|System: PS2, Wii, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 1st Playable Productions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 20, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are, however, frustrating things in the game that may turn its intended audience away from the game, or have their older siblings or parents do it for them. The major problem is the camera. This game tries desperately to be both a side-scrolling adventure and an arena battle game. As a result, the camera will confuse what is going on. Too often I experienced "jitters" on the screen. The constant jumping up and down of the camera can cause minor motion sickness as Zak traverses from the 2D to 2.5-D elements of the game. At times, these jitters will happen just because you may be going too fast through the levels. It becomes very disorienting when faced with multi-tiered boss battles. The biggest problem with this is that occasionally the camera will stop following Zak and stick to one location. So, for example, if you miss one of the swings and you fall, the camera loses you and then you have to restart the level - the entire level.
This brings me to another complaint; again stemming from the faulty camera. While the initial design of the game looks on par with the show, you can only look at the semi-repeated areas of a level so often. Having to basically do a power reset to the game only further hinders the experience. While the character animation and the backgrounds look good in comparison to the show, I don't know many who can tolerate several repeats of a level just due to the fault of the camera.
The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun will not revolutionize the cartoon to video game market. However, it does do something that tends to be rare with these games - it delivers on the experience fans have come to expect. Retaining the voice actors, the writers of the show participating in the game, and visuals that are on par with the show all help capture what fans have come to expect. Adding in the progressive puzzle elements and thirty, never before seen Cryptids should please those interested in the show. While it is not a rare gem of greatness, it does deliver on an experience fans of the show will love.
CCC Project Coordinator