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Review: Monster House - PS2

by Steven Williamson on 8 August 2006, 09:48

Tags: THQ Monster House on PS2, THQ (NASDAQ:THQI), Action/Adventure

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Weapon ugrades, conclusion

Although the weapon upgrades and the differences between the characters prevent Monster House from becoming too stale, it’s the puzzle solving aspect that really falls short of excitement factor. Moving crates is a tried and tested formula in action adventure games and new gamers may still find the challenge exciting, but apart from that the only thing that will test your brain is finding the key that will unlock your next destination. Though Monster House is aimed at kids it’s the simplicity of the game that will fail to challenge even the most un-coordinated of children. The apparent need to keep the game as simple as possible is demonstrated by the inclusion of the prompt system that appears throughout the game.

Rather than physically carrying out some of the actions in the game such as jumping, Monster House uses a prompt system which means you won’t be falling from any great heights and having to re-start from the beginning of the level. Simply press ‘O’ when it tells you to, then sit back and watch as they carry out the action. This is great for kids, but far too simple for anyone who wants a challenge. This approach is used throughout the game during various cut-scenes and boss battles where you’ll need to perform a certain combo of buttons in order to dodge, jump or attack.

Click for larger image

Graphically you can’t really compare the game to the digitally rendered live action of the movie. The designs of the characters represent their movie counterparts well, but the animations are often stiff as a board; DJ actually walks as though he’s soiled his pants! However, the interactive scenes will go down a treat with fans of the film and the furniture animations are both lively and well presented.

Throughout the Monster House you’ll never know what to expect as you turn each corner. The sound of the game, including the creaking doors, ticking clocks and eerie soundtrack, compliment the tension-fuelled atmosphere effectively.

Monster House should keep the kiddies occupied over the summer, well that’s the idea anyway. Unfortunately the game can be completed in less than 5 hours and even less if you’re accustomed to such linear gameplay. There are a few entertaining moments that will be enjoyed by anyone who has seen the film and beating furniture to a pulp can be great fun, but ultimately it’s just another quick cash-in on the back of a box office hit. The only people who will get anything from the game are those who enjoy the film – same old story.


Features moments from the movie
Well paced
Weapon upgrades
Atmospheric sound

Too short
Camera angles
Not enough monster variety
Far too easy

Far too short and easy to keep kids entertained for long

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its a computer game of a feature-length film, when will they learn!