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Scaler PlayStation 2

Published by Global Star Software
Developed by A2M
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £19.99

The game begins with Bobby 'Scaler' Jenkins being held hostage. Bobby is a lizard enthusiast and he suspects his neighbour, Mr. Looger of stealing lizard eggs. Whilst he's investigating Mr. Looger he gets knocked out and awakens to find himself being interrogated by Captain Bootcamp. During the ensuing interrogation Bobby is pumped full of lizard energy and is transformed into a lizard. Whilst this is going on though he learns that a squad of dragon creatures have come to Earth from another dimension. They've come to steal all of the lizard eggs that they can to take back to their planet. The plan is to train these lizards as warriors, amass a mighty army and then return to Earth to conquer it. After his transformation Bobby sees a portal open and several lizard creatures jump into it. This portal also takes Bobby too and you'll take control of Bobby, in his lizard form, just as he enters this new dimension.

Scaler is a platform title and as you'd expect you'll have to collect various items and combat various enemies throughout the game. Your main objective throughout the game is to collect lizard eggs but you'll also have additional goals to achieve. For the most part it's pretty much standard stuff. Double jumps, spin attacks (known as a claw attack) are accompanied by rail sliding and tongue attacks, long jump attacks and transformations. You can also make use of items such as bomb plants to get rid of your enemies. You simply do a tongue attack on them and then move away because after a short while they will explode and several together will cause a chain reaction. Anyone who has played a platform game will instantly be at home with the game as it all feels very familiar. Throughout the game Scaler will transform into various creatures and this helps to prevent things from becoming too repetitive. Each of these creatures that he can transform into will have their own form of attack. The combat in the game ranges from very easy to very difficult and the increase in difficulty isn't a progressive thing as you might expect it to be.

Scaler doesn't have the graphical polish of Ratchet & Clank 3 or Jak 3 but at this price you certainly wouldn't expect it to. That's not to say the game looks bad because it actually looks good. The levels have been well designed and the environments all look quite good. The character models don't look anything special though but they are definitely acceptable. Camera angles can become a little troublesome and even though you can manipulate the camera with the right analogue stick there are still moments when a comfortable view cannot be achieved. The frame rate dips from time to time too, usually when you begin a rail slide, although it's never problematic.

Whilst Scaler is certainly a good game it's got one major problem for deaf gamers, the game isn't subtitled. Essentially this means you're going to be oblivious to the games story and this is disappointing. In theory this could be devastating if a character gives you an objective in a cutscene. However if you press the triangle button to talk to the aforementioned character they will give you that objective in text. Tutorial messages are shown in text though. Objectives can be accessed from the pause menu after pressing the start button. A map of your level (which highlights your next goal by using a star icon) and a status report can also be accessed in the same way.

Scaler is one of those games where you have to look at it's price tag when trying to compare it with other titles in the genre. The game doesn't have the instant appeal of say Ratchet & Clank 3 or Jak 3 but what it does it does well and at less than £20 (£17.99 in certain online stores) it's great value for money. It's disappointing that the game isn't subtitled as you'll miss out on all that the cutscenes have to offer which is unfortunate. However you can still enjoy the rest of what the game has to offer. If you're looking for a good platform title for around £20 and you've already picked up what the Platinum collection has to offer, Scaler is well worth giving a go.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
At just under £20 Scaler represents a good platform game experience that fans of the genre should enjoy. It's a shame the cutscenes aren't subtitled though.

Deaf Gamers comment:
The cutscenes aren't subtitled so you'll miss out on the games story.