Sunday 10 May 2015

Curious George Review (PS2)

Many months after the film Curious George received its cinema release the game of the film was released. We were expecting an average identikit three-dimensional platform game and apart from a few adventure elements that is what we have.

Let us make this clear from the start, Curious George, like the film is very much aimed at kids and very young kids at that. So it is a little surprising to see it has a PG certificate on it as it contains ‘potentially dangerous behaviour’ you couldn’t make it up.

The game itself has George the very cute and very curious monkey following the man with the yellow hat back from Africa and discovering all manner of things on the way. The main level design for the game has the little monkey running around very bland levels picking up bananas and swinging on ropes. Every now and then you get something a little different such as having to sneak around, jump across cars or dancing for sailors. It is all handled very by the numbers and the game really starts to get boring quite quickly.

Throughout the levels there are a number of things that George can interact with to get curious points. After each interaction a small animation takes place where what ever the object is does something- but it is all very bland and objects are heavily repeated throughout levels. The points you gain can be spent on unlocking mini games and clothes for George but there is nothing there really worth your time.

Where the game does stand up very well is the looks department. All the levels are very colourful and clearly defined in the same style as the movie so authenticity on that count has been handled very well. An average but colourful game could have been forgiven for the very young audience that this is obviously aimed at but for the slightly dodgy controls.

Unlike a lot of titles the camera actually works very well and is easily moved around to where you want it but the inconsistent jump button will cause a lot of frustration. It seems almost a matter of luck whether you can get little George to perform his double jump or not. A lot of the time he simply will not make the second jump and you find yourself thrown back to the last checkpoint to try again. This is a shame as the controls on the whole hold up well.

No doubt many young gamers could overlook this but what many will not is the length of the game. There are only twelve relatively short levels to get through which should take no more than a couple of hours at most. The game was on the shelves at a budget price but this is still stretching it a bit for such a paltry amount of game time. The levels themselves do not vary much in design either, they nearly all have crates in to climb up and some kind of rope that needs to be swung on and no amount of colour can disguise the fact that they have been adapted from the same template.

We can see the appeal that Curious George may have for very young gamers who are fans of the film or television series. But anyone else or children who have grown up with gaming will become bored very quickly. The levels may be colourful but are simply too bland and uninspiring to hold interest for any length of time. When there are so many excellent platform games out there on the PS2 we simply cannot recommend this to anyone.

Overall 4/10

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