Onimusha 3: Demon Siege
Want to get a crash course on how to piss a reviewer? Let him play Ape Escape P (and before you ask: I don’t have a clue why that P is in there). Come on: did Sony actually expect us to like a castrated port of a 1999 PlayStation game that’s being released in Europe a whole six months after its US release (as Ape Escape: On the Loose)?
Apparently they did. Why else would they release such utterly mediocre software such as this one? Anyway: for those of you that care: Ape Escape P (at least it has a chance of winning the award for most moronic name ever) is a platforming game in which you need to catch monkeys. That’s right: catch monkeys. No saving-the-world-hero-stuff this time. It’s as dumb as it sounds.
To catch those annoying humps of pixels, you have a load of gadgets at your disposal, such as a radar, a slingshot and a sky flyer. The most important ones are your stun club and time net, however. Basically, you just look for apes with your radar, try to stun them and then catch them. Lather, rinse, repeat. The seven-year-old gameplay is clearly showing its age.
Next to a dull concept, the game also suffers from horrible camera and control issues. The original game was specifically made with dual analog sticks in mind, so you could swing your net a whole 360° around you. As you all know, the PSP only has one stick. The net has been mapped to one of the face buttons, so you can only swing it right in front of you. The result is that you often need to swing the damn thing for 20 times before you finally catch the ape. And the camera only makes things worse. It wobbles into every direction (except the right one) and readjusting it doesn’t help either. You often won’t see what you’re doing and that’s deadly in a game that supposedly revolves around precision.
Besides having old-fashioned gameplay (that’s actually a euphemism), the game also looks outdated. The levels are colourful, but that’s the only good thing I can tell about it. The game looks jaggy, undetailed and monotonous. The coloured surfaces all look like they’ve been designed in Paint by a teenage wannabe-artist. Why on earth the loading times are so excrutiatingly long and omnipresent is beyond me. The voices in the game are subpar, the music is dull and the sound effects are moronic.
For completeness sake, I’ll mention the nice amount of levels (but what’s the use if they’re so painstakingly boring?) and the possibility to unlock monkey minigames, which you can also play over WLAN.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I suggest you go see a shrink. Simply put: Ape Escape P is simply rubbish. Believe me when I say you won’t enjoy it. If you want a good platformer, go buy the brilliant Daxter. The only thing I got out of this one was a weird urge to torture and kill every monkey in sight. Blow me, Greenpeace.