So I was asked to review the King Kong video game after seeing the film. Yes, I was one of the lucky people to see the first world wide screening of the new Peter Jackson movie. My first opinion of the film was it was way too long and took way too long for anything to happen; that’s just one of the problems I had with the movie.
But I took that out of consideration when starting to play the video game. Unfortunately, not much changed when I put the game in the machine. No, the game didn’t take long to load, but once it started, you moved one motion upwards and then waited another three minutes before actually able to start playing the game and moving your character.
Ok, I’ll add a positive to the game – the graphics in the game are really good. Starting in a boat, the water looks real, the people look incredibly similar to the real actors, and the rocks crumble like real rocks do.
The game begins when you land at Skull Island, on a tiny sail boat making it onto the main land. At first, I thought I was able to control the boat and row faster, but no. The rocks crumble down and crashes onto the boat; all this time, you just have to sit and wait for the rocks to fall and land on the main land (there’s no way to speed it up). When the game comes back up and you’re on the island, once again, you have to wait for ‘Ann Darrow’ (Naomi Watt’s character) wakes you up to explain what happens.
After five minutes of starting the game, you’re finally able to control the character and play. You begin the game as ‘Jack Driscoll’ (Adrien Brody); on the island with you is Ann, ‘Carl Denham’ (Jack Black) and ‘Hayes,’ (Evan Parke) the first mate on the ship. You’re supposed to follow Hayes up the stairs to a cave and discover the island; here’s one tip I’ll give you so you don’t get stuck and have no where to go and have to start the game over - make sure you follow Hayes and don’t go ahead of him.
Ok, so once you get in the first cave, it takes a while to figure out what to do; you’re supposed to take a gun from Hayes and use it on killer, giant spiders. But until figuring out what to do, you can be walking around the cave doing nothing.
Once you grab the gun and the spiders start coming out, another tip is don’t waste your bullets; you only have a certain amount of ammo for the first level of the game (and believe me, you’ll need to save them for later in the level). There is no aiming for your shooting; you just need to kind of guess where you’re shooting and hope you kill the spiders – I found myself wasting a lot of shots because I couldn’t see where I was shooting (and you need to shoot them twice to kill them).
So once you get past the spiders (if you get passed them without dying), you follow the cave to go further inside the island. There, you meet up with some water creatures, more spiders, and a large crab-like creature. Once again, I’ll remind you, you have no aiming system and you can’t waste too many bullets cause once you run out, you have to use your hands or pieces of a stick (if you’re lucky to find them).
Trying to find your way through the island and killing the creatures, including giant millipedes, snakes, and spiders is pretty much what you have to do for the first three levels. Eventually, Hayes and Carl leave and it’s just you and Ann making a way through the island.
Here’s where the game got a little too much and I actually had to stop playing; after you and Ann get to higher ground, you’re met by pterodactyls which you have to kill. Since you’re out of bullets at this time, you’re forced to use sticks to kill them. And if you can’t find the sticks or have time to run over and get them, you have to use your hands – let’s just say, that doesn’t work too well. It took me about 10 tries to get tired of getting killed or just missing the pterodactyls from throwing sticks, I turned it off.
And it wasn’t just me, I happened to be playing with a computer programmer, who is an avid role playing gamer. He got, if not as frustrated with the game, probably more frustrated with not being able to kill the creatures and not having an aiming gage.
Another thing I had a problem with this game was just like the movie, it took forever to do anything and I never had a chance to even get to King Kong. Now, I’m sure if I played for hours and hours, trying to kill the pterodactyls, I would have made it to the ‘big guy.’ But that never happened; on the commercial, it promotes you can play ‘as man or Kong;’ unfortunately, I only got to play as man. Again, the graphics and art in the game are really good, but it’s just not enough to make me want to play this game.
King Kong: The Video Game is rated ‘T’ for Teen; it’s in stores now, produced by Ubisoft. It’s available on all formats: Playstation 2, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Game Cube, and your PC.
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