features some new gameplay elements not usually associated
with Scooby-Doo, but are they enough? by
14, 2006 - You
would think that somebody must be getting sick and
tired of apologizing for all of the poor quality Scooby
Doo video games on the market. But then again, Scooby
is brought to you by the same duo that duo-handedly
put an end to the golden age of cartoon animation.
I'm talking about Hanna-Barbara. They brought us the
Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Tom & Jerry and Scooby
Doo, just to mention a few. I'm sure they wouldn't
want a video game to upstage their lifetime achievements
in the cartoon industry. With the release of Scooby
Doo: Unmasked, William Hanna will definitely not be
spinning in his grave.
Shaggy, Fred, and all the rest of Mystery Inc. are
out to solve the mysterious disappearance of Fred's
eclectic cousin Jed. He works at a studio that has
recently developed a series of monster costumes that
give the wearer superhuman powers when used in conjunction
with a substance called Mubber - which is reminiscent
of like Disney's Flubber. The studio owner claims
that Jed ran off with the costumes and the formula
in an attempt to sell it to a rival studio. We all
know that anybody related to Fred wouldn't do such
a thing, so the gang takes it upon themselves to find
Jed, clear his name and solve the mystery. Some things
with virtually every Scooby Doo episode the action
takes place in locations such as a castle, museum
and haunted theme park. The gameplay is mostly of
the platform variety but there are puzzles, collectables,
mini-games and the ability to transform Scooby into
four different characters thanks to the magic of Mubber
and the costumes. Unlike the console versions there
isn't much to explore. There are some nooks and crannies
that you can get into for the odd Scooby Snack but
the levels are very linear and you'll always end up
going where the game wants you to go. While jumping,
climbing and spinning your way from platform to platform
you will be on the lookout for Scooby snacks, Mubber,
clues and parts of traps that you can set to catch
the bad guys.
the collected Mubber and the costumes, Scooby can
change into four different characters: a scientist,
a martial artist, a flying Scooby-Bat and an archer.
The scientist character initiates the Mubber-collecting
mini-game. Using the stylus, you move a Mubber-collecting
particle around the screen while other Mubber particles
attack itself to it. You have to avoid the anti-Mubber
particles that bounce around the screen. The Kung-Fu
costume allows Scooby to knock enemies around while
also kicking wooden planks out of the way. As the
Bat-Scoob you can fly through the levels aided by
fans. Where there are none he can glide long distances
when he leaps from a platform. The archer can shoot
plungers at enemies or shoot them at targets. By shooting
them into a wall at various heights, you can scale
the plungers like a ladder to reach high areas and
search for more goodies. All of these costumed characters
can be changed on the fly when you need them.
is not the easiest of characters to control on a platform.
You've got to worry about four legs as opposed to
two. To make matters worse there are some leaps of
faith and there are some high ledges which makes spinning
attacks and butt bouncing nearly impossible. There
are no shortage of enemies on these ledges which not
only seems unfair but it gets irritating since this
is area is very restrictive. The collision detection
system is faulty because even when you get a good
shot in it doesn't always register. This isn't a fault
of the touch screen, it's the fault of the programming.
The touch commands at the bottom of the screen offer
you a helpful array of commands, stats and communication.
Their placement is very convenient.
further break up the platforming gameplay you will
find clues that Thelma will help piece together. Dusting
for fingerprints is another technique you will learn.
You will also lead enemies into the path of traps
that Fred constructed out of items that you collected.
All of these elements are well thought out but unfortunately
they aren't executed very well. There are issues with
clipping, collision detection and other processing
problems that actually do interfere with the gameplay
backgrounds are rendered in 2D and look as good as
anything seen in the animated series. The textures
in the immediate 3D environments are low res and stand
in contrast to the cel-shaded character models which
also look as good as the show. There are some nice
animated sequences that segue into some of the levels
but there are no voiceovers. You will hear some Scooby
yelps and groans as well as some choice cartoon sound
effects. The music is perfect for the game and toggles
between chilling and lighthearted.
Doo: Unmasked is a decent game but it's very short
and short on replay value as well. It also has some
technical issues that will definitely sour your relationship
with the game in some aspect or another. For these
reasons I would definitely rent this game.
massive levels including the Harum Scare'em Museum,
the Haunted Rockin' Roller Coaster, and get ready
for a Shuddery Showdown in Chinatown.
and wear costumes that give Scooby special abilities
such as a Kung Fu Scooby, Bat Scooby, and Robin
game engine featuring "contour shading"
that makes the game look just like the cartoon.