Scaler

Review

posted 12/2/2004 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: Xbox
The game allows you to pick up and leave the level at any time, which can be nice if you’re just looking to explore other parts of the game. Most of the sections are locked until you earn enough eggs, but you can always see what’s ahead of you and can usually journey forward without finishing all of the goals in the levels.

Between the levels you will run across a number of boss battles that feature large creatures ready to take you out. A lot of these battles are nothing more than puzzle solving while dodging enemy attacks, but there are a few battles that require a firm knowledge of the attack system. These fights are the most impressive aspect of the games, and it’s a shame there are so few of them.

The game itself looks good, but doesn’t seem as colorful or exciting as the worlds we see in other popular platformers. The character animations are good, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them and you tend to see a lot of repeating very early on. The various worlds each look fantastic, even if they are a little darker than I anticipated. They feature unique artwork and designs, and after a short time you will completely forget about the lame story and lizard creature you’re controlling.

A large part of Scaler’s problem is its lack of originality; just about everything in this game you’ve done before in much better games. The game itself is a lengthy journey that has you collecting close to two dozen green eggs, but after three or four you will probably be reaching for something else to play. It’s not that any of these elements are bad, it’s just that the game seems to lack energy and isn’t all that much fun to play.

Another problem comes in the way of the games difficulty, which is pretty easy for most of the game, and then all of a sudden ramps up without warning. The platforming bits are usually easy, but towards the end of the game they just throw so much at you it feels more frustrating than anything.

By the time you’ve wrapped up the story you’ll want nothing more to do with young Bobby Jenkins or anybody else associated with his world. The characters are so over the top you’ll wonder why they don’t have their own early morning show on Nickelodeon, and the world is so dreadfully boring you’ll wonder why you even played this long. These characters aren’t interesting or engaging, they are annoying and aggravating.

By the end of the game I started to wonder who this title was targeted at. Adults will hate the characters so much they’ll probably never get past the second world, whereas the children will be turned off by the games dark look and steep challenge (especially towards the end). Even for a budget price, it seems like Scaler is going to be a tough sell. He’s certainly not the worst mascot character I’ve ever seen, but if this is where developers have been forced to go, then I fear for the future of this genre.



D-
Even though Scaler tries as hard as it can, it just doesn’t have what it takes to compete against the current crop of 3D platformers.


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