Review by Drake Aldan

Reviewed: 07/08/03 | Updated: 07/08/03

Ya gotta catch 'em all... and who better to catch them all with than Ash Ketch... Um, I mean, Jimmy!

Let me start off by saying that Ape Escape 2 is one of the most addictive games ever, and it should be GOD, but it isn't. There are two reasons why... One is that it isn't marketed right, and two... read on to find out.

The graphics in Ape Escape 2 are as expected. If you take some time to ignore the great gameplay and actually look around, you'll see the awesome design for everything. The game is reminiscent of Gex(at least to me) in how it parodies almost EVERYTHING. Hell, there's monkeys named ''The Chimpinator'', ''Neo'', and such. The design just helps the game's attempt to poke at everything.

The sound is pretty good, generic grunts and stuff. Crisp and clean. Oh yeah, did I tell you that Pipotchi(the hero's baby monkey partner) has some strange references to Pikachu and Jimmy & Natalie(Hero and female partner) are voiced by the same people that voice Ash & Misty in Pokémon? It might add to your experience if you're a Pokémon fan, but it didn't matter to me anyway.

Here is where Ape Escape 2 shines. Catching monkeys is addictably fun, and you just can't stop catching 'em. Even with the most frustrating monkey, Tommy, you'll still have the urge to keep trying. Jimmy, the main character and hero, has a variety of unique tools and gadgets to kick and catch some monkey tail. Pipotchi, his baby monkey partner, can also help Jimmy out of some tight spots, and you'll come to love him. There are also minigames to keep you occupied if you tire of the game easy. Great stuff.

Ape Escape 2's whole world is based on those two analog sticks. And since they are, the programmers didn't mess up on things. I never had a problem with the controls, and if I did it was something I was doing to make it that way... though sometimes pressing L3/R3 AND moving the analog sticks in a direction at the same time might give stunted results but it may just be my sloppy hands.

Ape Escape 2 does NOT have a real good story- it's just ''go catch all the monkeys!'' and you're off. You won't care though, because you're caught up in the gameplay and design.

This is where the game kind of falls down and smacks itself. Ape Escape 2 can be completed 100% in
1-2 days tops. It really is meant for kids, even though it doesn't feel like it(lots of cartoony violence in this game!). When you get 90% you can also play as Spike, the hero of the original PS1 title Ape Escape, but it doesn't breathe that much into the game. The minigames will keep you up the rest of the way though. So, this will end up collecting dust until you decide to start over again. It is what keeps this game from getting a perfect 10.

Rent it, definitely rent it. I always rent my games, though I was surprised at how short of a time it took me to beat Ape Escape 2. I was whining about Gameshark codes to use on it(I use Gameshark codes on EVERYTHING!), but when you do a full 90% completion in a day, you see it doesn't need 'em. If you do buy it, make sure you forget your experiences, because no matter how addictive catching monkeys are, you're gonna get tired.

Let us hope that Ape Escape 3 doesn't have that problem.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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