GAMECUBE REVIEW: SCALER

Scaler is one of the best budget-priced titles I've played all year. A solid platformer with great graphics and an otherwise top-notch presentation, Scaler could go head-to-head with the big boys some of which are more than twice the price.

Scaler tells the tale of an unlikely hero. Bobby Jenkins is your average teenage bum. He digs lizards, skateboarding and farting. He uncovers a bizarre plot for domination of the universe and beyond. It seems someone has control of a portal that can transport people and creatures through different dimensions across the Multiverse - which is a composite of countless universes. The evil Looger plans to employ an army of mutated lizards to help do his bidding. Bobby gets sucked into the vortex and becomes one of the lizards. He finds that he's got some pretty neat powers at his disposal that he can use to foil Looger's plans.

If the story sounds kind of complex that's only because I'm trying to explain it in a few sentences. The story is revealed at a good pace with the requisite twists and turns in every level. It's easy to follow and is supported with a good dose of humor.

As a lizard you will have certain lizard-like moves available to you. You can climb walls, hand on ledges, double jump, employ stealth and use your claws and tongue as weapons. For the most part you will just use your tongue. It will kill small creatures and stun larger ones. It's invaluable when enemies surround you in droves. Claws come in handy for larger creatures, especially bosses where the tongue is rendered useless.

Klokkies and Crystal Gems are the game's currency. You are awarded Klokkies after kills and when you accomplish an objective. They float around the environment like dandelion fluff and must be collected. Crystal Gems have to be discovered. They are worth the equivalent of 500 Klokkies. You can use them to purchase upgrades such as more health or more powerful attacks. You will need to collect a specific amount of Gems to clear each level. Sometimes you may have to backtrack through the map to find more. There's always something interesting to find in the levels when exploring. You're never alone for very long.

One original feature of the game is the ability to change into one of the enemy characters. This evolutionary element grants us different powers and abilities which gives more depth to the gameplay. One creature can curl up into a spiked ball and mow down enemies while another can fly like a bat and discharge a sonar attack. Transforming into the different characters is as simple as pushing a button.

I really like the simplistic control scheme. You're not overwhelmed with a variety of moves and weapons, yet you never feel like you don't have enough. The game is just challenging enough to allow you to be creative with what you have instead of searching through a massive inventory or punching a button code for the exact item to deal with the situation.

With living, breathing backgrounds, smooth animation and a colorful cartoon presentation the graphics are nothing short of amazing for a game in this price range. With moving plants and little creatures going about their daily business the levels are a hive of activity, not just a static backdrop. The music is good and the voiceovers are well written and well acted. There's not much replay value unless you want to collect all 100 of the Crystal Gems but it should take an average gamer a week or two to finish if they play an hour here and there. Highly recommended for the price; recommended for a rental at any price.

Preview by Vaughn

You'd think the world would have had enough of silly games starring lovable talking creatures, but apparently this is not the case. Case in point: A2M's Scaler which pits Bobby Jenkins against his evil next door neighbor. It would appear that this neighbor is plotting to take over the world by training all of the earth's lizard to become his mutant army.

The only way Bobby can take down this motley crew is to transform into a lizard himself! By utilizing the various powers gained by turning into the enemies, Bobby will have an upperhand when it comes to stopping this nefarious plot.

Features:

  • Power ups -Grab lots of "Klokkie Balls" and seek out the rare "Crystal-Gems"! Use them to rev-up the skills necessary to overcome obstacles and battle evil enemies.
  • Transformations -Take the shape, abilities and weapons of five different characters -essential to progress through the game!
  • Climbing -Scale vertical surfaces and even go all the way upside down!
  • Sliding-Surf on wild vines and use the static electricity to juice-up your electric discharge weapon.
  • Camouflage -Go "Super-Stealth" (a super-cool proprietary game technology) to blend in with environments and fake-out enemies.
  • Visuals -Exotic plants, wondrous creatures and beautiful landscapes.
  • Huge World -10 original levels to explore.
  • Humor -Scaler is quick witted and laughs in the face of dragon danger.
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System: GameCube
Dev: A2M
Pub: Global Star
Release: Nov 2004
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Kelly
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
4.0
VALUE
2.0