Ape Escape 2
So I got my copy of this game named “Ape Escape 2”. Erm, I wasn’t really excited by hearing the name, in fact I have to admit I had never heard of the original Ape Escape. So after some background searching, I found out the game was quite a success. So I wiped that arrogant smirk off my face (I was still thinking about the name) and started to approach the game seriously.
There I went: I started my first game of Ape Escape 2. First we see a pretty childish, not so overwhelming movie-sequence about the story. It turns out our hero of the game: Hikaru, has wrongly delivered a package of yellow sweatpants and some sort of “monkey-helmets”. And the monkeys who have them on are being controlled now by some bad-guy named Specter. So Now you’ll have to save those monkeys from doing wrong. Basically: catch the monkeys with sweatpants and helmets! .. There came that smirk again, as I thought: “This MUST be Japanese” (no offence).
Here I go in the first level with Hikaru. The level is quite easy on the eyes, in fact I feel comfortable in this colourful fully 3D-surrounding. The music soothes my tension, and I get real relaxed just by playing this game. I push some random buttons: Hikaru has some nice moves. I whack with my stick on a telephone and I get the controls told to me by Natsumi, a female friend of Hikaru. This is easy I don’t even have to read the manual!
So this game is very user-friendly. “Off course it is. It’s for kids!” I hear you yelling, but that the nice thing about this game: You’ll enjoy it even though a guy/girl of your age shouldn’t be playing these kinds of games. So I catch monkeys and go through each level, it turns out Hikaru gets gadgets from his friend Natsumi too! Damn, now I can run like sonic, swim like ecco the dolphin (well ok, a sick ecco then) and catch those berserk apes! For each monkey you catch you get coins. These coins help you to get credits OR mini-games.
See, at Hikaru’s headquarters there is a training-mode, a save-menu AND a sort of slot-machine where I put my coins in and always get a price! A Mr.Banana comic, a music-track from the game, or a mini-game and so on!
After playing this a game a few times I am convinced that this game is one of the most relaxing games around for the PS2. It might be too easy for a guy of my age (20) but the fact is that I enjoy playing it.
The graphics aren’t overwhelming but smooth and well done. The controls are very nice (The first Ape Escape was the first game in which you had to use both analogue sticks, and it works out great for the second.) The character-design is fair enough; especially the variety in monkeys is well done (from afro-monkey to gangster-monkey).
All in all this game is a great buy for parents with kids or for guys who like that old-school type of gameplay and don’t really need complex stories to keep them interested.