We've all seen the ads for the movie. Now you can relive the excitement of the movie at home with Treasure Planet for the PS2. You have to give credit to Disney for marketing their products so well. Okay, so we know about the hype, but can Disney's Treasure Planet, the console game, hold out against other platformers?
The game, like the movie, is loosely based on the original story by Robert Louis Stevenson, with the notable exception being that it takes place in a distance galaxy. Yes, it sounds a bit far fetched, but, for the most part, the game works and is fun. You control Jim Hawkins, a young man who discovers a map that will lead him to Captain Flint's treasure, hidden on Treasure Planet. Under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Doppler, you set out on adventure to find this 'loot of a thousand worlds' with your alien mimic friend, Morph.
The game play can be broken down into two types of play: standard platformer mode, where you walk and jump around similar to other platform games, and solar surfing mode, where you travel on Jim's solar surfer. I was pleasantly surprised to find the addition of solar surfing. The surfing levels are often complex, fast and just plain fun. Usually you solar surf to beat the clock, but other levels allow you to roam without a time limit and one level even requires you to perform a number of trick moves to activate a beacon, ala Tony Hawk. The switching between these modes of game play from level to level helps to keep the game from getting repetitious. Your friend Morph adds another twist by shape shifting into cyborg arms, a helping hand, a jetpack, a glider and speedy boots when Jim steps onto a morph pad. Mastery of these tools is required to complete levels.
There are many things to like about this game. The graphics are wonderful; the sound is solid, particularly since many of them are taken from the movie itself. The cut scenes from the movie effectively transition from one level to the next. The difficulty of the game progresses throughout the game, always keeping the game challenging. To move onto the next world or level, you only have to activate the required number of beacons. This means that you don't have to complete each level to move on but you can always go back to prior levels. This makes the game more playable, as you aren't stuck beating your head on a level because you can't locate the last gold drubloon.
While platform gamers, young and old, will find something to like about this game, there is the feeling that it could have been so much more. You see glimpses of this potential especially on the solar surfer levels and with the exception of the surfing level; there is little replay value to the game. Although I was pleasantly surprised with the game play, Treasure Planet just doesn't generate the long-term enjoyment of Ratchet and Clank. So, even though it has a lot going for it, I can only give it a Fans Only rating.
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Based on Disney's recent movie of the same name, Treasure Planet lets you become Jim Hawkins who has just found the map to the 'loot of a thousand worlds.'? The game is a 3D-platformer so if you've played any you already mostly know how to play this one. Jim is capable of some nifty (and essential) acrobatics and can attack with both a sword and plasma musket. Like all 3D-platform games you get to run around and pick up items, defeat enemies, explore, occasionally try to whoop a boss, and try to get to the end of the level.
What makes this game a bit different is that there are a bunch of tasks you can perform for characters in need. Each task is a mini-game and most remind me of some unconventional classic games I've played. In addition to the 3D-platform and mini-game portions there is also a race mode you can play after completing levels but be careful because it's incredibly easy to lose lives in that mode. The rest of the game isn't too hard if you just go from point A to B but if you want to find everything then you're in for a pretty good challenge ' especially when you have to jump a nice big bottomless gap. Fortunately you can continue your game if you run out of lives.
Controlling Jim isn't too difficult in 3D-platform or mini-game mode but it's a bit of a chore in race mode. Don't even try to compare these graphics to games on the newer consoles because it would stand up like a house of cards in a tornado. As compared to PS1 games, however, the graphics seem standard for this type of game and look a little polygonal. The sounds and music are great, though. The music is very lively and 'piratey.'
With the newer console systems around these days there aren't a whole lot of PS1 games made anymore. Maybe with the lack of a whole lot of new PS1 games the developers are striving to make a better game just so it will sell, or maybe I just got lucky. Whatever the reason Disney Interactive's Treasure Planet is the best platform game I've played in quite a while on any system.