Ape Academy 2
Ape Academy 2 is the successor of the illustrious collection of minigames I rewarded a year ago with a 35% score. This second coming had big shoes to fill and it wasn’t without much anticipation that I pushed the UMD into my dust collecting PSP.
What followed is a game experience that mostly shows why WarioWare is so ingenious. This time the makers have surrounded the minigames with even more unnecessary crap and stuff to make things look better. That way it takes a little longer before you get to actually play, but all in all that isn’t too bad.
When you start up the game you get some sort of world map filled with islands. On each of those you’ll find opponents, end bosses and shops. In the latter you can buy cards which you can pay with money earned by defeating enemies. And cards you’ll need: with them you need to play some sort of paper-rock-scissors against the enemy.
You make a deck (from the possibilities mentioned above) and go to work. You and the cpu bith choose a card and when yours wins (f.i. you have a scissor and the cpu a paper card) you can make the opponent lose some health points and vice-versa. At least, if you can win the following minigame of course. If you win the battle and bring down the other guy’s life points to zero you get a handful of money, an extra card and some new islands or opponents get unlocked.
This extra gameplay layer brings all but fun and it takes too long to navigate or put together your deck.
Onto the minigames! These are awful. If you really want to know why, let me explain. The variation is very limited (running left or right, pushing, some shooting, some jumping, … you know the drill) and on top of that, most of the time you’ve got no clue what to do when and the feedback you get (how can I do better, why can’t I win…) is disappointing. Add to that a ton of games that are plain boring (push a button once) and you know what to expect: 5 minutes wrestling through menus to then play a boring game for 5 seconds.
Graphically the game doesn’t present much either. The surroundings have been kept extremely simple, the style may be funny and colorful but the animations and the way the monkeys act is more stiff than an umbrella on a viagra diet. The music has a couple of nice tunes and now and then you even get to hear a couple of enjoyable sound effects.
Indeed, Ape Academy 2 is equally bad as its predecessor. If you urgently want to throw some money in the dustbin you should really get this game. Other people better take a long detour around it.