Ape Escape Academy

Review

posted 3/2/2006 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PSP

The more you play these different mini games the more you realize how uninspired they really are.   Not only are most of them completely forgettable, but a number of the games are marred by control issues.  Most of the games found in Ape Escape Academy are the type that require you to have fast fingers and quick timing, but the makers of the game make this almost impossible with sluggish controls and other unfortunate quirks.

Another major problem is that the instructions are so vague that they can hardly be called helpful.  All games get one single line of explanation, hardly enough to teach you what to do.  Generally losing a mini game wouldn't be that big of a deal, but since it puts a big "X" on the board it could keep you from moving on in the game.  The problem is that you won't just lose once or twice because of vague instructions, it will happen all the time.  If you find yourself losing too many squares and wanting to start again, you might be surprised to know that you cannot drop out of this Academy.  Once you've signed up for a year of school you are required to finish it … even if there's no way for you to graduate to the next level.

Beyond the 45different mini games, Ape Escape Academy offers you four multiplayer games.  Two you can play with four other PSP owners using the wireless Ad Hoc mode, the other two you can play by sharing the PSP.  I don't mean you the other PSP owners download information from your PSP (like Burnout Legends), when I say you share the PSP I mean it in the most literal sense.  In these games all of the people involved huddle around a single PSP and get their own set of buttons.  These games are a fun diversion for a few minutes, but when compared to all the great multiplayer games already on the PSP they just don't stack up.

Ape Escape Academy was released in Japan December of 2004, which might go a long way to explain the game's adequate, but dated look.  If you're a fan of the platforming Ape Escape games then you'll feel right at home with this games look and atmosphere.  The music sounds like it has been lifted directly from its console siblings and the simple graphics are exactly what you would expect from an Ape Escape game.  Having said that, there are a few graphical problems that probably could have been ironed out … especially since it took them over a year to release the game in the U.S.

The more I played Ape Escape Academy the more I questioned why Sony would bring this game out at all.  It has terrible controls, uninspired mini games, an outdated look, and a serious lack of direction.  Oh, and did I mention that you can beat the game in a single afternoon?  There aren't a lot of reasons to enroll your self in Ape Escape Academy, it doesn't offer the classes you want and won't help you later in life.  There's no need to incur student loans with this one, this Academy is not worth attending.




F
If you can get over the game's sluggish controls and short story mode you will still be left with a game that is no fun to play. With uninspired mini games that with either bore you or frustrate you, Ape Escape Academy is one school you might not want to apply to.


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