Sticks. This game follows in that path, and handles very well. Granted, some manuevers you\'ll never use, but every game has those.

Difficulty/Length: This is where the game loses a point. It\'s a bit on the easy side (until the last three stages), but its one true fault is that it\'s too short - even with 300 monkeys to catch, and several hundred things to unlock in the Gotcha Box, it only took me eight hours to beat this game, spread over four days. However, there\'s a secret for beating the game that gives it a bit of replay value...

Final Judgment: A sequel that lives up to its predecessor in every way, this game is a worthy purchase.


Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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