Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie - PSP

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Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (PSP)
Also for: PC, Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: Custom optical disc Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier Soft. Co.: Universal Pictures
Publishers: Ubisoft (US/GB)
Released: 2005 (US)
16 Dec 2005 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 12
Accessories: Memory Duo Stick


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There’s only one Kong in videogames, and we all know who that is: Donkey Kong, Mario’s first opponent. Games lore has it that Shigeru Miyamoto gave his ape villain his first name because he wanted to convey a sense of stubbornness. More whimsical observers have quipped that it was a spelling mistake, and those ‘crazy Japanese fellows’ wanted him to be called Monkey Kong. Whatever the truth, nobody has any doubt regarding the origins of the second name of the abducting ape.

Now the original king-sized primate might have something to say, as the world braces itself for what must be the third or fourth remake of King Kong, directed this time by Braindead hobbit Peter Jackson. As we often remark, not many blockbuster films get away without being remade as a videogame tie-in. It’s worth saying though, that Peter Jackson, vocal about the lack of involvement he was permitted with EA’s LOTR games, had a lot of input with Ubisoft during the development of the Kong franchise, collaborating with acclaimed game creator Michel Ancel and Ubisoft's Montpellier studio collaborate with triple and visual-effects company Weta Ltd.

We haven’t seen the film yet, but we’ve high hopes for it – Oscar winner Jackson’s known for attention to detail and the spectacular, and we note with approval after seeing the trailers they’ve not drawn the line at a huge CGI ape – there’re flipping dinosaurs in it too. Bonanza!

The storyline for the new movie takes a self-referential twist. In the past the Americans exploring the mysterious forgotten island have been painted variously as explorers and oil prospectors. This time around they are a party led by a film director, who needs a blockbuster to boost his flagging career. Also in the group are a screenwriter charged with penning the comeback, an actress to star in it and the crew of the ship that got them there from Great Depression-era New York.

In the game players get to delve deeper into the film experience through alternative viewpoints designed to immerse the player into the action and truly "feel" the tension of the adventure. The key feature of the game is the alternating gameplay, where players get to play as every member of the group – and Kong himself – as they play through the game, from the beginning on Skull Island when Ann the actress is kidnapped by a local tribe to the showdown in New York.

Players are thrust directly onto the Skull Island amongst the dark jungles, over-sized environment and lurking danger, journeying through the explosive action of all the key movie moments, as Jack and Kong, exploring beautifully-rendered mysterious jungle environments not seen in the film.

Players must cooperate with their Expedition Team, as each team member plays a crucial role and complements each other with valuable skills and abilities. The player relies on them and vice-versa to succeed. The unique resource management system keeps the action seamless and plausible while keeping items, weapons and assets readily available.

Players experience intense and unbelievable battles with all the creatures featured in the film and also some of which are exclusive to the game. Full immersion into the King Kong universe is realized via inclusion of film cast member's likenesses and voice-over. Finally, King Kong is one of the most powerful of all the creatures on Skull Island and players learn first-hand what it means to be feared, respected and dominant as Kong uses both his agility and his raw, brute strength to battle enemies and navigate though the perils of Skull Island.