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Ape Escape 3 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . It looks the same and plays the same, but once you've started chasing down those cute monkeys you won't want to put down the control. Ape Escape 3 gets nearly every element right, it's just not very ambitious in its goals. Rating: 78%
Ape Escape 3
Ape Escape 3 Ape Escape 3 Ape Escape 3 Ape Escape 3
  • Review Score:

  • B+
When the first Ape Escape was released on the original PlayStation it was heralded as one of the best games of its type, proving once and for all that Sony's 32-Bit system could do just as much as the Nintendo 64. Not only was the game a chaotic mix of platforming and playground tag, but it was also the first game to really take advantage of Sony's Dual Shock control. Critics and fans fell in love and it looked like Ape Escape was Sony's E-ticket for family entertainment.

But what was once the critic's darling quickly got swept away to be ignored and forgotten. Sony, who was riding high with the success of games like Jack & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank, opted against releasing Ape Escape 2 in the U.S., pawning it off on UbiSoft who released it a full year after the Japanese release. Fans of the series had a right to be concerned; it looked like Ape Escape's days were numbered.

But never fear, Sony apparently saw the error of their ways and decided to take back control of Ape Escape and release this third installment. Not a lot has changed since the very first game, but to the millions of fans out there who have been stuck on this rollercoaster it's just nice to have a bunch of new simian villains to fight, chase, and (hopefully) catch. Ape Escape 3 may not be the most original game of the year, but once you get a taste for simian hunting you'll never want to give it up.

Early into Ape Escape 3 we're re-introduced to Specter, the leader of those adorable (but deadly) little monkeys. His latest scheme involves taking over the TV airwaves, making a lot of monkey-infused television broadcasting. But this isn't just your normal bad TV; we're talking about programs so bad that it will literally melt your mind. That's right; these are shows that are actually worse than the Bachelor, Fear Factor and Deal or No Deal -- though, not by much. But I digress; Ape Escape 3 has you jumping into dozens of film and TV-inspired worlds doing your part to rid those areas of those damned annoying little apes.

Clearing each area of monkeys is easier said than done; we're hunting a prey that doesn't want to be caught and is ready to put up a fight. These aren't your everyday monkeys; these simians are dressed up in all kinds of outfits and sporting a number of deadly weapons (including swords, guns, and even missiles). Worse yet, these apes are natural born runners; you'll find yourself scrambling to catch these little buggers, but hey, that's half the fun, right? Unlike most 3D platformers that have you rushing around to pick items up, Ape Escape's items rush back and do their best to get away from you and your net.

Those crazy little monkeys aren't the only thing that sets Ape Escape apart from the crowd; this game is some of the most unique gameplay mechanics you ever will see. Instead of using the control's face buttons like most platformers, Ape Escape is all about using both analog sticks and the shoulder buttons. Actually, the only thing the face buttons do is change between four different items. Just about everything you want is mapped to the two analog sticks giving this game a smooth feel that is unlike any other platformer on the market.

These monkeys may be crafty, but you have a few handy tools up your sleeve. From the start you get your trusty net and glowing club weapon (which looks an awful lot like one of those lightsabers from Star Wars). Along the way you'll pick up new and more useful weapons, including a slingshot, monkey radar, and even a radio-controlled car. Not only are these weapons helpful for getting rid of the attacking enemies, but many of them can be used to reach new areas and catch more monkeys. The sky flyer, for example, allows you to float through the air and reach higher ledges, all of which you can do by quickly rotating the right analog stick on the PS2 control.
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