Tuesday, January 8, 2013

License Game Month Part 2: Kim Possible What's the Switch? for the PS2 review




 Since I made a promise in my last review of Snoopy vs. The Red Baron, here I am tackling another licensed game and a Disney one at that. How about this, I will make the rest of January, Licensed Game Month? Let us make the starting point of this special, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron from my last review. After this review, I will review two more licensed games. Now then, let us focus on this one. It is based off of the popular Disney cartoon, Kim Possible. I was actually aware of this show when it came out and did watch it. It was actually good, and that is saying something with what Disney has pushed out from time to time.  It was a solid and clever show with a really good voice cast. You know me, I love a good voice cast. Since this show was so popular, it got a slew of games and today’s review will be of the PS2 game, Kim Possible: What’s the Switch? I saw this game during the same video I saw Snoopy vs. The Red Baron on, and decided to put it on my list of games to review. Is it an underrated gem to pick up for your collection? Overall, is it a good game? Well, read on to find out what the sitch is with this game. 

The game stars Kim and her friend Ron, voiced by Christy Carlson Romano and Will Friedle. They get sent on a mission to get a monkey head idol that is being targeted by one of the show’s main villains, Monkey Fist, voiced by Tom Kane. However, at the same time our two main heroes are getting the treasure, two of the show’s main villains, Dr. Drakken, voiced by John DiMaggio and Shego, voiced by Nicole Sullivan are also trying to get the idol. As the four obviously get into a tussle over the idol, Ron and Drakken accidentally touch the idol and swap bodies with Ron being in Drakken’s body and vice versa. Before Kim and Shego can get the idol to change the guys back to normal, the idol is picked up by one of my favorite villains of the show, Professor Dementor, voiced by Patton Oswalt. It is up to Kim and Shego to team up and get the idol back before Dementor brings it to Monkey Fist and uses it to rule the world! While the voice talent and some of the show’s writing are highlighted in this game, the story takes a backseat to the game with a not hugely interesting story. It is a shame since you’ve got some of the most talented voice actors of all time on this game and from the show, and you couldn’t come up with an excellent story for the game? It’s a bit underwhelming, but the story is mostly here to take you from level to level. 
The gameplay is a rather standard action platformer where you play as either Kim, Shego, or Rufus, and go through linear levels beating your way through enemies and solving minor and rather simple puzzles. Kim and Shego play basically the same, but do have different abilities from each other. Shego can destroy electrical items and Kim can zap invisible enemies and make them visible. Kim also has a special kind of gum that can make enemies get stuck in place. Shego can attract enemies using a magnetic pull. They both however have the same grappling hook ability. You get a decent amount of enemies, but no matter who you are fighting, whether it be Dementor’s henchmen or Monkey Fist’s robot monkeys, they are basically the same kind of enemy. Rufus is used about 4 or so times to climb on walls to either press a button or chew on electrical wires. You can find one-ups and other items where you can get alternate outfits for the two ladies, but they are just cosmetic. The level design is solid and you can tell there was a lot of the work put into this title, making the level design solid, which I think dooms a lot of licensed games that have utterly confusing level design.
The graphics, while looking slightly blocky, are nice-looking. They got the animation and the look of the show within the game right, and I have to give the developers credit for that. The music isn’t really memorable. I actually remembered the theme of the show more than the music. The voice acting is solid even if there isn’t a whole lot to it.
So yeah, this is a well-made game, but what’s wrong with it? Well, I can list a few things I don’t like about the game. First thing to complain about is the story. Again, they have some of the best voice talent around and they don’t think of using it and making a solid and memorable story? This puzzles me a little since I would guess people like Patton Oswalt and John DiMaggio would be rather pricey. Then again, I am guessing this game is a budget title due to the voice actors really not having a whole lot to say.  The multiplayer and two player mode is just like the level design, it’s just okay. I felt like the multiplayer mode where you take on different mini-games were kind of a mindless add-on. The level design, while being solid is nothing new. The whole game could have easily been any other platformer instead of the Kim Possible theme slapped all over it. I also don’t like how enemies are handled. Enemies have a longer reach than you, and due to some slightly clunky controls, enemies can easily get a hit on you before you hit them, resulting in a cheap hit almost every fight. Thank goodness for Kim’s gum ability and Shego’s magnetic ability, or else I would have rated this game lower due to the slight cheapness added to the enemies. There are basically NO BOSSES. Sure, there is a helicopter fight, but that is really the closest thing you get to a boss fight, and it’s Shego who gets to fight it. Kim basically gets no boss fight of her own. You know me, and I love to play an action game with as many bosses as possible, and I was just underwhelmed going through each level. I also just find the total package of the game just meh. There are no bosses and no real and solid reward of gathering every shiny item in each level besides some art, music, and alternate outfits that don’t do anything besides change the appearance of the character. I felt like they could have just done more with this title.
What’s the Sitch? Well, this is a sound title, but I think they could have done better. It is a worthwhile game to play if you are a fan of reliable level design and the cartoon, but you can easily skip this game for much better action platformers like the Ratchet and Clank games. If you see this game for cheap, and I mean CHEAP, maybe pick it up, but I could recommend other license games and original games over this one. It is a rock-solid title, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, but you should check it out for yourself and see what you think.
This game gets a 6 out of 10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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