reviews\ Jun 30, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Disney's Lilo & Stitch - PSX - Review

Disney has given us a lot of resources for games. Since the early days of home platforms, we've invited various Magic World characters into our homes for fun and challenge. Lilo & Stitch is here for the Playstation just as it's name-sake larger than life inspiration is hitting theaters across the country. That may not be a good thing. There isn't a good track record for games rushed to release to coincide with the theatrical big brothers (can someone remind George Lucas about this??). This title has not escaped that curse, but it good enough to keep fans glued to the PSX for a nice bit of fun.

The best way to describe it's gameplay is to say that it is a platform game-- in the same vein as Crash Bandicoot. In fact, blur your vision and you'll THINK you're playing Crash. You goal is to, by playing either Lilo or Stitch, traverse the tropical terrains snatching up goodies and avoiding the obligatory baddies along the road. There are rabid rats, spiny porcupines, killer plants and charging boars-- to name a few. You collect coffee, leaves, photographs and other objects plainly displayed in sight or within obstacles that you can break open for rewards. A nice, gentle touch is the reaction to Lilo or Stitch "losing a life". No violence here.....  when she has been hit too many times, Lilo merely drops to the ground and pouts or kicks and pounds here hands into the dirt. Stitch's reaction is similar. Cute!! 

Though it is extremely close to a Crash Bandicoot, that does not mean it is not worthy of play. It does provide fun for many age levels, but the younger audience will enjoy it better. The music sets a great mood, and playing as Stitch is a lot of fun. He's cute, crazy and effective. There are bosses at the end of levels. They did not pose much of a challenge, as their moves are well telegraphed. You have plenty of time to move and wait for then to turn their weak spot to you. The missions are simple (such as collecting photographs along the trail), and the music keeps it light and fun-- despite charging boars or snapping plants. To save a game, you must find a blue mailbox and make contact.  If you lose your direction, you can have a map drop down by pushing a button. I never seemed to need this, but it was nice to have as a resource. It plays rather easily with a few small exceptions. 

The main problem I found was the controls. The jumping is touchy. If your move requires a finesse jump to a small moving platform, you had better land it perfect. It is not very forgiving, and merely re-adjusting your position on a moving object can bump your character off into "restart level" territory (Death). This was a real source of annoyance in an otherwise fun game.

I recommend this game to anyone that likes a challenge like Crash gave us. Though a bit more easy, it is still fun, and kids will especially love it. The music and sounds are cute, and watching Stitch crash and bang his way around (great spinning power-move!) is a treat. Having not yet seen the movie, I did not relate as well to the characters-- but I imagine someone who HAS seen it will really get a charge out of the game. So drop the ukulele and grab a dual shock controller for some tropical fun!! 

Gameplay: 8 
The controls were miserably jerky and sensitive at inopportune moments. Jumping to moving objects was more harrowing than it should have been. The characters want to lunge forward with mere subtle taps of the controls. Some of the enemies were also a bit inconsistent in their movements, which I think was more of an error than intention. Aside from those things, it plays well and is fun to go through. If you have played a game such as Crash Bandicoot, you have played this-- but there is enough visual appeal and character fun to make it worthwhile.

Graphics: 8.5 
Nice textures and terrain. The characters are well animated-- as they should since the source is 2D cartoons! Nice water effects and moving enemies with distinctive personality. 

Sound: 7.5
The environmental sounds were a bit weak, as were the action sounds. The background music was nice and made the game even more enjoyable. 

Difficulty: Easy
A challenge to young gamers, but experienced players will get through it rather easily. 

Concept: 7 
Stealing a bit from other platform games, there isn't a whole lot original here. Running along collecting items and avoiding enemies. It's all been done before, but there is enough entertainment here to make it enjoyable. 

Multiplayer: N/A 

Overall: 8.5
A load of tropical fun suited best for a younger crowd-- but provides thrills for all ages. The levels are simple, but there is enough challenge to keep you interested, though older gamers may finish it too easily. The music is good and adds to the adventure.


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