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Monkey Magic
  opened by paleface at 03:30:56 08/25/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Platformer; loc=NA]
Another buy due to my faith in the gaming power of monkeys, and because it was super cheap. Fortunately, this one ain't all that bad. It looks like this game was part of a push to make "Monkey Magic" into a franchise or something, as the ornate intro CGI movie looks like a high-budget cartoon theme song and TV-quality American voice acting permeates the game itself. The mood is very tongue in cheek with would-be amusing retro shades, such as the karate guys with afros and the female chorus that sings "Monkey-y-y!" when you pick up an extra life token.
Oh, right, so this is a platformer with 3D stages, though the only real 3d part of the gameplay is that sometimes you come to a short pathway that leads into or out of the screen to another layer of platforms. The hero Congo gets various colorful magical abilities such as ice power that can freeze moving platforms momentarily (used for many timing-related platform puzzles) or counteract fire traps. The game keeps you pretty busy with all the powers and big levels and stuff and once in a while it treats you to an elaborate story-advancing partly CGI partly hand drawn cutscene.
The framerate could be a bit better in many cases and some of Congo's animation could be much smoother (why could Donkey Kong climb ropes smoothly decades ago but Congo sputters up ropes between sparse animation frames?) but if you can stand a bit of chunkiness, and a lot of kitsch, and are into complicated platformers, you should be able to extract some amusement from the game.

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