Released almost 13 years ago, I have fond memories of playing this for hours on end…I also have not so fond memories of anger and frustration from playing this for hours on end.
For what it was and for what it’s worth, for the past thirteen years I have consistently polished and placed this game on a pedestal and called it the best Scooby-Doo console game we’ve ever gotten. And in many ways, I still stand by that sentiment. From a very unfair and slanted view, it could be called one of the worst, mostly because it has no mystery solving elements.
But, again, based on what it is, that wouldn’t have made sense so it gets a pass.
I’m looking at this game from a couple of different perspectives and each gives a surprisingly different opinion. Looking at it as a Tie-In game it’s pretty much perfect! It brilliantly captures the idea and feel of the movie, making your way through levels in search of boxes of Scooby Snax, even if it’s not 100% accurate to the film. It’s not a hard concept to nail down at all and they showed it. It’s crazy how often Tie-in games stray from the source and end up being trash. Rest assured, this isn’t one of those.
The gameplay, if memory serves, is basically just a rip-off of the Crash Bandicoot games of the same console generation which, since I was a huge fan of those games, does not bother me in the least. If a concept works, go with it.
Not surprisingly, the voice acting is great. Though I will be upfront, I couldn’t hear every line as my disc is a little damaged. I could really only hear from the rest of the gang as they talked over the walkie to give hints and what not. But even so, Frank, Grey, Scott, BJ, and Gary Sturgis do not disappoint.
Now, looking at it through the rose tinted goggles of youth and memory, I do remember many times watching my VHS copy of Cyber Chase then playing this for many hours of fun. But if I scrape away the rosie tint, I do recall many issues that caused that seemingly male rite of passage of intense anger at a video game, mostly in relation to Shaggy’s levels. Most of Shag’s levels were a huge pain as they consisted of moving platforms and thin walkways that you easily miss or fall from. Needing a bit of a running start to land them is all good, but when you hit jump twice and he just runs off into a bottomless pit…you want nothing more than to HULK out and smash everything within sight!
Playing it in preparation for this review I can confirm that it is indeed just as anger inducing for my more patient and coordinated 23 year old self as it was for my far less skilled 10 year old self. I left the first Scooby grouping of levels with 13 lives. After that Shaggy traipses through the Coliseum leading to the boss battle with a Lion, I used all 13 of those lives (plus 10 or so more) by the time I beat the Lion. Again, alot of that has to do with the control lag that has always existed. It did cause you to slow down and warm up your character with a bunch of jumps before attempting just one big one, which made it even more irritating. The same problems did begin to affect Scooby once you get to the prehistoric levels…especially on that stupid bridge!
Based on what video games are like now I don’t really see many people going through the trouble of figuring out a way to play this which is a damn shame for newer and future Scooby fans as it truly does a great job of capturing the essence of the movie. If you have the amazing ability to slow down and take great care and patience to have that slight battle with the controls you can have alot of fun with this game.
While it isn’t perfect, there are many cracks, I honestly believe it does still deserve it’s place at the head of the Scooby game pack.