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PlayStation: PS2 Reviews

Review

Disney's Tarzan Freeride

Play this, and you'll soon be yelling "AAAAAYAYAYAYAYAGH" too. But not in a good way.
Play this, and you'll soon be yelling "AAAAAYAYAYAYAYAGH" too. But not in a good way.

What is this law that says you can't have a decent game from a top-budget animated flick? Surely they should look and play better, instead of almost always being appalling.

Tarzan is pretty much standard fare for this sort of thing ñ a jumpy, runny, splashy sort of platformer, with its eye on getting parents' cash rather than making kids' days.

Tarzan is meant to be the Lord of the Beasts, the King of the Jungle. You can see how they've tried to give him some grace and agility, but in this game he's a helpless patsy who gets dragged through dangerous environments, like an animated Frank Spencer.

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It's pseudo-2D, which means you can't jump the wrong way off a branch, but ñ here's the fun part ñ not all the time. So the main challenge in tough spots of the game is to work out what the designers were thinking. Do they want you to attempt the jump, or do you need to slide down off the edge of the platform? Stay on the vine, or leap into oblivion? Get it wrong and you're dead. It's hours of fun, trying to conjure up what must have been going through their heads.

As Disney has reinvented Tarzan as a kind of extreme sports hero, there's lots of scope for fast-moving action. So there's a giant plunge down a waterfall, surfing down rivers, and waterskiing with the help of a friendly bird. It's all very speedy and impressive, but kids are going to find it very tricky. Obstacles fly at you constantly, requiring the sort of timing you'd normally only expect from circus knife throwers. Add in a few basic stunts to perform as well, and it's a recipe for confusion.

If Tarzan is for older kids, then why doesn't it look better? Come to that, if it's for younger kids, why doesn't it look better? There's no denying that Tarzan accurately simulates life in the jungle for a lone human ñ tough, terrifying, and deadly. Jak and Daxter costs the same as Tarzan, looks 700 times better, and is the perfect game for youngsters too.

So unless you're a fan of chest-thumping or you're really desperate for a new platform challenge, stay as far away from Tarzan as you would from jungle fever.

Overview

Verdict
Half-assed platform cash-in with serious difficulty issues
Uppers
  It's got Tarzan in it. Tarzan's pretty cool, right?
  Varied, action-packed levels
  Sliding down mossy trees is fun
Downers
  Everything's green/mud-coloured
  The stunts don't really fit in with the rest of the gameplay
  It's too basic-looking
  It's too tough for all but super-kids

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