"Doh!.....No wait a minute....."
Matt Greoning's creation of the Simpson's revolutionized the world of "cartoons." The massive success was unprecedented and because of this it's no surprise he's at it again. Futurama is his latest creation and it has all the humour and sarcasm we've come to expect from Matt.
This animated caper will have you running, jumping and blasting your way through a series of 22 fun-filled levels. Your character will keep you warmly entertained with its authentic voice-overs and frequent comic relief. Try playing as all the different characters - you may choose from Fry, Leela, Bender and Dr. Zoidberg.
What can I say - just like the television series and just what I expected. That said, if you're a fan you'll appreciate the authenticity of the animation style. You feel as though you are actually part of an episode - a real authentic gaming experience!
As an added bonus, the right analog stick serves as the 360 degree camera that allows you to adjust the view and perspective you have over your character at will. With the exception of those really tight quarters, you have full panoramic viewing capability. This feature is a must for games these days and really adds to the entire gaming experience.
As you fight and run your way through the levels you are consistently accompanied by a good variety of music. At times you feel as though you're racing through the Midway at a carnival while other times you find yourself creeping along to a sultry version of "Ride of the Valkaries."
With all the action in the game the music really adds to the experience. The frequent changes in tempo match the game levels to a tee. Like other action games, the sound does a good job of leading you to enemies - you can actually hear the direction from which they are approaching - very helpful! You'll find yourself sitting up and then back down, and then back up as you make your way through each level.
What I liked most was the authenticity of the sound. Unlike those sequel movies that cast new actors to play familiar roles, Futurama is peppered with over 30 minutes of original cinematics and original cast voiceovers. Not only do the characters sound like their television counterparts, they grunt, laugh and joke like them. Again, fans will appreciate the work that went in to making the sounds for this game as authentic and high fidelity as possible.
The gameplay in this one isn't too bad. Your character is quite capable of whipping around each level and the animation is fluid even with multiple enemies on the screen - and I mean multiple! Your jumping ability is quite limited but you are able to grapple ledges and pull yourself up - something that you must do frequently. Despite the limitation you are able to reach everything you need to. The game does a good job of leading you through the levels as opposed to letting you traverse any territory trying to find the goal or end.
While making your way through the levels you are able to pan around using the right analog stick. The 360 degree camera is quite useful, and as I mentioned above, necessary. However, the camera is somewhat limited when it comes to its vertical capabilities. In other words it is quite difficult to look up. I suspect this is because the need to look up is not necessary and as such doesn't fit the game profile of leading you.
Each character has his or her own fighting style and will provide you different successes for different foes. Despite there differences, each character will do the job as well as the next ;) The weapons you pick up along the way vary as you get deeper into the game. In your travels you'll want to watch out for 6 packs of "Slurm" soda, bottles of "Old Fortran" or "Mom's Old Fashioned Robot Oil" to increase your health along the way - you're gonna need it. Another thing to watch for are valuables, like money or gold bars. These items build and eventually gain you extra lives.....kinda like a cat but you can have more than 9 if you find enough of these bad boys.
In the end the game delivers overall. The graphics and sound are 100% authentic and the gameplay is perfectly in sync with the game strategy and layout giving the gamer a true Futurama experience. If you like the Simpson's you'll love Futurama. This game is definitely worth having in your collection.
Platform: PlayStation 2