has never been this much fun. Its almost more
fun than a barrel of monkeys. How about a videogame
loaded with 200 monkeys? What could be more fun than
that? Perhaps, more monkeys? More and more monkeys
even? Ape Escape 2 has more than 300 monkeys to collect
and if you dont think thats fun, then
you dont know nothing about monkeys, dude.
Escape took a rather unoriginal concept, one which
has always been a standard element in the gameplay
of most games, and turned it into the main objective
with good results. Ape Escape 2 has turned collecting
into a profession. With hundreds of monkeys on the
loose, someone has to round them all up. And that
someone is you. But have you ever tried to catch a
monkey? This is where the fun begins.
are everywhere. Theyre in trees, in paintings,
frozen in carbonite running every which way but loose.
Thats actually the title of a Clint Eastwood
movie, one of only two in which he starred with chimps.
Go on primate, make my day. You can expect
plenty of lampoons of popular movies in this game
such as Star Wars, Titanic, Matrix, Terminator in
addition to nods to games like Mega Man and Land of
the Lost. The whole presentation is fun, outrageous
and adventurous. While the main premise is to capture
monkeys, there are elements of platform, puzzle and
strategy that you will have to contend with to get
the job done. I admit the game looks like it should
appeal to the one-digit age group but such is not
variety of gadgets including a net, radar, hoops,
water cannon and a Banana Rang can all be used to
capture the monkeys. Each gadget comes in handy for
specific applications to deal with the range of monkeys
you will encounter. They have different attributes
and personalities. Some are fast, some are slow, some
are lazy and some are crazy. Visual clues such as
the color of their pants and meters will alert you
to the monkeys status letting you choose the
appropriate method of capture. Its a different
situation each time. Despite the seemingly repetitive
nature of the gameplay its anything but. Not
only are the locations different, offering different
challenges, but you can also use a variety of vehicles
such as RC Cars, a chopper and a giant mech to assist
you on your missions. Weapons and other tools come
in handy for solving puzzles and accessing new areas
of the levels.
to robots, one of the best things to animate in videogames
has to be monkeys since they lend themselves to the
jerky and frenetic animation inherent in such a medium.
I have yet to see the perfect human animation but
Ive certainly seem my fair share of excellent
animated robots and monkeys. With a realistic 3D look,
the characters all have depth and relief which make
them appear as animated clay figures only much more
refined. Voices are a bit on the annoyingly, cutely
side but this game is intended to appeal to a wide
age range. I guess they figured kids dont dig
the sound of Bobcat Goldwaith. Then again, who does?
you can imagine what monkey tunes sound like, youll
find plenty of examples here. Its a crazy blend
of urban beat and art deco carnival - whatever the
hell that means. But it sounds like fun and thats
the main point.
Its really amazing what can be accomplished
by a team of creative programmers. Ape Escape 2 is
a great example of a successful collective consciousness.
It just lends credence to the saying: If a group of
programmers that are confined to a room are placed
in front of computers, eventually they will create
a great game.