The Neverhood, is back for more claymation platform action in Skullmonkeys. Klogg is the enemy again, and this time he's allied with the evil Skull-monkeys. Like The Neverhood, Skullmonkeys will feature sidescrolling action, clay characters, over 100 levels, and plenty of brain-twisting puzzles. Mixed in with the action sequences are several cinematic scenes that will flesh out the story. The Skullmonkey business starts this fall.
The PS needs more games like this. Take all the weirdness and coolness of Oddworld, add lots of clay and loads of uniqueness--and what you get is Skullmonkeys. Not only does SM give you characters that you can't help but love, an original soundtrack that'll make you dance around and cool-looking levels, it also presents a genuinely solid game. This is easily one of the best side-scrollers to hit the PlayStation in a longtime. The attention to detail and continuity of style in SM makes me wonder just how many hours the development team spent on the project--it must've been a very tong process. Animation-wise, the game comes through again. And to think, they did all of it with clay! On top of the gameplay, the various cutscenes with original, daymated FMV are brilliant. It's been a long time since I've laughed this hard at a game. With all of these good things, come the bad. Really, the only gripe I have is that it's too easy for your character to die. I don't mind a challenge, but I also would've liked the halo to allow a few extra hits instead of just one. Other than that, the game is tight. Skullmonkeys is one of those titles I'd recommend to check out even if you're not all that curious. Being a guy who likes to draw and create, Skullmonkeys really gets those creative juices flowing...so to speak.
Skullmonkeys gets the first Sushi-X Hai Sai Award for Most Bust-A-Gut Humor in a Game. You can smell the taint of Earthworm )im throughout, but it's so much more...gross. I challenge anyone to listen to the entire bonus room music without laughing out loud. It can't be done. I'm serious. Besides the humor, the challenge is very tough for veteran gamers, so don't relax too much. Here's a hot game with few problems.
I guess the notable thing about this game is supposed to be the characters animated through claymation. Really, it's no big deal--the characters look no better than any other sprite-based, 2-D platform game. As a platformer, Skultmonkeys is above-average. The gameplay is fun, and the scenery diverse, but there are no great Bosses or wide variety of enemies. This is the type of game that is good enough to rent, but not buy.
Skullmonkeys is one of the most delightfully twisted games I've played in a long time. As far as gameplay is concerned, SM is a hardcore platform game with intense timed jumps and heart-pumping action. The best part of Skullmonkeys, however, is its over-the-top humor and grossness. I laughed aloud several times during play. As an action game, SM is great, but its style and humor take the cake. This one is a complete surprise.
Skullmonkeys doesn't stray too far from its Earthworm Jim roots. In fact, Klayman (our hero) looks quite similar to Jim. It's also worth mentioning that the Klayman character comes directly from the PC game The Neverhood. His adventures are entirely different on the PlayStation, however layman's primary mission in Skutlmonkeys is to prevent a dirty, bad man named Klogg from destroying Klayman's world. It seems Klayman kicked Klogg's ass in the past, leaving Ktogg to regroup and enlist the Skullmonkeys of the planet for a revenge attack. These curious-looking skull-headed monkeys prance around aimlessly waiting to be knocked out or shot by layman.
This old-school, tongue-in-cheek platform scroller brings the Neverhood to the PlayStation along with 20 worlds and more than 120 levels of gameplay. The standard gameplay control of running, jumping and shooting are accompanied by Some wacky weapons which include the Universe Enema, Hamster-shield and the Fart-head?!
What more could you ask for? How about eight different claymation movies that total 15 minutes of stop-frame animation. The short clips feature Klayman and Klogg in several different situations. They all usually end with Klayman narrowly escaping Klogg's guns, scissors or other butchering tools. For those unfamiliar, the scenes have that Nightmare Before Christmas look and feel to them.
On the whole, the levels we were able to preview displayed cool "dream-llke" atmospheres featuring oozing waterfalls, giant skulls and snow-capped mountains. Creative use of light sourcing and shadows contribute a lot to the unusual surroundings. Skullmonkeys, giant flies or psychotic, lederhosen-wearin "alpsinen" are just a few examples of the creative mix of enemies.
If you're a fan of daymation or the classic side-scrolling platform game, keep an eye out for this twisted tale of a brave clay hero and his mutant enemies.
- MANUFACTURER - Dreamworks Intr.
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
When I first heard the title of this game, my mind was ablaze with possibilities. What could it be, I wondered? With a name like Skullmonkeys it must be something seriously evil. As the press information started rolling in, I soon realized that this game was not evil at all. There would be no blood, guts, or gore. Instead, it will be filled with running, jumping and, ummm, butt-bouncing? The point is, don't be fooled by the title.
