It seems like just about every year, Disney comes out with a new animated blockbuster movie. This year that movie happens to be the Disney take on the legendary man of the apes, Tarzan. Since I have no children, I was really not motivated to go see this movie so when the game arrived, I had very little knowledge of its storyline. Now that I have played for a while, I feel like I have seen most of the film.
Tarzan the game is your traditional semi-3D side scrolling platform game with a few different elements thrown in to break up the monotony of just trudging through level after level of the same old same old. As with all of the Disney movies-turned-videogames, you will see beautifully drawn graphics and gameplay that is geared towards the younger audiences. So if you have not collected enough tokens (coins, rings, etc) in your life, grab a vine and follow me into the jungle.
If there is one thing that Disney games have going for them is that they are consistent. This game borrows a lot from the last Disney movie-game, Hercules. You spend a majority of your time on a predetermined left to right path. All the while collecting tokens to give you an extra life. Throw in finding hidden letters that spell out T-A-R-Z-A-N (at least it is shorter than having to spell H-E-R-C-U-L-E-S again) and a couple of other hidden items and what you have is a game that you will feel that you have played before.
If you are a fan of the side scrolling platform games, this is not a terrible one. I will say that the younger kids may have some problems, which I will identify a bit later, but it should still be a very playable title for them. Even though I have not seen the movie, I can tell that the game does a great job of recreating the world of Tarzan. I have seen enough previews to know what it should look like. This should help the younger gamers really feel like they are a part of the Tarzan world.
In case you were not sure, you play the majority of this game as Tarzan. You start out as a young Tarzan and as the game progresses, so does your age. I thought this alone was a great idea. It was neat to play Tarzan as a boy and have him grow to a young man and then into a man. I don't know why more games don't use aging in them. You will also get to play one level as Terk, one of the apes that Tarzan hangs with (get it?). Sorry. Anyway, the game spans across 13 levels, not including bonus levels. I just could not shake the feeling that just about everything that I was seeing had been done in a game before.
A big part of Tarzan's quest to stay alive involved avoiding dangerous animals or throwing deadly fruit at them. Okay, I feel that I must say that I have never heard of throwing fruit at something to kill it, but hey, who am I? Anyway, there are different types of fruit that you can throw at the animals which do different amounts of damage. You have standard fruit that you have an unlimited supply of and you can also find fruit that has double the impact of standard fruit, fruit that splits to hit multiple enemies and fruit that kills all enemies in the vicinity. You will find yourself spending a lot of time throwing fruit at animals until they die and then moving along to the next one.
Throwing the fruit at the animals brings me to my complaints about this game. First and foremost, the buttons are very slow to react. Whether it be throwing fruit or jumping, I just felt like all of my button presses were delayed. Another big complaint was the difficulty of swinging on the vines. You know that is a bad thing since this game is Tarzan. Trust me, you will crash to your death more times than you will be able to count while trying to get a stupid vine to swing. Couple that with the slow to react button pushes to jump off of the vine and you will find yourself plummeting to your death quite often.
Okay, so this is where the game shines. Sometimes the PSX looks dated and other times it still amazes me. The graphics in this game are surely topnotch and look every bit as good as an animated motion picture. The brilliant looking waterfalls are amazing. The colorful birds, flowers and animals will have you soaking up the environment more than playing through the game.
If you are a fan of side scrolling platform games and you really like Disney, you should enjoy this game. Playing through I felt that there was not much that I had not seen before elsewhere (namely Disney’s own Hercules). The frustrating controls may turn off some of the younger gamers because it may be difficult for them to get past the first few levels. The game is actually pretty easy to play through but it takes more time than it should because of unnecessary deaths. But still, you can't argue that the game does not look great.
Download Disney's Tarzan
The anime hero, who is a spoof on Tarzan, swings onto the Game Boy scene. Tarzan, the not-too-brainy-but-plenty-brawny beast man, slugs it against a wicked group of poachers who are killing his animal friends for trophies.
Tarzan's goofy antics and beastly powers make him a prime-time TV favorite and a top-seller among Jump Magazine's stable of superstar manga artists. All of Tarchan's animal excesses have been faithfully captured by this Game Boy cart. He can trumpet like an elephant, punch with the ferocity of a lion, and even glide li e a flying squirrel by stretching the skin on his... (sorry, EGM is a family publication).
Check this game out to find out why this buff jocko is so popular in Japan. You'll have a swingin' time with Tarchan around.