Posted by Pip
LFL27- Not Covered By Your Insurance
Screw your magic ponies, THIS is friendship. Unless your buddy is willing to possess a random passerby, track down the man that slighted you, break down his door, beat up his assistant, and take on the bum, you don't have a true friend. Anger is full of love after all! But he still stuck Envy with possessing the lady. Snicker.
As adorable as Envy sticking his head in the buses is, they really need to work on their stealth abilities.
DDG updated over the weekend too. Filled with its own creepy friendship and happiness.
There's a new TWC voting incentive for the week featuring another Sloth in a funny hat! The demon, not the lazy tree animal. This one ties in with today's review as that hat is too iconic and lovable to not draw.
Long, It has dancin' monkeys! Review: Ape Escape Move- Ape Escape Move is a neat way to make the franchise a motion controlled game where the motion controls are essential rather than the usual tacked on ones you see in other Move/Wii games. And while we would all still prefer the series goes back to the AE2 style, you have to judge the new Ape Escape for what it is, not for what it SHOULD have been. For what it is, it's a pretty good motion controlled game appropriately set at a bargain bin price point. AEM should probably have been the first Move game, not this Sports garbage. It uses the motion controls well, it's responsive, and it has fun actions for you to perform. Is virtual bocce or ping pong really a better showcase of your technology than monkey nets, slingshots, and banana cannons?
Some of the gameplay mechanics aren't very clear and the tutorial doesn't help so you really have to go look up the manual and that's where you learn how to do the important stuff. Once you get the hang of it though, the game mainly comes down to aiming skills and reflexes instead of the platforming and learning how to use a number of gadgets like normal AE games. Some monkeys are only on the screen for a second and it takes about a second to pull back your slingshot so you have to know where they will appear and even then you only get one shot. It's just a stupid mechanic that isn't fun and leads to more frustration than anything else. It also leads to a LOT of firing at random stuff in the background since you aren't given clues of where monkeys will come from.
Probably the worst decision for the format is that when you replay stages, all of the monkeys (even the ones you already caught) reappear so you can't focus on the ones you missed the first time around. It would have been far better to provide the option to do the stage from scratch for the score attack mode and to just have uncaught monkeys as a second option with hints for the hidden monkeys. As it stands, I have all but one or two monkeys on every stage and my only way to get the stragglers is to replay the stage over and over shooting at random things in the background until I find them. The game is nowhere near good enough to warrant that kind of time investment. It's more of a shame because the hidden monkeys are the most unique ones, dressed up like characters from other video games and such.
The game uses super cartoony graphics and animations that fit the series well. There are these silly, exaggerated movements on the humans and it goes a long way to make even the dialogue scenes fun to watch. Watching the opening movie and the sporadic anime cutscenes, how is there not an Ape Escape TV show? Not the crappy Frederator ones, but a legit anime-styled show about catching space monkeys would kill with children. The dialogue is fluffy and simple but the writing shines with the one or two sentence descriptions for the monkeys. You get references to everything from Don Draper to Seinfeld to Invader Zim. The story seems to be a reimagining of Specter's story and doesn't tie in with the previous games. He's now more of a tragic figure (way to be jerkbags, scientists) than an evil guy bent on world domination. And yes, I realize it's kind of sad that I would even spend a minute mulling over the "Ape Escape canon"... There are several typos in the descriptions or instructions, including a blatant one in the final cutscene, so the package doesn't seem like it got enough care
Again FOR WHAT IT IS, it's a pretty fun game. It's on the short side and uses repeated/remixed stages, but given that it's not a full priced game, I can let that slide. Now let's not make a sequel and let's us DO get working on a real Ape Escape 4.
Sins Committed: Typos, Unfair difficulty (final stages only), It's not a “real” Ape Escape game
Virtues Acted: Good art, Good writing, Fun, It's about space monkeys, dangit!