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Apr. 28, 2001
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Tarzan 3 stars
Tarzan matches movie
PlayStation transfers excitement to small screen

tarzan
Tarzan
publisher
Sony Computer Entertainment
ages
Everyone
requirements
PlayStation
cost
$39.95
difficulty
Medium
rating
3 stars
(out of 4)
screenshots
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related sites
Official Site
Sony

BY JAMES BOTTORFF
The Cincinnati Enquirer

In the jungle of PlayStation video games, it's rare you'll find a movie licensed title that matches the hype of the movie itself.

Tarzan is one of those rare games.

At its heart, Tarzan is a simple 2-D side scroller more reminiscent of games from the beginning of the decade than those of late. However, the detail and care brought to the game by developer's Eurocom, Disney and Sony show that though old, the side scroller still has plenty of life.

The game's 14 levels closely follow the plot of Disney's latest animated film. From the beginning level in which the orphaned Tarzan discovers the jungle to the concluding battle with the evil Clayton, you're immersed in the same magic Disney has brought to the big screen.

The levels all have a unique objective, be it rescuing Jane or fighting the leopard, Sabor. In addition, some levels let you control Jane and Terk the gorilla instead of Tarzan.

Between each of the 14 levels, you'll find a host of bonus missions that are accessed by collecting Jane's sketches scattered throughout the gaming field. These bonus levels range from navigating rapids to roaming the jungle on the back of a stork.

A challenge

Tarzan's moves are worthy of the king of the jungle. He can swing on vines, climb up trees, perform power jumps and surf on fallen trees. Plus, as you grow older you gain new moves and weapons that help you conquer later levels.

Tarzan's simplistic nature is in direct contrast to its challenging game play. As the game progresses, the levels become increasingly difficult. Mission objectives are met with more and more restarts as you try to get past a stampeding herd or through a maze of high-altitude branches.

Ala Crash Bandicoot, the game does a wonderful job of using a three-dimensional landscape to make you forget you're playing a 2-D side scroller. Climbing, swinging and running around the jungle, you'll notice 3-D objects protruding from the 2-D background. The effect is a pseudo 3-D game that might best be described as 2 1/2-D.

In addition, the designer's attention to detail pays off with a wonderful graphic experience. The game's lush vegetation, beautiful surroundings and well-animated characters are what you'd expect to find in a Disney animated movie.

True to movie

Tarzan's simplicity, beautiful graphics and enjoyable game play are a welcome change from the traditional movie-licensed title. So often such games rest on the laurels of the big-screen attraction and fail to bring any excitement to the small, interactive screen.

Fortunately, Tarzan strays from this Hollywood/Silicon Valley formula and delivers a fun, addictive side scroller worthy of carrying the king of the jungle's name.


Send comments, questions and criticisms to jbottorff@enquirer.com

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Apr. 28, 2001
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