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This playstation game is based on the animated film by Walt Disney's production, predictably, called "The Emperor's New Groove". The game is a platformer, meaning that it falls in the same category as that of Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog and Rayman; the aim is to try to escape each level by means of defeating enemies and solving small puzzles. Fans of the movie would be familiar with the plot of the game. You play the pompous Emperor Kuzco who has been transformed into a llama by a potion and the aim of the game is to try to fight your way through each of the game's chapters to finally reach the end. The game starts with a short yet highly amusing FMV sequence (video clip) from the animated movie before launching you into the gameplay. You can learn the controls of the game by reading the manual but for those people who like to learn as they go and can't be bothered with the manual, characters in the game tell you what each button does at various points of the game (usually at a point where you would need to use a particular skill). At the beginning of each level, the game's camera moves around various parts of the gaming area so that you can foresee the obstacles and items that may lie ahead of you and the screen displays the maximum amount of coins and secret areas available for you to attain. This is extremely useful in judging your overall performance in the level and might increase replay value if you are ambitious enough to try and attain maximum scores for each level. The in-game pick ups include your bog standard health pick-ups, coins and special llama potions which are needed to charge up your character so that its moves can be enhanced. The game lacks challenge in that that some pick ups will reappear about 5 seconds after you pick it up. Most enemies in the game can be defeated with a single well-aimed attack. In general, the game lacks a good enough challenge (but as I have pointed out before, th
e game seems to be aimed towards children so this may not be too much of a problem). The game is very lively from the very start right through to the end as the characters will frequently make humorous comments adapted from the movie. The graphics are excellent and are as good as it gets in terms of the playstation's capability. The landscapes and characters are very brightly coloured in true Walt Disney cartoon style. The game has many mini-games such as trying to hit all the bunnies on screen and trying to outrun a guard as a pathetically slow turtle. Music in the game is taken from the animated movie. Sound effects are incredibly realistic from the comments of each character right down to the clomping sound of Kuzco's llama hooves. The sound effects are also in sync to the vibration features that can be activated to create a more realistic environment. You can rotate the camera around Kuzco so that you get a view that is perfect for you. However, I find that there are some minor bugs when doing this, for instance, if you try to move the camera into an awkward position, the screen would start to shake up and down. Other small bugs that feature within the game are the abrupt cut-off of some of the voice acting but aside from this, the game is slick, exciting and highly amusing. The game, as with most games, also has a save game feature which allows you to save your current progress and return to the game at a later time. This option is only available to the user at the completion of a level so you cannot save in between levels. (I would assume that this is to avoid cheating in the game). I found that the game was exceedingly addictive, but being an adolescent of 15, the game was probably targeted for people in this category as well. I laughed right from the start to the end as the comments and FMV sequences were absolutely hysterical and were true to the quality of humour you'd expect from Disney. (i.e. no silly, uncreative puns here
!). I find that the game was quite easy to pick up and play due to the tutorial at the beginning of the game so I never had to read the manual once. I am not a fan of the platforming genre but I found myself unable to put this down. It truly is an amazing piece of gaming software. "The Emperor's New Groove" is a simplistic game aimed at children and young adolescents. The puzzles that you encounter are not too brain taxing and each level can be completed in a matter of minutes. However, the good thing about this is that it gives people who aren't very good at platform games a chance to complete one. Great for newbies to the platform genre but for veterans who are looking for a challenge, avoid this game at all costs.