GAMECUBE REVIEW: AMAZING ISLAND

Monster making is the fundamental novelty attributed to Amazing Island. Creating monsters of your own design is fun but the gameplay is not up to the challenge of eclipsing this designing process. In Amazing Island your monster is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Aimed at kids, Amazing Island has a great premise but it fails to live up to its full potential. With the aid of monster-creating software, you design various monsters to tackle the more than 30 mini-games which make up a large part of the gameplay. Unfortunately the mini-games are button-mashing exercises that just about everyone can live without. It would have been better if you could design monsters to take part in a more focused and deeper action adventure style format.

Play as either a young boy or girl. A magical book will transport you to a magical island inhabited by the Maboo tribe which is under attack by the Black Evil. You're the only one that can save them by creating monsters with the use of a special monster-making card.

At first the only significant customizing you will be able to perform on these creatures will be cosmetic. With the aid of an easy-to-use interface you will choose options such as skins, colors and accessories. As you progress through the game you will have more options over the size and shape of your monsters. Larger monsters will be more powerful and smaller ones will be quicker. There are hundreds of monsters and combinations to choose from. A shop lets you select various additions such as horns, claws and wings - all of which add or enhance certain abilities.

Monsters can be created from scratch or through the use of an interesting quiz which asks you strange questions and presents you with a customized monster frame based on your answers. You can then further customize the frame to your liking. At first this process may seem astounding but it's really as generic as a horoscope. At least it will fool the kids for a while.

For the more artistic gamers, monsters can be drawn by hand using the editing software. If you're not handy with a virtual pen, the Mirror Pen will help you by making one side of your drawing perfectly symmetrical with the other side. Once you have the basic outline drawn you can customize the rest of the creature through the interface. You can spend hours creating and tweaking monsters. This is undoubtedly the most fun you'll have in the game so enjoy it while the novelty lasts.

I was not impressed at all with the graphics. There's not much for special effects, the textures are blurry and overall the creatures look like origami creations (folded paper). The monsters look like a quilt that came to life with a mosaic of unrelated patches. They really look ugly and disjointed. The sounds are basic and don't help to elicit an identity for the game. Even the story is weak and hackneyed.

I know this game is aimed at kids but they deserve something better than this. It may be fun to play around with this game for a few hours but after that you'll be more than happy to return it to your local videogame rental outlet.

Preview By Chris

There are times we poke fun at the GC system calling it a "Kid's System" While I am not about to stop poking fun when it fits at the lack of killer Apps for the GC I will say at times they do come out with some great games for the whole family. The whole gaming world thinks at times it takes blood and carnage to make a great game. After seeing some of these so-called great games. I would go back to a game like Bubble Bobble and have more fun. I say that because Hitmaker! And Sega is bringing out a new Strategy adventure game that will be suited for all ages. Amazing Island will let players create their choice of the lead character either a boy or a girl. Then bring them into a bright colored filled world filled with magical monsters and scary enemies. If you have ever seen the movie The Neverending Story then you will already have a feel for the sort of game this one will be.

Gamers will find themselves trapped in a magical land. That use to be filled with creatures of every kind and a place filled with legends and fantasy. As the game starts players will find a storybook that will help unfold the story and tell of the creatures that once lived on this island. It will be up to the players to find out what happened and create their own monsters and creatures to aid them. However, they will need to start off alone and earn the right to gain the powers needed to do that.

As they try to find the truth and find the missing orbs needed to bring the Island back to the place it used to be. As far as the game style it will be simple for the younger players to learn. As well as interesting for the older players to want play the game and not get bored. The game will unlock more options and features the farther the player gets in the game. It will also feature a pretty neat system to create the monsters and critters and an easy interface for all to use. Graphically the game will be filled with bright and bold colors and the sound effects will also fit the games look and feel. Players can even swamp Memory cards or files and see how their friend's team is doing and their creations. I twill also have a multi player mini game that can be transferred to the GBA and will be sort of a card-based game. You will also be able to gain a special monster building items for use with the GBA only. The screen shots look great and the game will be geared for the younger players and that's not a bad thing.

Features:

  • Venture to a fantastic island filled with magical monsters in a far distant world. The "Black Evil" has taken over this lush and colorful land and captured the once-happy Maboo tribe natives. Drawing on your imagination and endless possibilities, you must create your own monster and enter it into nearly 30 different competitions involving timing, speed, and head-to-head battles against the "Black Evil" to win back the island and banish the evildoers!
  • Patented Monster Editing System creates an untold number of monsters, each with distinctive features and abilities.
  • With each successful competition, unlock new features for monster enhancement and possession of one of eight magic orbs.
  • Transfer your monster to Game Boy Advance to take on three of your friends or play alone and acquire special GBA-only monster-building items.
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System: GameCube
Dev: Sega
Pub: Sega
Release: Aug 2004
Players: 1
Review by Dan
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
3.0
CONTROL
3.0
MUSIC/FX
2.5
VALUE
2.5