GBA REVIEW: NICKTOONS: FREEZE FRAME FRENZY

Designed for a target audience, I imagine that when Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy connects with the right player it would be gaming Nirvana. For the rest of us, which is the overwhelming majority, Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy contains virtually everything that we don't want in a game.

Appealing to youngsters that are enamored with the Nicktoon universe and not very skilled at videogames, this game is not very challenging and features more characters than you can shake an analog stick at.

Beginning with boy genius, Jimmy Neutron, who discovers that something odd has occurred in Nicktoon land, characters from virtually every Nicktoon show spill and mix in to places they don't belong. Want to see Spongebob on the set of Fairly Odd Parents? Fans of these shows will be treated to numerous playable characters and other non-playable characters that may have only appeared a few episodes. I certainly didn't recognize a lot of characters in this game and I doubt that few over 12-years-old will either.

Playable characters include SpongeBob SquarePants, Timmy Turner, Danny Phantom, Otto Rocket and Tommy Pickles. Each has different moves and abilities but the differences are not very pronounced.

Snapping photos of interesting scenes is the gameplay formula here. Jimmy will tell you what kind of scenes he wants you to capture. Get them all and you go on to the next level. As a 2D, side-scroller it's very easy to get results. It's kind of a lazy way to play a game as you just sit back and watch the events unfold, doing the odd move and occasionally taking a picture of something that catches your fancy. Pass the chips.

Expect some silly animations and situations to take place as you scroll through the levels. Don't expect anything hilarious unless you're the type that giggles at the site of an apple falling off a tree. Sure, if it hits someone in the head that would be cause for a guffaw but laughing at a fruit breaking free from its nurturing roots might be cause for a visit to the nut ward. Any child that laughs uncontrollably while playing this game should be considered for observation.

Using the camera to shoot pictures in such a way is not unlike using a gun to shoot at enemies. The camera even uses crosshairs to perfect your aiming. There are times when you have to shoot at things such as bosses to keep them from interfering or attacking you - but you're only using the camera. As long as you have the most basic of hand-eye-coordinated skills nothing will be a problem in this game. Moms and dads might want to take note of the lack of violence in this game, among lack of other things.

The lack of voiceovers gives the game a strange ambience as though we're missing out on a lot of stuff. With so many characters in juxtaposed situations one would expect lots of dialog to coincide with the situations.

The controls are solid and the graphics are decent although this would have been much better in 3D and on the Cube where it would benefit from the extra processing capabilities.

Freeze Frame Frenzy is short and sweet and most probably not for you.

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System: GBA
Pub: THQ
Release: Sept 2004
Players: 1
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
2.5
VALUE
1.5