Címon, you knew this was coming. With every major movie
release, a video game tie-in is expected. With every major movie
release aimed at children, a video game based on the movie is
practically required by law. So here we are with Monsters, Inc. the
video game, and itís pretty much what youíd expect.
As it should be, the story is really simple. Randall (the evil
lizard thing) has shredded Booís (the innocent girl) door, and itís
up to Sulley (the big bear thing) to find the door pieces and get
Boo back home safely. Obviously, thereís only one type of game you
can get out of that: a platform game. And Monsters, Inc. is your
standard platform game in almost every way. As Sulley, youíll
traverse over 20 levels (through five different worlds) trying to
get Boo back home. Along the way, youíll collect a variety of
things including candies (allows Sulley to perform a Roar Attack),
hearts (red and green providing different amounts of health), laugh
canisters (allows Sulley to use the Laugh Cannon), door pieces (to
put the door back together), and a variety of other items. Along the
way, youíll have to avoid agents of the CDA (Child Detection
Agency). Since they canít be killed (this is a childís game
after all), youíll have to avoid them and stun them with attacks.
Unfortunately, theyíre practically the only enemy youíll face
the entire game and get old rather quickly. One good feature is that
the map is randomly generated with each new game, although the
inclusion of a map of each level (along with item locations) doesnít
make it any more challenging. Fortunately, the "Hard"
level negates this by only showing rooms youíve discovered.
This platform action is broken up occasionally by two mini-games:
a downhill skiing game and a door puzzle. After collecting the door
pieces in each level, Sulley will then have to fit them into the
broken door. This is just a simple puzzle involving the rotating and
placing of pieces, and once the door is made whole again the boss
area for each world will be opened. The downhill skiing game gives
the player a chance to collect extra candies, health, etc. This game
is accessed by finding the Bonus level warp within different levels,
and the playerís performance can be enhanced by finding different
collectible vehicles in the level where the warp is located. If the
special vehicle isnít located before entering the warp, then the
level will be played out using a homemade sled (which is slower and
harder to maneuver).
The graphics, as theyíve always been with Pixar-based games,
are excellent. Each world has a distinct look to it, with a bright
color palette (essential for a GBA game) and lots of detail
everywhere. Every sprite model is very well animated, right down to
Sulleyís fur when jumping. The childish look of the game limits
the overall graphical impact somewhat, but itís still a pretty GBA
game thatíll look great in a little kidís eyes.
The sound is also excellent. There are plenty of sound effects,
and the music is catchy. While it does loop a bit too much, the
music is done well enough (and the music changes often enough) that
it doesnít ever get too annoying.