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Monsters Inc.

Developer: Artificial Mind | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 03/22/02 | Genre: Platform

I'm sure I can't remember the last memorable Disney game. I think Aladdin on the Genesis was amazing and full of zany humor, but lately games based on Disney licenses crash into one and other. It's like Disney Interactive has a mold that it pours Industrial Strength Liquid Game-O into and out comes a game like all the others, just featuring new characters. This wouldn't be so bad if these games weren't mediocre. Now, Disney's hot new joint venture with Pixar, Monsters Inc, has become one of the elite...a Cookie-Cutter Disney Title.

The back of the DVD case makes Monsters Inc sound great. "It's Scare Time!" "SpineTingling Action!" "Enhanced DVD!" As if exclamation points sell a game...heck no! Not in this day in age; namesake sells! This may be the only reason why anyone would buy this game after such "efforts" as The Emperor's New Groove. After playing the game for an hour, you'll realize most areas are very much the same. The platforming is mundane, the goals are boring and a HUD tells you what to do in certain situations.

All this brings me to one obvious conclusion: Monsters Inc for Playstation 2 is for kids. Call it an epiphany of sorts, although I think the "E for Everyone" rating with absolutely no descriptors gave away the secret. Though I'm 18 and the intended audience is probably around 7, I'm not so sure even 7 year olds will see this one through. Just because they're little, does that mean they need to suffer through another conveyor belt obstacle or be forced to scare those damn little mice again? Sometimes, even I got frustrated after getting lost, how do you think a young'n will react? I swear to you, doors appear out of no where! I can go through an area 15 times and find something new on every pass.

Despite these plentiful drawbacks, Monsters Inc may keep you around for a little while. The graphics are not too bad at all, but are burnt toast compared to the movie sequences included on the disc. Pretty skitchin' movie clips can be unlocked by completing certain optional goals (read: certain tedious optional goals). Also, "Making Of" interviews along with concept art are included. Someone at Disney Interactive got some really good John Goodman and Billy Crystal impersonators for dialogue during the cut-scenes; I'm impressed. But I don't think this is enough to warrant a $50 purchase. If you're a mom shopping around to get a not-so-violent, easy-on-the-thinker game for your budding gamer son or daughter, then by all means, pick up Monsters Inc. But if you're a seasoned pro, you've seen all this one has to offer.

By Craig Lupienski - 04/17/02
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Screenshots for Monsters Inc.

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