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Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed GBA

Published by THQ
Released: Out Now
Price: £29.99

With games based on the Scooby-Doo license having sold in excess of 4 million titles it's no surprise to see a wave of new titles appearing to coincide with the release of the new, live action, movie. A short while ago we looked at Scooby-Doo! Mystery Mayhem and whilst it wasn't that deaf gamer friendly it was faithful to the cartoon series that we all know and love. Here we have a Game Boy Advance game based on the latest movie, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

The gang, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and of course Scooby-Doo, are invited to Coolsville's Coolsonian Criminology Museum for the opening ceremony. It doesn't turn out to be a happy occasion though as a pair of ghouls ruin the occasion and humiliate the gang. With their pride and reputation battered the gang have a lot at stake. Throughout the game you'll have to gather clues, set traps and use disguises, not to mention gather scooby-snacks and avoid attacks from those pesky ghosts.

The game features levels that are based on movie stills and artwork but this doesn't stop them from being uninspiring. The gameplay is rather mundane and the control feels rather laboured. Initially you'll control Scooby through some basic platforming levels and even this early into the game it just doesn't feel right. Character movement feels slow and heavy and all but the Scooby-Doo enthusiast will struggle to sustain an interest in the game. There are some mini-games in here, one of which allows you to drive the Mystery Machine from a top-down, overhead, perspective but they do little to make the game more interesting.

Graphically it's all a bit of a mess. The characters are large and chunky and the low level of detail they possess is actually more Game Boy Colour like than the Game Boy Advance. The colours used aren't that subtle either. It looks like the developers decided to restrict themselves to using a limited palette of only a handful of colours and this also manages to create that Game Boy Color look, which is disappointing. Having such large characters and such basic looking backgrounds makes the game visually disappointing and also rather clumsy when it comes to the platform elements of the game.

As we've so often remarked with Game Boy Advance games, there are no problems for deaf gamers. All information is displayed in text so you'll be able to follow the games story although to be honest it's basically a straightforward, no frills, platform game and the story line does little to increase its appeal.

Essentially then Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed is a sub-standard game that only Scooby-Doo enthusiasts will want to play. In a final twist though, and a rather unusual one at that, you'll also be rewarded from going to see the movie with additional features in the game. As the credits roll at the end of the movie you'll see Scooby playing a Game Boy Advance which has a code on the screen. Entering the code into your game will unlock an alternate ending. Personally I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on the alternate ending. Although this seems like a ploy to encourage more people to see the movie, I suspect the code will be made public on the Internet sooner rather than later.

Overall Game Rating: 3.5/10
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed is quite simply a huge disappointment and only completely dedicated Scooby-Doo fans will be forgiving enough to ignore the many inadequacies the game has.

Deaf Gamers comments:
No problems.