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    jp's Ape Escape 2 (PS2)

    [December 27, 2009 02:58:03 PM]
    Finished! (with about 67% completion)

    For a moment there I was worried because I seemed to be getting to the end, but my completion percentage was only about 50%. Then I figured that I could get a higher rate by going back to earlier levels and catching all the apes. That didn't work either. Hmmm...

    Well, it turns out that once you've finished the game, you're awarded two new gadgets. One is a boxing glove on a spring, and the other is a viewer that lets you spot hidden areas. You can't access the hidden areas without the boxing glove, so there really isn't a way for you to get 100% on a given area without first having finished the game. That seems a bit odd and I realized that I could have played each area 3 times before finally getting the 100%!

    The way the game works is that each area has a number of monkeys loose in it. The first time you play an area you're given a goal (say, catch 10 of the 14). As soon as you catch the 10, you are instantly teleported back. So you can't go for more! If you replay an area prior to finishing the game, you can catch the rest. However, you won't REALLY get to complete the area until you finish the game and go back with the viewer and the boxing glove. That sounds like a bit too much!

    On the other hand, I was able to complete the game in less than 9 hours of gameplay, which is absolutely wonderful. I can go back for more if I really feel like it...and there are tons of extras to mess around with as well. In all the game doesn't skimp on content and the difficulty was just right for me.

    Oh, another "funny thing", the game is apparently so old that it was published by "Ubi Soft" with the old rainbow swoop logo. Wow. Has it really been that long?
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    [December 17, 2009 09:38:31 PM]
    Just past 30%.

    I couldn't help notice yesterday how beautiful some of the areas in the game are. Each "level" is essentially a unique location with a distinct theme, style, and flavor. They are rather uncluttered but still imaginative. I was reminded, in fact, of some of the world in Super Mario Galaxy (high praise indeed!) as I jumped up a large staircase whose steps "flattened" and unflattened in a regular cycle.

    I'm still not so excited about the camera (or general lack of control over it).
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    [December 15, 2009 10:49:30 AM]
    I remember playing Ape Escape on the PSOne a long time ago for about 45 minutes. It wasn't a particularly good experience. I had only recently bought a Playstation and didn't have enough practice with the controller (Playstation was my first console, until then I had either played at friend's homes or on a home computer).

    A few friends of mine brought Ape Escape over because it was the first game we had gotten our mitts on that required the DualShock controller! We were pretty excited about the novel gameplay mechanics and control schemes that would be developed using the twin sticks, and Ape Escape was, well, a first step in that direction.

    I never played Ape Escape again because, in practice, playing with both sticks seemed too complicated and un-intuitive. Yes, moving both sticks to row, swim, and whatnot sounded cool, but it didn't quite work for me.

    So, I have no idea why I bought THIS game many years ago. I'm sure it must have been a bargain, but I got it new and it's been sitting on my shelf for a long time.

    Last night I played for about 60 minutes and had some fun. My impression is that the gimmicky aspects of the controller use have been toned down for the sequel (and I'm also more comfortable with a controller). However, the game still uses both sticks in what is now an unusual scheme. Essentially, the right stick is used to attack (in whatever direction you move the stick to), while the face buttons are used to assign weapons/gadgets. So, you always have 4 weapons/gadgets you can quickly switch amongst. You then use them with the right stick. (jumping is mapped to the R1 and R2 buttons, but if you press both at the same time you leap).

    As I write this I'm thinking that this sounds quite complicated. And, to a degree, it is. However, the hardest part so far has been getting used to NOT having the camera controlled by the right stick. (I'm still not sure where the camera controls are...other than switching to first person mode). It's odd...but it mostly works so far!
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    jp's Ape Escape 2 (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 14 December, 2009

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 27 December, 2009

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Charming, funny, and well designed. I would call it an undiscovered gem.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

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