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Space Chimps Wii Review

06/10/2008 Family Returning Gamer Review
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Space Chimps Nintendo Wii

Space Chimps

Nintendo Wii


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Space Chimps is based on a film of the same name that unfortunately I didn't see. There is a pattern developing here as this was also the case when I reviewed Prince Caspian back in the days when I was a guest reviewer in the Family Gamer section. The difference with this title, is that the film actually passed me by, I had never even heard of it such is the pace of modern living.

Back in the UK 1990's music scene we had the term 'Junglistic Massive'. Now in the noughties we have the gaming term: 'Jinglistic Massive', (re)invented by me, just now. This refers to a game for which the intro is too drawn out as each company involved in production tries to get their jingle in - there are at least 5 jingles on the way into Space Chimps. These can add a minute or so to the load time after you have clicked through them, and can be a nightmare for a conscientious reviewer.

Space Chimps is a platformer in the same vain as Mario, Crash, Sonic except with monkeys as the lead characters, and scaled down to non-ridiculously lengthy proportions. It's definitely not a role player. The action takes place in an extra terrestrial environment, with the planetary primate friends desperately trying to escape.

Back in the UK 1990's music scene we had the term 'Junglistic Massive'.

Onto the controls, these are simple but good use is made of the Nun-chuck, as opposed to it just being thrown in for good measure. The 7+ rating means it's not one for little children as it is too difficult, although they may enjoy watching the monkey action and they can intervene for the odd attack. Two players can play together for doubled up gorilla gaming fun. Attacks are not particularly interesting or varied and fights with multiple opponents are rather frustrating. There are some interesting flashes when you have to use items for specific tasks, such as 'squirt', a small creature that attaches to your arm and shoots at opponents.

The graphics and gameplay are well constructed and certainly improve on previous movie based titles that I have played. The various adventures bring different scenescapes that are pleasant and playable. The complexity of some gameplay aspects such as jumping across moving platforms can be quite tough, but I enjoyed the challenge. Upon quitting the game it would be nice to have more places to be able to restart from so you don't have to redo each level from the very beginning. Tips would also help for the more trickier areas to navigate.

As with most platformers it's the usual scenario of trying over and over to reach a certain goal, and dying along the way. Space Chimps is extremely forgiving when it comes do dying and restarting, it does need to be though. At times what looks to be a door or an alternative path does not actually transpire into one, and this is a little. At one point alone I found myself trying to figure out what to do next for 30 minutes before realising that I needed to jump onto a vine that was slightly off camera.

With monkeys as the lead characters, and scaled down to non-ridiculously lengthy proportions.

It should be noted that there are a few technical faults whereby you can disappear off the scenescape and have to quit the game and restart the level. Camera panning needs a lot of adjustment, and this is performed via the nunchuk via an auto centering button.

In all honesty this is a straightforward wheeze. Traverse the levels, have a few puzzles and battles along the way and generally enjoy yourself. Bonus arcade content is also unlockable. This is a well designed, simplistic, reasonably addictive title that is worth a good few hours gameplay. It's let down by a few technical glitches along the way but back in the mid nineties it would probably have been lorded as a 10 million plus seller.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:

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