When people hear the
words “license” and “game” in the same sentence, they tend to cringe. The past
has not proven very kind to games based on licenses, as only a few good ones
have come out in the past few years (Spider-Man comes to mind, but that’s about
it). However, fans looking for a decent Scooby-Doo game will be pleasantly
surprised. Night of 100 Frights is a good action game that actually manages to
make excellent use of its license.
The game opens with the
gang (Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred) driving in the Mystery Machine to
visit Holly, Daphne’s long time friend. Her inventor uncle has disappeared, and
naturally the gang is on the case. They meet up with Holly, crack some jokes,
and enter the house to search for the missing uncle. Well, everyone except for
Shaggy and Scooby, who wuss out and wait outside. However, Shaggy soon gets
lost (or, rather, falls in a hole) and Scooby is left all by his lonesome to
search for his missing buddies.
The gameplay is fairly
simple; as Scooby, you hop platforms, jump on baddies and collect Scooby Snacks,
which act as tokens to unlock levels in the game. To proceed in the game,
you’ll need to find various inventions that will help you on your way. These
range from a football helmet to galoshes. These tools enhance the gameplay and
often require you to backtrack in order to obtain things that you couldn’t
before. The game also boasts a large amount of original villains from the TV
show. Also, there is a “Monster Gallery” which allows you to see stats on the
villains in the game, including on which episode they debuted, their names, and
other Scooby tidbits.
The graphics are
impressive in that they maintain quite closely the original look of the show
(well, with 3D polygons, of course). The end result is aesthetically pleasing,
even if the backgrounds and character models aren’t as overly complex and
detailed as other games. The game kind of manages an almost “toon-shaded” look.
The best part of the game
has to be the sound. The characters are professionally acted (and very well,
might I add) and the sound effects are taken straight out of the original Hanna-Barbera
cartoon show. Scooby muses quite frequently throughout the game, basically
every time an enemy shows up, Scooby yells “Ruh-oh, ruh rombie!!” or whatever
monster appears. Also, the game’s audio implements one feature which, above
all, makes the game loyal to the TV show- a laugh track. A cheesy, canned laugh
track. The laugh track goes off whenever someone tells a bad joke, or during
the game when Scooby does something awkward or funny. This feature actually
manages to enhance the gameplay and make the game emulate the style of the show.
Although the gameplay is
a bit on the simplistic side, the abundance of style more than makes up for the
game’s shortcomings. Fans of the show will enjoy the appearances of the
assorted villains from the original show as well as the overall experience,
which is extremely accurate to the feel of the TV show. Any Scooby fan with a
Cube needs to give this game a look.
The gameplay is fairly
simple platforming, basic running, jumping, and collecting of Scooby snacks are
pretty much all you do. However, as the game progresses, you’ll find various
tools you can use to help you dispose of bad guys and get to hard to reach
places. Also, so much of the original feel and style from the show has been
preserved that you can’t help but feel charmed, even when performing the most
mundane tasks in the game.
The graphics are
impressively true to the feel of the TV show. All the characters have been
faithfully reproduced, and Scooby’s animation could have been lifted right out
of the show.
The sound is where Night of 100 Frights really shines. While sometimes the
sounds and voices sound a little tinny and compressed, the amount of attention
to maintaining the feel of the show from an auditory standpoint is very
evident. The characters are voiced by the same actors from the recent
direct-to-video movies, while such actors as Don Knotts, Tim Curry and Tim
Conway lend their talents to supporting roles. Also, a laugh track runs through
the course of the game and goes off whenever Scooby does something funny, which
definitely enhances the TV show feel of the game. The music is comprised of
various tunes from the original TV show as well as variations on the songs.
Nearly all aspects of the TV show are accurately recreated, from the
introduction to the animation. Plus, the audio is right on par with the show.
Fans of the TV show will be very satisfied.