|System: X360, PC, Wii, DS, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Brash Ent.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Brash Ent.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Platform-centric games usually don't have great combat and Space Chimps is no exception. Luna can only perform one-hit attacks, whereas Ham can lay out a three-hit combo. The enemy A.I. is pretty rudimentary (characters waddle from side-to-side), so taking down an enemy is never all that satisfying.
The designers tried to mix things up by including a Panzer Dragoon-like, on-rails shooter portion that has you flying on what looks like a stingray, but these levels have terrible controls. Trying to target enemies can be a pain; sometimes they fly to the edge of the screen where you can't shoot them and then let out a string of shots.
Since Space Chimps is based on a computer-animated movie, the cutscenes come off as the best part of the visual package. These short scenes have fidelity on par with recent Pixar releases and work well as interstitials between levels. However, much of the in-game graphics just can't measure up to the cutscenes. Most of the game looks like a previous generation title running at a higher resolution. The audio department is headed up by the Blue Man Group and it shows - a lot of the tracks have fantastic drumming paired with inventive instruments. It's a shame that most of these tracks are locked away, forcing you to complete the game before you can hear them all.
Space Chimps is a short ride - maybe too short. Most gamers - even the young ones - should be able to complete the whole game in about three hours. To keep players coming back, each level has Dole bananas (there's some good marketing) that players can pick up to unlock new costumes for the two main characters. Aside from that, there is some bonus concept art, arcade levels that play like on-rail shooters, and a level select that allows you to replay any level. On the 360, the game has no problem doling gamer points for simple achievements - you'll get 20 for just watching the ending credits.
Spanning double the length of its on-screen counterpart, Space Chimps is a brief, albeit fun romp. There's not a lot to really rag on and there's not a lot to really applaud - "average" is the key word for this platformer. Kids should have a fun enough time, but don't expect this title to push past its core audience.
CCC Freelance Writer