by Glenn Given
Everybody loves Scooby-Doo.
Itís a fact. If you are in a foreign land and want to form a personal
connection with strangers just mention Shaggy and Scooby. Instantly
youíll be on the same wavelength. Who doesnít love a pair of cowardly
gluttons who solve mysteries and scoot across the haunted countryside in
a VW minivan?
isnít really a great game. Itís actually a rather bland platformer
shoe-horned into an extra long episode. On the plus side, Adam West
lends his voice as the maker of robot monsters that go haywire and
terrorize various amusement parks. Players control Scooby, who fights
his way through the monster robots with the help of various costumes
that grant the otherwise timid pooch a handful of super-powers ó like
super kung-fu or flight or plunger arrows.
Yeah, Unmasked could
have been a great game had the developers either (a) added more costumes
to diversify the rather monotonous gameplay, (b) increased the Adam West
quotient by two or three orders of magnitude or (c) taken a cue from
some of the great platform games of the past few years like the stellar
Metal Arms or the Rachet & Clank series.
Platform games donít
have to be stale frustrating messes as most gamers have come to assume
but after many years of jump-punch-collect it does take a little bit
more than it used to. Itís sad to see a great set of characters, an
impressive cast of actors (including Natalie from The Facts of Life as
Velma), a wonderful story that lies firmly within the spirit of the
cartoon and a kernel of an idea on variable gameplay go to a boring
waste as Scooby-Doo Unmasked does.
While Unmasked wonít
over-frustrate or offend anyone, itís a lackluster title solely for the
kids or the Scooby fanatics. Barring that you could probably trade it
for a meal or two while traveling abroad.