February 9, 2006

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Ape Escape 3
PS2
Sony

Holy Jimminy Christmas. Lock the damn cage already.

The third installment of Sonyís simian wrangler continues the seriesí monkey bashing charm. Sadly, though, while it is true that monkeys make everything better (as well as robots, of which there are healthy doses to be fought) Ape Escape 3 begins to fray at the edges.

Itís not that I donít love monkeys anymore. That Iíve somehow lost the desire to thwack chimps on their noggin with a well-timed attack. Certainly herding monkeys with RC cars and a monkey net has far from ceased its amusement. Itís just that I think Iíve bought this game two times over already.

OK, OK, AE3 adds super weapons in the form of interchangeable costumes used to beat super monkey bosses (See! How can you possibly think ill of a game that makes you say ďsuper monkey bosses?Ē). But, other than that minor addition of gameplay and a decent amount of unlockable scenes and game modes (like an homage to legendary sneaker title Metal Gear Solid), Escape the third brings too much old baggage to the table. Perhaps if there had been a healthy revamp of the gear and gadgets we could sing its praises.

Unfortunately that is not the case and while Ape Escape 3 is moderately enjoyable (mainly resting on the strength of the solid gameplay it inherits) and undeniably cute (Tee hee! Monkeys!) itís a middling affair at best. C+

ó Glenn Given

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