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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 09:15 GMT
Kong game offers monster mash-up
By Neil McGreevey
BBC

Screenshot of King Kong game
Take on dinosaurs on Skull Island

Peter Jackson's fingerprints are all over this official game tie-in to his take on the screaming 1933 RKO monster mash, making it the one movie license to rule them all.

The bearded uber-nerd was heavily involved in developing the title alongside Gallic games god, Michel Ancel, meaning the end result boasts a level of celluloid polish that trounces even what we have come to expect from EA.

The first masterstroke is a stellar cast that includes rock-thesp Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts and Andy Serkis, once again breathing life into a CGI character obsessed with the one thing that will kill it.

Video games such as Super Monkey Ball, Ape Escape and countless other simian sims have taught us that virtual monkey business reigns supreme.

Run amok

The wrath of Kong is largely a first-person jungle romp - think Medal of Honor on a dinosaur-infested island - but featuring enemy-baiting strategies straight out of this year's sleeper hit, Stranger's Wrath and eye-popping set-pieces.

Occasionally the action shifts to third-person and you get to play as the big hairy oaf himself, be it walloping giant lizards on Skull Island or running amok in downtown Manhattan.

PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG
Screenshot of King Kong game
Format: Multi-platform (PS2 reviewed)
Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Enduring appeal: 5
Overall: 7

Although these beefy grapplefests descend somewhat into mindless button-mashing, when Kong breaks a dinosaur's neck with a satisfying snap, you will be standing on your chair cheering for the big fella.

With no health bars, scores or other gubbins cluttering up the screen, Kong may offer a clean, immersive experience, but it is a short-lived one.

You can polish Kong off in around six hours, barely twice the length of the film, so there should be many a second-hand copy down at your local emporium soon.

With sumptuous visuals and an original music score, this is pure cinema with a joypad dangling suggestively from it.

While the gameplay features nothing you have not seen before, rarely is it so polished.

Kong truly is a rare beast, a Hollywood blockbuster that fires on all cylinders in the video game realm.

It is pure monkey magic. If only there was more of it.




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