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Arrgh! I was beginning to get "game scurvy" because of the summer months, so I had to play something. Desperate, I picked up Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest for the Game Boy Advance. The game's not much fun, but I'm going to have a hoot working pirate analogies into it.
It's obvious Buena vista was going for a Castlevania thing, but failed to capture the fun of those titles. The meat of the gameplay is found in very mediocre action/platforming sections. Combat is boring and slow-paced, and the platforming is uninspired and frustrating. The most common challenge the developers put into the levels was a small floating platform with an enemy occupying most of it, meaning many, many falls. A lot of the problems seem to stem from Jack Sparrow being just too darn big on the screen. Oh, and the weird combos. I'm pretty sure I've never seen Jack Sparrow breathe a cloud of purple smoke and drain the life energy from a British soldier.
The second portion of the gameplay involves roving from island to island in the Black Pearl. Awesome, right? Well, almost. Almost, as in, like, it could have been. On the way to each island, you'll encounter hostile ships. These are pretty functional, and even a little fun, except that when you've inflicted substantial damage on the ships, they begin to run away, and it's really frustrating to have to chase them down. When your foe has been icapacitated, you can board them and loot the ship in a short side-scroller section. This is cool once. You're going to do it about fifty times.
Although no part of the game is actually broken, save for the ship and character upgrade system (I won't go into detail, but it doesn't work), bad level and overall game design abounds. Seriously, you should spend your bursting holds of treasure elsewhere. The game takes two and a half hours to complete. Coincidentally, that's how long it takes to watch the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. You should do that, instead.