This game bugs me.,
This review is from: Singstar ABBA (Playstation 2) (Video Game)
Because it is a PS, rather than a PS2 game, the graphics look much more blocky and dated than games available today, but at the time that the game was released in 1998, this was considered a groundbreaking game, as it contained some actual clips from the movie as cutscenes. I remember that my original reason for buying the game was for my eldest son, who was only 4 at the time to play, as the colourful box cover indicated that this was a game aimed at young children.
The game however, is a little bit more complex than it appears. You play as the main protagonist, Flik the ant, and move around various worlds, including the anthill, the dried up riverbed and the bug city. There are 15 levels in all. Movement is quite easy, with basic movement easy to master as well as jumps and attacks. The problem comes with the addition of "seeds", which can grow into various items to help you proceed through the level. Once you have a seed, you can plant it and toggle through a variety of options, including a bouncy mushroom and a large plant. Once you have decided what you want your seed to grow into, you can use it to reach higher ground or get past obstacles, but in my view, the way you do this is overly complicated, especially for young children, and seems to be an unnecessary complication in the game. The levels also have further missions which are optional, such as killing all the enemies on a level, collecting the letters F L I and K and collecting 50 pieces of grain.
The levels themselves are very nice visually, and the pan pipe type music is jolly and atmospheric. The voiceovers are very good and the speech is very clear. The characters themselves look a bit basic and blocky and there can be a few "bugs" (pardon the pun) in the levels that stop them from running smoothly. The initial training and anthill levels are very easy, but the later levels get very hard very quickly, and require you to negotiate big mazes full of hostile enemies. The frustrating part is that you have limited lives in order to do this, and if you haven't remembered to save your game, you will lose all your progress if you die, as there is no autosave function.
My little boy loved playing the game, but found the grasshopper enemies quite scary, as they can be quite aggressive. Also he found negotiating the mazes difficult, as well as knowing how to place the seeds to get past obstacles, and I had to help him out a lot. This is not a game that a child will just be able to get on with and play. Lots of things require explanation, and there are a lot of strategy elements in the game, making it more suitable for kids aged 7 and up than very young kids.
I think that the reason the game ended up at the back of the cupboard to begin with was because we got to a certain point in the game (the bird level) and we couldn't work out how to proceed any further with the game. Maybe with a bit of perseverance we will crack the game eventually, but it is not really one that kids will return to again and again unless they are die hard fans of the movie. You may be able to get it quite cheaply second hand, but this game will never go down in history as a classic. However, as a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon, it can be quite nice to rediscover your old game collection!
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Initial post: 12 Jan 2014 20:28:41 GMT
Alex Eagle says:
IT'S RETRO!!!!!!!!!!! That's what graphics were limited to at the time. If you don't love it then you're not a worthy PlayStation1 owner! (Or if you're playing it on a PS2 then you don't deserve ownership of the game). You sound like a grown man and should have no trouble playing it. Why don't you try something easier on PS4? Sounds much more suited to you.
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