|System: Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crave||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Crave||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 11, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
George of the Jungle...I'm not entirely sure how it all started, but I do remember watching episodes of it on the Disney channel some ten years ago. And thanks to my research surrounding this game, I also know that it is now a kid-popular cartoon (none of this Adult Swim that many of us are fond of). When playing George of the Jungle, it becomes all too clear that it was very much based off of the cartoon because it's a kid's game in the worst possible way.
In fact, everything about this game indicates that it was clearly intended as a cheap cash-in on a fairly popular series -- "shovel-ware" as it has come to be known. The graphics are poorly-done, for one. The screenshots make the game look half-decent, but in motion this game is horrendous. Character models are poorly conceived, and the animation is even worse. The game's 3D backgrounds are okay, I suppose, but all-around the game just looks far too sloppy. Background images are shamelessly recycled over and over again, and even close up animation in what could be considered "cutscenes" is laughably bad.
The plot is similarly poor and simpler than you'd expect even in a game that's clearly geared toward kids. George is hunting down some research paper that will supposedly cure his sick friends -- though what a research paper is doing in the middle of this jungle is beyond me. The dialogue is terrible, and I doubt it would amuse even its target audience. The game's humor is crude and absolutely stupid. If you think butt jokes and general "potty humor" is amusing, then you may actually be entertained by George of the Jungle.
George of the Jungle is essentially a platformer, and I can say with confidence that it's probably one of the worst platformers I've played in my entire life -- that's saying something, because I've played a lot of games. This title basically steals every overused platforming element that you could possibly imagine and throws them all together. You've got your collectible items, long chasms, ropes to swing on, and the like. The controls are poor, and worse still, sometimes they don't even work. For example, the double jump will sometimes blatantly not work -- this glitch in the system will promptly send you to your death, which, incidentally, is what I wish would happen to this game.
Combat is also boring and occasionally broken. You've got one simple attack and an equally simple combo that is executed by pressing the attack button three times. The combat, like the platforming, lacks any sort of depth or originality. It's made even more mindless because despite the fact that the backgrounds are in three-dimensions, you move along a very linear path from which you cannot diverge. Seeing as enemies appear only on this path, there's no strategy to be found in defeating enemies in 3D. Shucks.
I hate to keep going on and on about this game, but the boss battles are the anticlimax of the piece of crap that is George of the Jungle. They're insanely glitchy -- even more so than the platforming and regular combat. Moves often don't work, and the simple strategies that you're supposed to employ to overcome the game's bosses are poorly designed and hard to trigger. It's absolutely inexcusable that a game in this current generation is so sloppy and downright bad.
Aside from these immensely annoying glitches that will undoubtedly make you want to snap this game disc in half, there's no real difficulty to this game. The platforming is really easy -- as long as your jumping moves work. As I already mentioned, the combat is insanely basic and would be mindlessly boring and easy were it not for the poorly-done game code. And the boss battles are difficult not because it's tough to figure out what to do -- it's tough only because once you've realized what to do, it's near-impossible to do so.
All told, George of the Jungle is a stupid game that's designed to trick parents into picking this up for their young children. Even if you're one such parent buyer, please do not buy this for your kids. If you're a serious gamer, I doubt you'd ever consider buying this, and I'm just here to ensure you that you've made the right decision. This game was frustrating for me and will no doubt be frustrating for the six-year-old children that are supposed to have fun with this game. Even at a discount price ($29.99 MSRP), this game is not worth buying. Please: don't support these hop-on developers and find better games on which to spend your money.
CCC Freelance Writer