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The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun - PSP - Review

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Posted by: jkdmedia

Review Rating 7.5 Good
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It’s difficult to really love a game based off a well-known or popular property because many of these games come off as rushed, lack innovation or are utterly unplayable to the point that the game has no redeemable qualities. Having sat through a Last Airbender game or even a Sponge Bob game, I can tell you I had my share of disappointed. Then I got to play The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun for the PSP and it changed my outlook.

 

Based on the Cartoon Network show, The Secret Saturdays has become a popular animated series about a family of secret scientists that get into many adventures and fight enemies looking to use science as a means to rule the world. Zak Saturday is the curious and adventurous offspring of the daring Doctor Solomon and the lovely Drew who spends his days jetting off to exotic locales in search of Cryptids (mysterious creatures not officially classified like the Chupacabra for instance) like his furry friend, Fiskerton.

In Beasts of the 5th Sun, the Saturday family is enjoying a day of rest when Van Rook decides to make this the day he crashes into the Saturday Headquarters to grab the latest artifact the family managed to find during their last adventure. You quickly assume the role of Zak Saturday as he attempts to help his family get the artifact back from the enemy. Armed with his trusty claw his parents had made into a staff he uses as both a weapon and grappling hook, Zak leads the mission with his family as backup.

While you play Zak throughout most of the game, you do assume the roll of other members of the Saturday clan who bring their own skills to the table. Assuming control of Fiskerton, for instance, you can reach places you cannot as Zak as well as scale walls. Drew Saturday, Zak’s mother, has her Tibetan Fire Sword to fight against the enemies in combat. Meanwhile, Doc has a high-tech power glove he uses to blast away at enemies.

 

The game blends a 2D platform game with a number of 3D segments in the game as you go about the 10 missions. Zak jumps and attacks uses his claw and he even uses said claw as a grappling hook to swing or reach platforms he can’t reach with a double jump. Most importantly, though, Zak has the special ability to bond with Cryptids. That means that Zak can, by way of the L shoulder button, focus on a Cryptid and stun it or even control it for a second or two. For instance, a giant bat-like Cryptid overhead can be controlled so Zak could use his grappling hook on it and reach a platform he normally couldn’t have reached.

The levels are actually quite inventive, adding diversity to the action and platform jumping. This alone makes the game quite enjoyable on its own but adding the Saturday family’s abilities and Zak’s skills and you have a unique action/platform game. Combat might not be overly challenging but it does keep you on your toes and the puzzles are simple but not too easy. In other words, they’re done right.

There are plenty of secrets to uncover in the game as well as collectibles to locate within the game’s levels. The best part is that the collectibles and secrets will give you reason to want to keep playing. The bad news is that in a game that features three unique Saturday family members why didn’t the game add co-op?

 

As far as the graphics are concerned, the game does look just as good as the animated series and the characters look the way you expect them to look so if you’re a fan of the show you are in for a treat. There are plenty of neat little Cryptids and the backgrounds do look nicely detailed but the game could have used more visual effects There also a great soundtrack in this game that also feels like it comes straight from the show as well as the voice cast that can be heard throughout the game. It will certainly help feel like you’re playing a game based on The Secret Saturdays.

The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun for the PSP is surprisingly fun and satisfying action game based on the Cartoon Network show. The levels are designed well enough that the platforming action and the combat make for an exciting game with a lot to offer. If you’ve been waiting for a good game featuring the Saturday family then look no further because this game will not disappoint.

Review Scoring Details for The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun

Gameplay: 7.5
That pesky Van Rook is back and he’s causing mayhem for the Saturday family that decides to fight back as well as get into a new adventure. You control Zak Saturday but you also get to play as his parents and furry friend, Fiskerton. Plenty of platform action mixed with enough fights to give action fans young and old something to like.

Graphics: 8.0
As far as the graphics are concerned, the game looks great on the PSP and the characters look sharp and nicely detailed during the action as well as during the cut scenes. There are some solid effects as well.

Sound: 8.0
The original voice cast from the animated series is present and the music works marvelously throughout the game. It certainly does a great job of making you feel like you’re playing a game based on The Secret Saturdays show.

Difficulty: Medium
Some of the platform jumping can be a tad challenging for young gamers and some battles will give your thumbs a workout but there’s nothing here that is too difficult.

Concept: 7.5
While you mainly take control of Zak, you can control other members of his family as well including their pet. The levels offer plenty to do and there are Cryptids aplenty to collect but we really would have loved co-op play via Ad Hoc at least.

Overall: 7.5
Sometimes a game like Beasts of the 5th Sun come along that not only takes gamers by surprise with a game that just isn’t another way to use a popular property to cash in on it but also manages to be delightfully enjoyable. Fans of The Secret Saturdays will certainly find a lot to like about the PSP title.

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