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Rugrats All grown Up: Express Yourself (GBA)

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      28.05.2009 02:25
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      "All Grown Up! Express Yourself" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2005 by THQ. It is based on the "Rugrats" animated cartoon series. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.

      The All Grown Up series follows the Rugrats after they have developed into young children at age nine. The player assumes the role of Angelica who aspires to be a news journalist and interviews local residents in the town. She will travel over three distinct areas to include the mall, the local school and around the local neighbourhood to discuss events with the townspeople. Many will exchange information if Angelica, the player, agrees to compete in a mini game against them. The mini game of choice is volleyball. Here, the player is forced to alternate between the left and right buttons to keep a ball in motion overhead until the computer opponent misses and awards a point to the player. Defeating said opponent will unlock a unique mini game for playing at a later time; accessible from the main menu.

      The graphics are presented from a side scrolling perspective which focuses on Angelica. The local scenes have been well represented in the game but, like other "Rugrats" titles, suffer from a lack of any distinct boldness to the colours. There is little visual allure in terms of the items presented on the Gameboy's display. I also found the character animations to be minimal. Instead, Angelica's static character sprite seemingly moves from left to right without much leg movement corresponding to this environmental adjustment. The soundtrack is also simple with more gentle musical scores and sound effects following the player throughout.

      Overall, All Grown Up is an average at best release which may appeal to younger fans of the animated series. It is a game which I would be hesitant about recommending due to its repetitiveness in gameplay and lacklustre visuals.

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