Toe Jam & Earl III: Mission to Earth
Lamont the Great Funkopotamous is in a bit of trouble ' someone's made off with his Twelve Sacred Albums of Funk and the whole scene is getting distinctly 'un-funky.'? Now it's up to Toe Jam, Big Earl and Latisha to master the Ways of the Funk and save the funky day.
Toe Jam and Earl is all about a Sega franchise that's finally found a home on a console that can support it. Made exclusively for the Xbox, TJ&E3 is a refreshingly fun and simple game in a world of gaming that seems to thrive on the extremes of realty and destruction. This plays a lot like a 3D Mario game and has almost the same happy feel as the forever smiling Nintendo plumber, but with a distinctly adult twist.
You'll spend most of your time running around exploring maps and unlocking doors with the keys you've collected. Once inside these levels you'll have to accomplish a laundry list of tasks ' from collecting funky power-ups to funkifying the local populace with star-eyed glasses and Shaft-esqu afros. Each world has a boss who has to be dealt with, but despite the long list of baddies you won't find a single lick of violence in this game. Instead it's about bringing funk to the unfunky. The game can be a bit adult in its humor (which there is plenty of) and its language, but one of the game's options allows you to choose between naughty and nice.
Multiplayer is cleverly designed to allow you to hang with your bud and have a full screen to play on, or head off in separate directions and go horizontal split-screen. This happens automatically depending on how far apart you are from one another and is a great multiplayer feature.
The coolest addition to this Toe Jam and Earl is the game's use of Xbox Live. Unfortunately it doesn't allow for Live multiplay, but it does let you download new content off the network. Once you download a new level or character, you can access it by talking to a big Arnie-looking guy wearing an Xbox Live sandwich board who's mocking your puny muscles. You'll have to dole out some in-game cash to get the new stuff, but that just adds to the replayability in my opinion.
Graphics and sound are kicking, or maybe I should say truly Funky, and lean heavily on the Xbox's high-level GPU to pump up the look of a classic.
This game is a must have for fans and newbies alike. It offers gamers a chance to play without shooting or looting and brings a little child-like fun into the increasingly too adult and very cookie-cutter world of console games.