Review by slavicdiva

"What could have been a good game wrecked by a wretched camera"

I wanted to like this game. Really, I did. And I liked parts of it. Unfortunately, most of those parts were the ones not involving gameplay.

The worlds are lush and very detailed. The background music is effective. The main character is sorta cute, and might have been fun to play with if the gameplay were much fun.

But the camera, oh, the camera! It is your worst enemy. It is never where you want it to be, and refuses to stay there should you manage, by some miracle, to get it where you want it. So you'll be more likely to be killed by not being able to see what's hitting you from behind, because the camera is slow and stodgy, and you're dead before it swings around.

Add to that the lack of fairly conventional platform elements--like shadows under awnings that you're supposed to jump onto. Shadows help the player define whether they're standing under the object to be jumped upon, or next to it. The lack of shadows in this game means you get to try many jumps over and over, even simple ones. That is not fun, that is frustrating.

Once you get a gun, it's easier to kill the enemies. But the platforming isn't any more fun, and you have to do a fair amount of it to advance in the game. Add to this the frustration of trying to look around the environment to see where to go next, only to be ambushed by one of the respawning enemies that you can't see while you're looking around, because the camera doesn't respond. This "feature" becomes very annoying, very fast.

For the enemies that you do wish to kill with your scythe, it's often better to kill them without using the lock-on feature. Using lock-on causes the camera to swing about wildly, hampering your chances at actually landing a shot on an enemy, who too often remains out of the camera's view. I found it easier to not use lock-on and just whale away at the enemies, dispatching them in a few hits.

Add to all of these minuses the fact that, if you die in a boss battle and have used up all your continues, you have to go back and play the Entire Damned Level again. Having figured out a better strategy, you can't just re-fight the boss, nooooooo--you have to do the whole level over. And the levels just aren't good enough to make me want to do that.

This game has been compared to Ratchet & Clank, but that is not at all a fair comparison. R&C had a very tight control scheme, one so good and so intuitive that I felt like I really was the character. This game has clunky controls that, more often than not, don't respond particularly well. So the game becomes one long repetitive slog to the end.

I just finished the MediEvil game for PSP, and even though it had its problems, they were nothing compared to this. Can't someone please make a platforming game for the PSP that isn't awful?

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 02/17/06

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