As my loyal readers
(and you know who you are) may have noticed, I havent been around for a
while. Theres just been so much of the same ol same ol on the
videogame scene that I decided to take a break. I resolved that I would
wait on the sidelines until something truly special came alonga game
that would revolutionize the medium, a game that would make me want to
play games again. Im here to tell you that Scooby Doo is not that game.
During my time away
from the industry, my son has become more adept at playing games. His
deductive reasoning skills and hand eye coordination have improved
significantly. Hes even grown quite fond of the Scooby Doo cartoons
themselves. If ever there was a tailor made audience for this game, it
would be my son. Unfortunately, my sons feelings towards Mystery Mayhem
do not bode well for the games success. The first level consisted
mainly of running away. Every time he saw a ghost, there was nothing he
could do about it except head in the opposite direction. Rather than
confronting his fears, he was forced to flee from them. I thought
videogames were supposed to be empowering. It does get a little better
as the game progresses, but not by much.
If a game like this
isnt suited to a five year old fan of the series, then I ask, who is it
for? Too frustrating for the younger set and simply not engaging for the
more seasoned gamer, Scooby Doo Mystery Mayhem is likely to quietly fade
The game isnt a complete failure, but like so much of todays art that
is marketed to the masses, it just doesnt aspire to anything higher
than mediocrity. By having a well established franchise, the game makers
know that they will sell enough copies. From a business standpoint,
attention to detail and quality doesnt really make a whole lot of
The premise of the game is straight out of the television series, Scooby
and his team of super sleuths have another supernatural mystery to
solve. Its not a good sign when 25% of the instruction manual is
dedicated to trying to sell DVDs.
The graphics work just fine. Its pretty easy to tell the difference
between Shaggy and Scooby. The game has all the necessary elements of an
episode but after decades of reruns, direct to video fodder and a Harry
Prinze Jr. film, its beginning to feel a little stale. I didnt have
any real issues with the controls either. They are more than
serviceable. The levels are adequately designed and the sound is
sufficient to the task. I have to admit that my low expectations of the
game went a long ways towards softening its tedium.
Now, I know that I didnt have to come out of retirement for this game.
No one put a gun to my head and forced me to review it. Maybe it was a
sense of duty that brought me back. Perhaps my life lacked meaning when
I wasnt warning the unwary of impending mediocrity. Yeah, that must be
it. Altruism, thats why I reviewed this game. I like the sound of that.
Jason Frank (11/28/2003)
Scooby Doo characters
Very little innovation, boring