reviews\ Dec 5, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist - GBA - Review

The ultra cool teenager Kim Possible is a very popular TV cartoon from Disney, featuring a girl who's much more than her public persona, a high school cheerleader. This is no superhero with superpowers, but rather a girl who knows how to use her brain and pack a mean punch. Now Disney and Digital Eclipse have brought Kim to the GBA.

Kim Possible is an action adventure platformer. Dr. Drakken, Monkey Fist and Shego have teamed up and purchased an army of Monkey Ninjas and Drakken Henchmen to take over the world. As a side thought, they've also captured Ron Stoppable. Kim must use all her wits to follow their trail to their hideout, rescue Ron and stop their evil plot.

Many of the locations from the show are present in eight different levels. Play begins in Downtown Middleton, where Kim must battle her way past many villains. For the most part in the early levels, the villains aren't too difficult to beat, players can have Kim hang back a little and then strike the enemy without fear of retaliation. However, in later levels this gets a little harder because of multiple enemies lined up practically back-to-back. Kim has a basic kicking move that she can use all the time, but powerups scattered throughout the levels give her weapon power or other added leverage for a short time. These include a hair dryer grappling gun that Kim can use to get to high places, a lipstick laser that is a shooter, compact bombs that she can throw to hurt enemies or blast apart doors, and a force field that makes her invincible for a short time.

Kim's other moves include running, jumping and jumping off a wall for more height. Most of the time these moves work well and are enough to get her through most places, but sometimes it's very hard to figure out just how to get Kim high enough, as in when a collectible is just out of reach and wall jumping just doesn't seem to cut it, and at least one time when Kim jumped down into a lower area, but couldn't get back up to leave - we had to restart the level that time.

The animation is superb, and Kim looks pretty much like her cartoon counterpart. Between levels, there are also cut scenes derived from the show that look outstanding. The music is also similar to the show and nicely done.

There are two difficulty levels, easy and normal. The easy setting isn't all that easy, though, in the later levels. Once Kim's powerups run out, she's in for a tough time. However, all the enemies are easily identifiable and out in the open, it just requires quick timing. Collision isn't a factor, Kim won't die from inadvertently getting too close to a ledge or enemy, which is a nice change from many games of this type. There is a password save, and it's very annoying; it's a series of pictures of characters from the TV show. For kids who watch the show a lot, this will present little problem, but for the rest of the crowd, count on having to write things like: "guy with black hair", Kim, Kim, "girl with black hair", "green faced dude", etc. They could at least have put names under the pictures.

This is a fairly standard action game for kids, with plenty of fighting the bad guys. The GBA transition of Kim Possible is well-done, and fans of the show will enjoy playing as Kim. Young players may have a tough time unless they're good at games of this type, as the easy level really isn't that easy. As a parent and a woman, I do have to say that one small feature of this game bothered me; the back-handed slap in the face from one of the henchmen. I can't really say just why, as most fighting in action games doesn't bother me unless it's bloody, but there's just something personal and more realistic in that type of blow, especially when done by a male figure against a female one. Call me sexist. However, only one type of enemy does that, everyone else resorts to standard kicks and punches.

A decently fun action game, albeit one that is a trifle short and a little bland, with not much difference between the levels. With two difficulty levels and straightforward action and enemies, most kids who've played this type of game before won't have much problems. Kim is fun to play, and her gadgets are pretty cool.

Gameplay: 7

Graphics: 8 
Very nice drawings and animations which will appeal to children.

Sound: 8
The music is comparable to the show and fits well with the overall theme.

Difficulty: Medium
Most of these levels are of medium difficulty and are short.

Concept: 7 
Yet another game designed around a popular TV character, but one that is better than many on the market.

Multiplayer: No

Overall: 7
An average action game that will please younger Kim Possible fans, but the brevity and slight blandness of the gameplay takes away from the appeal to a wider audience.


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