You are Klaymen, a clay action hero. It is up to you to save the Skullmonkeys. As it turns out, the Skullmonkeys are not quite bright enough to figure out that they are being manipulated by the evil Klogg, who is planning on building a huge metal monster to destroy the world of Idznak. It is up to you to get your clay butt into the action, bring down Klogg and save the world.
Skullmonkeys is the second title developed by DreamWorks Interactive. The first, The Lost World: Jurassic Park had beautiful graphics, but the control was frustratingly sloppy, making the game nearly impossible to play. Did they learn from their mistakes? You bet.
Like I said above, from the title of the game, I was not quite sure what to expect. I know that I was not expecting anything near what the game turned out to be, that is for sure. The best way to describe Skullmonkeys is to classify it as a side-scrolling platform adventure game. It follows all of the cliches of this genre but as luck would have it, I really enjoy the old-school platform game. To mix things up a bit, you will find various weapons --more details on this later -- to battle your way through to the end of the many levels.
Stop me if you have heard this before. You play as the hero of the game, Klaymen. It is up to you to move Klaymen from the left of the screen to the right of the screen (occasionally up and down) collecting various items. The most prevalent of these items being orange balls. When you collect 100 of these orange balls, get this, you get an extra life. But wait! That is not all. As you are progressing from left to right, you will encounter bad guys. You can kill these bad guys by jumping on their heads! I know it sounds crazy but it is true! For the clincher, when you make it to the end of the level, you will face a really big, tough bad guy called a Boss. You must beat the Boss to advance. Crazy!
Ok, seriously now, even though this game does sound like every other platform game ever made, it does have a couple of things going for it that make it different. The first being the awesome levels and level design. This game has more secret areas, bonus rounds, and locations to keep even the most seasoned platform veteran searching around for days. The box claims to have 90 levels of gameplay. I can't say if there were that many, but there were quite a few.
The other thing this game has going for it is its off-the-wall type humor. To give you an example, your weapons include a Universal Enema, Phart-Head, and hamsters that act as a shield. Your check points are called Ma birds because when you jump on them they let out a screech that sounds like a crow saying "Ma". If that is still not enough for you, collect the three 1970 icons hidden throughout the levels and you will be rewarded with an extra level set in the 1970's. The thing that tops it all off, though, is the song in the bonus round. This has to be the best song in a video game in a long time. I will not give it away, but all I can say is just listen to the words. It will leave you on the ground in laughter.
On the down side, even though the level design was cool, the game did get a bit repetitive. The enemies were all similar in design. After a bit, I was just looking to make it the end of the level just so I could face some new enemies. Unfortunately, getting to the next level only solves this problem for a short time because you will find the enemies will become quickly repetitive in that level as well.
DreamWorks Interactive has the graphics thing figured out. As with Jurassic Park, this game sports some excellent graphics. The one thing that makes this different from many other game out there is the fact that everything was created out of clay (or so they claim). It is unbelievable how good the backgrounds look and how smooth the animations are. There were times that I found myself unbelieving that it was made from clay. The characters, although repetitive, did look great and had real personality. As with most games, the intro is also incredible and worth watching just for the clay factor.
If you are looking for ground-breaking gameplay, you might as well look elsewhere. But if you like a good old school side scrolling adventure, you should be quite pleased. The beautiful graphics, offbeat humor and long levels will keep you exploring for hours. I would have liked to see more variety with the enemies but that was really the only major complaint I had. All in all, this game is a good time.
With the visually commanding force of daymation, Skullmonkeys delivers strikingly eyepopping graphics. Unfortunately, it falls short in gameplay as its platform-hopping action offers nothing new to this seriously worn-out genre.
You play as Klaymen, the hero from the PC game The Neverhood, who is called in to save the fantastical land of Skullmonkeys. Aside from the usual jumping, running, and shooting, Klaymen also packs two screen-clearing weapons, a bird-like homing bomb and a green fart that takes on your form. Throughout, the standard controls respond decently but lack innovation.
Graphically, Skullmonkeys shines with brilliance and creativity as each level is handcrafted from clay. Even the backgrounds add an extra highlight to some of the best clay characters in gaming. The sound and music are funky and original, but the music often lacks a nice beat.
Skullmonkeys' real downfall is that despite its 3D look, it's still strictly a 2D sidescrolling game, and everyone's played too many of those by now. Also, the paths through the game are very limited, which generates little replay value.
Skullmonkeys is purely cosmetic and may trick those who don't recognize its facade. If you're still into side-scrolling games, Skull-monkeys might be the perfect mold for you, but otherwise, there's more fun to be had with Play-Doh.