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     " I guess the programmers figured that their target audience just wouldnít notice. "

      Title: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command by Activision

      Format: Action/Adventure for PS One

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Use tons of power-ups like rockets, shields, and lightning guns. Travel over intense terrain with hover boards, jet packs and more. Fight through 14 levels in 8 3D worlds.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: I was impressed with the graphics when I first played this game. But then I realized that I had the texture smoothing function turned on with my PS2. So when I popped it in later without the smoothing turned on I expected the game to look very crappy. But I was surprised to find that the game still looked very good (this is due largely to the fact that it doesnít have a lot of complex texturing). The game has that cool 3D cartoon look sported by such other titles and Jet Grind Radio and Wacky Racers (both seen on the Sega Dreamcast). The look definitely fits the mood of the game as it is very bright and, to be truthful, zany. I havenít seen a hint of slowdown in any of the levels and the animation is smooth. 4 out of 5

      Sound: I have to say my favorite sound-bite from the first movie is when the little green alien toys all say "Ooooooooooh," in unison. Therefore I was delighted to find that same sound present (often) in this game. Along with the graphics the sound in this game is zany. There are many one-liners popped off by Buzz as you explore different worlds. And weapons sounds add greatly to the lighthearted fun of the game. The music is decidedly suited for the background with its light cartoony styling. It isnít bothersome and thatís very good. Though, no one will ever buy the soundtrack to this game. 3.75 out of 5

      Game Play: The game play is extremely simple, and can be quite fun. It might take people a while to get used to the way their character moves about on the screen (it feels like a free-roaming game, but is entirely linear) but once you do it is fairly easy to move about. The concept behind the game is very interesting. In this game your job, rather than blowing up every enemy you run into, is to chase the boss to the end of the level before he has a chance to get away. Donít get too distracted flinging poo at the bad guys or youíll lose halfway into the level. There are tons of different weapons and power-ups that you can buy with the points you earn from shooting bad guys. These range from different guns, to jet packs, to hover boards, and add a lot of variety to the game. 4 out of 5

      Level and Environment Designs: Those of you with a penchant for exploration better leave your compasses and Power bars at home. The levels in this game are very straightforward (no pun intended) you will follow from beginning to end without seeing more than a handful of branch points. And those branches that do exist usually lead back to the main path before too long. But with a game like this having too big of an environment would be pointless since your job is to get to the end of the level as quickly as possible. However, you are rewarded for exploring a little, usually one of the little green guys you must rescue is hidden somewhere a bit out of the way. 3.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer: No multiplayer, no multiplayer scores.

      Replayability: The simplicity and wacky charm of this game lends some to the Replayability of it, but the fact that it is so linear makes it less tempting. If it had hugely explorable environments it would be much more fun to go back through a second time, but as it is you will feel that there is not much more to accomplish after you beat it. 2 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: The story in this game doesnít have a large presence. Basically you just go from planet to planet beating up bad guys who are featured in the animated series. The big problem with this is that there are scenes taken straight from the cartoon at the end of the levels, and they donít match up at all. For example in the second level you chase Gravatina (a psycho alien with a huge head that has a large crush on Buzz) through a rocky, lava-filled environment to large cave where you finally defeat her. But then you are shown a clip with Buzz in his boxers at Gravatinaís house. I guess the programmers figured that their target audience just wouldnít notice. 3 out of 5

      Instructions and Learning Curve: The game is very easy to pick up. After about six minutes of playtime you will be able to progress at a good pace through the adventure. There is an interesting lack of a tutorial in the game; especially interesting for a game that targets a young audience. The instructions in the manual are very thorough. They tell you all the moves that Buzz can do, and go as far as to show all of the power-ups, and even give a short synopsis of each of the 15 levels in the game. A brain-dead gerbil could play this game with confident ease after reading through this manual. 4.5 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: With this game there wonít be many spots where you get aggravated waiting for a level to load. The game looks very nice for a PS One game, and runs very smoothly with no trace of slow-down. This game supports the Analog controller and the Dual shock function, and only takes up one block on a memory card. 4.5 out of 5

      The Verdict:


       This game is just plain fun. Certainly it is targeted at a younger audience than myself, but nonetheless it manages to have some appeal to gamers of all ages. The Graphics are very cool as is the animation, and the idea of racing the boss to the end of the levels is a very cool one that I hope to see explored further in the future.

      The Good: Good graphics, cool sounds, and interesting concept, fun environments, and a short learning curve.

      The Bad: The story doesnít make sense when coupled with the cut scenes; there is very little replay value.

      The Overall Ugly: A pretty cool game for anyone who owns a Playstation. It has a very neat style both graphically and game-play-wise. This game is something that people should at least give a shot.

      What it's Worth: I would pay $25.00 for this game.

Buy it direct from Amazon.com

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