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Monsters, Inc.

Review By:  Jared Black

Developer:  Natsume
Publisher:  THQ
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Platform
ESRB:  Everyone
Date Posted:  12-10-01

I bet you didn’t see this one coming. Monsters, Inc. has hit the Game Boy Color, and it’s almost exactly like every other movie-based platformer to hit the system.

The story is as follows. Boo has accidentally returned to Monstropolis, but luckily Sulley finds her before the CDA (Child Detection Agency) does. Thus Mike and Sulley set out to locate the door that will return her home.

As you make your way through the game’s 10 levels of platforming action, you’ll take advantage of both Mike and Sulley’s skills as you avoid the CDA. In some levels they’ll be working alone, while in other levels they’ll be working together (you switch between characters instantly by pressing select). In-between levels, you’ll be treated to a high-color still-picture cutscene (which actually looks pretty good) that advances the storyline and leads into the next level. Mike can double-jump and reach high places, while Sulley can hang from ledges, roar, and carry Boo on his back. This dynamic duo of the monster world creates a good enough contrast in skills that one will be better suited for each particular situation, thus providing simple puzzles to entertain a young gamer’s mind.

The graphics are above par for your average Game Boy Color game, with a nice range of colors, decently animated sprites, and some fairly detailed levels. It certainly won’t impress anyone, but everything from the movie is recognizable here. That alone should be enough for this game’s target audience. The sound is about what you’d expect out of the system…tinny and bloopy music with a few low-quality sound effects thrown in for good measure.

My only real complaint with the game is that the controls take some getting used to. While both characters control consistently and accurately, both feel almost "frog-ish" in nature when they jump. It’s hard to describe really, but if you can recall how Mario felt in the Frog Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3 then that’s a good comparison.

Highs:

  • Super-powerful license.
  • Solid, but unspectacular gameplay.
  • Better than average graphics for the GBC.
  • Allows control of both characters, whereas only Sulley can be used in the GBA version.

Lows:

  • Just another licensed platformer.
  • Not meant for anyone old enough to read this.

Final Verdict:

An average game in every way helped slightly by the powerful license. If you’ve got a little monster with a GBA to shop for this holiday season, this one actually comes recommended (just barely) over the GBA version. It allows the player to control both Sulley and Mike, it’s gameplay is a little more thought-provoking (relatively speaking), and it’s cheaper.  Naturally, if they have just a GBC this is your only option.  If they have a regular Game Boy, then by them a new system you cheap person you.

Overall Score: 6.0

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