Scooby-Doo! Unmasked PS2 Review
Invention isn’t really a word you would associate with the licensed platformer, as going down the safe route and attaching a name generates sales anyway, so who needs to be wearing a thinking cap? Nevertheless there’s still room for a good platform game in our book.
Much like this very review, Scooby-Doo! Unmasked is as generic as they come with only the slightest hint of invention. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, it’s all about the jumping, the collecting and the colourful graphics. These platform games get more difficult to review by the second!
The famous Scooby-Doo and his mystery Inc companions are familiar faces to just about everybody, which isn’t surprising as the characters have been solving mysteries for over 30 years in various Scooby-Doo cartoons. Thanks in part to the adequate cel-shaded graphics, and the use of the current voice actors; Scooby-Doo Unmasked captures much of the essence of the show, which is sure to please the cartoon canine’s fan base.
Those fans may be disappointed to learn that Scooby is the only playable character, which means Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy sit it out whilst Scooby has all the fun. Different characters, certainly could have added to the variety, but it unfortunately just wasn’t to be.
Being the generic platform title that it is Scooby-Doo! unmasked unsurprisingly features jumping aplenty. Levels take place in Scooby-Doo like locations, such as amusement parks and museums, and predictably end in the unmasking of the levels foe, which reveals an apparent ghosts real identity and the reasoning behind their mad antics.
Plenty of jumping then and enough collecting to create a cure for cancer, bring peace to the world and house the homeless if it were for charity, which it’s not. At least the pickups are charitable to the player though, with Scooby snacks rewarding you with a block of lost health for every hundred you collect, whilst in a nice idea, various food found throughout the game can be mixed by Shaggy which eventually results in earning yourself an extra block of health upon mixing enough horrid ingredients (yes no combination is impossible – ice cream, sausages and pickles here we come!). You’ll thank the lord for not actually having to taste it all!
Another rather nice idea is the fact that Scooby is able to don three costumes throughout the game by using the Mubber substance found throughout the levels. The individual suits endow Scooby with brand new skills, therefore the kung fu suit grants Scooby a set of deadly combat skills, whilst the bat suit allows him to ride air currents and glide when required, and finally, the Robin Hood getup arms Scooby with a bow and…plunger, with not an arrow in sight.
Finding clues around the games levels can lead you to finding food in the games central hubs or costume upgrades, whilst others are a requirement to progress the plot. You’ll also eventually have to team up with Velma to work out mysteries, which results in you coming face-to-face with the age-old big boss of the level.
This is a game that is strictly aimed at the platformer newcomer, bar the odd frustrating moment where checkpoint spacing seemed a little off; we found the game a total breeze to play through. The younger target audience probably won’t have too much difficulty in progressing either, as the game doesn’t pose too many frustrating moments.
Scooby-Doo! Unmasked is a fun and decent platform game, which may be pretty lazy in design and a little lacking in variety, but it does get the job done. Jumping across holes and obsessively collecting things just never seems to get old, some would say that platforming is as timeless as Scooby himself.