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.
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
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.