IGN Review of Monkey Mischief
Never in my life did I think I would see a videogame character fill me with rage like the dog from Duck Hunt. His jovial, yet mocking laugh has haunted me for years. I can honestly say that the Duck Hunt dog is no longer on the top of my game characters to kill list. He has been overtaken by the load screen monkey from Activision's Monkey Mischief Party Time.
Before totally going off on the load screen monkey, let's address Monkey Mischief itself. Like too many games released for the Wii, Monkey Madness is a collection of poorly executed mini-games shoveled out for the Wii's ever growing casual audience.
Monkey Mischief supports four players and gives you access to 20 primate themed mini-games. Each mini-game lasts one minute, which isn't inherently a bad thing. Jumping quickly back and forth between events could keep the mood going at a nerd gathering, which would be fine. A problem arises though when accessing and exiting mini-games via a killer (in the bad way) load screen.
These load screens feature a monkey swinging back and forth ala tire swing in complete silence. This chimp has a big, stupid grin on his face that makes the Duck Hunt dog look like Wilford Brimley (not in weight or facial hair, but his refusal to smile). What makes this truly unbearable is that load screens typically last upwards of 15 seconds and are present before and after mini-games. This leaves you spending thirty seconds to get in and out of a mini-game that lasts sixty seconds. Talk about aggravating.
If the load screens don't do you in, the actual "games" will. Using the nunchuk and remote, you play 20 put-together mini-games. The mini-games feature clever ape themed titles like "Hairy Houdini" and "Monkey Dropping." It's safe to say that the titles are where Monkey Mischief's charm starts and ends. Some games work decently at best (like Crowd Control), while others are borderline broken (see Salmon Slap).
In Crowd Control, you pump the nunchuck like a water pump while spraying water at oncoming birds. The controls work like they're supposed to and there is a mediocre amount of fun to be had. Other games, like Salmon Slap, hardly function at all. In Salmon Slap, you use the nunchuck's analog stick to move around a circular arena and swing the remote to hit your opponent's with a fish. For some reason, this game and several others suffer terrible frame rate issues. The frame rate drops to the point to where it's just a static mess on screen and leaves you wondering why you ever rented (or God forbid bought) this game.
Visually Monkey Mischief differs from challenge to challenge. Some mini-games look fine, both the characters and environment fit the goofy theme of the game. But frame rate issues in several challenges make Monkey Mischief difficult to look at. The game also features a few cinematic sequences that are animated well. However, these are quickly forgotten as you watch your in-game frame rates plummet.
The sound in Monkey Mischief is where this article gets its tagline. In every mini-game you can hear obnoxious voice actors making horrendous monkey noises that make Tropic Thunder's Simple Jack look like a scholar. This incredibly annoying monkey talk makes its way into the music too. If the lame gameplay, terrible frame rates, or load screen Satan monkey didn't turn you away from Monkey Mischief, rest assured that the sound will finish the job.
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