Scooby Doo: Night of 100 Frights Preview
Scooby Doo has seemingly been around since the beginning of television entertainment, and has been an endearing show for years. A movie is set to release in the near future, and this has given Heavy Iron and THQ the aspiration to put their heads together in hopes of bringing this illustrious brand right over to the PS2 (and GameCube).
Like we've seen o' so many times in the cartoon, Scooby's friends have mysteriously vanished thanks to some evil villain who is unbeknownst to your character at the time. So throughout the 12 environments, subdivided into four areas -- a haunted mansion, a graveyard, a swamp, and an undisclosed fourth -- the always hungry Scooby is sought on rescuing his friends, and on the way, eating a few snacks wouldn't hurt.
The play hits notes of both side-scrolling and 3D roaming. Some locales within the areas will limit your exploration to side-scrolling while some of the other places allow more freedom. All in all, though, the game's layout is generally linear.
The game is played out in a very simplistic and basic fashion. Scooby Doo's list of actions doesn't delve very deep. Jumping and double-jumping will be used frequently throughout the game's levels. In between, actions such as tip-toeing past goons and using a football helmet as a ramming tool will be at your disposal.
Scooby's repertoire is basically nothing from the start of the game, unless you want to count his dog collar. Along the way, however, Scooby will discover different accessories that will assist him in his daring journey. A pair of bunny slippers, for instance, can be worn to dim the sound of his steps, initiating stealth-type sequences. Another example is a football helmet that Scooby can wear. Once one is found, the once innocuous dog validates a sufficient amount of offense.
The renowned Scooby Snacks have also been incorporated into the game and aren't just a mere extra item to collect. You can still complete the game if you skip them; however, collecting as many as possible will grant rewards such as new areas to explore.
The graphics don't break new boundaries, but they do what's needed, and that's get the whole feel of a Scooby Doo adventure across. The faces were exquisitely proportioned to mimic those found on the show, and you'll even encounter a host of Scooby's humorous facial expressions along the way. In addition, many of the infamous villains from past episodes will also show their uninvited faces throughout the course of the game, and they look pretty authentic at that. Fabricated around a cartoonish-type look, Scooby Doo does impressively portray its television counterpart, and that's all we ask for.
Heavy Iron Studios also intends to make the appeal of the game more broad than the other outings based on this comical cartoon. Scooby Doo will hopefully lend fans of the series a worthwhile experience. Scooby Doo! Night of 100 Frights hits stores everywhere mid-May.
4/16/2002 Joseph Comunale