Escape Academy is a series of mini-games that offers
a limited amount of fun. It doesn't transcend the
sum of it part.
14, 2006 - Ape
Escape Academy takes the Ape Escape series and virtually
turns it inside out. In this version you're not running
around with nets trying to capture a few hundred escaped
monkeys, you're actually playing from the perspective
of the escapees. You're not actually in the middle
of a wild escape chase, instead you play the role
of an escapee-in-training as you take various courses
designed to test and increase your abilities. These
training sessions take on the form of mini-games.
There are some 40 in all which range from puzzles
games to tests of reflexes and memory.
is looking for new recruits to take over the human-dominated
planet. To this end, a training school has been set
up featuring the bosses from Ape Escape 2 as the instructors.
All of the mini-games are arranged on a tic-tac-toe
grid consisting of nine squares. This board is called
a class. You will receive a circle on each square
for each game that you win. An X will be placed in
the square in which you didn't successfully complete.
At the end of the nine games your score will be totaled
as the CPU counts how many lines you've made with
both circles and Xs. If you have enough lines made
out of circles, you graduate to the next class. If
you don't have enough of these lines, it's back to
the beginning. The further you get in the game the
more circle lines you will be required to produce.
The mini-games also get more complicated.
include fairly generic style fare such as bowling,
golf, air hockey, soccer, wrestling and dodge ball.
Most of the games only require pushing one button
but the instructions for the majority of these games
are rather vague. Expect to lose quite a few of these
games until you accidentally learn how to play them.
These games aren't as simple as Wario Wares and do
require a slightly deeper tutorial.
of Wario Wares, there is no doubt that Ape Escape
Academy will not escape comparisons to Wario Wares
which featured a couple hundred micro-games. While
the games in Ape Escape Academy are a little more
complex they are nowhere near as ingenious or fun.
While they may be easy to play once you understand
what's required of you, the one-button system doesn't
allow for much control depth. It makes for a good
pick-up-and-play game but the lack of depth will certainly
relegate this game to rental status. Even the four-player
mode is not much more than a novelty.
can play these games using the wireless system as
long as each player has a copy of the game. It's possible
to play the game with just one copy as each player
crowds around the screen and uses one of the system's
button for his or her controller. Needless to say
this style of gaming is not going to be in danger
of becoming addictive. It's not bad with two players
but four is a little much, especially if one of the
players has had garlic for lunch. There are only 14
mini-games available for the multi-player modes and
only four mini-games to choose from in the wireless
mode. Pretty slim pickins' for replay value.
unlockable games are available by collecting medallions
which are hidden behind certain squares. Win the game
that corresponds to that square and you've got a medallion.
If you manage to collect all three medallions in one
attempt, then you'll unlock a special parody mode
of Hot Shots Golf and Gran Turismo. For added replay
value you can go back and replay the mini-games that
you've completed but you can't do that the first time
through. You have to play all nine games in each class
in order to move on.
monkey character models are easy to recognize as belonging
to the Ape Escape series but the overall presentation
of the game, at least in terms of audio, animation
and cutscenes, are toned down to the point of looking
like a counterfeit game. There are very few voiceovers
and the general level of sarcastic humor has been
all but eliminated. The load times are huge and take
longer to load than most mini-games take to play.
Making a game out of mini-games is like making a meal
out of crackers and ketchup. It's not always very
satisfying. Ape Escape Academy is somewhat void of
substance. It should be included as bonus content
when the series is released on consoles commemorating
some kind of Ape Escape anniversary or milestone.
You can monkey around with this game all you want
but just make sure you do it within the allotted time
of a rental period.
Ape Escape franchise, made popular on the PlayStation
game console and PlayStation2 computer entertainment
system expands the series as it debuts a collection
of original mini-games.
one of the first party games available on PSP, Ape
Escape Academy introduces the franchise with a whole
new twist while retaining the fun and frenetic flavor
of the Ape Escape franchise.
in more than 40 mini-games including hockey, golf,
dodge ball, karate and more, with a huge variety
of game styles, each overflowing with frantic fun
Wi-Fi wireless LAN (Ad Hoc) connectivity, up to
four players with a PSP and the game can challenge
Tic-Tac-Toe style interface provides distinctive
and unique game progression.
Quick Game function allows for easy to pick up and
play game mechanic.
can replay the mini-games they have won, either
to practice for the harder versions of that mini-game
or to get a high score.
than 300 monkey statues to collect as players go
through their academic years.