Monsters, Inc. is yet another movie-to-game adaptation that fails to take the content on which it is based and transfer it into an enjoyable interactive digital form. This game is yet another testament to the theory of releasing budget-based titles on consoles. To charge fifty dollars for this piece of antiquated dinosaur turd is denouncable. It eludes me how two giant mega-corporations (SCEA & DISNEY) can combine forces and have the end result be of such lackluster quality. I mean, sure, maybe this game will sell its quota simply because of the big-league license backing it up but c’mon, this title has no class. This is your run-of-the-mill third person action/platforming game with shoddy collision detection and uninspired design. Hands down, the best feature of the game is the movie-player, which allows you to watch scenes from the movie, and a “Makings of” featurette -- if it were not for that addition, I’d have nothing nice to say about this game.
With such original, unique content on which to base a game, it’s all the more surprising that the developers were unable to create a worthy counterpart in Hollywood’s interactive sister-category. But who can blame them? If the game’s monster-sized profit margins are already written in stone far before development of the game even commences, then what would be the point of putting time and effort into creating it?
The story consists of two main characters named Mike and Sully. Both are monsters whose jobs it is to scare unwitting children half out of their wits. But when they are not busy freaking’ out toddlers and such, they lead normal everyday lifes in a city called Monstropolis. During the course of the game, your main objective will be to rid Monstropolis of a child who was mistakenly set loose in the monster-infested city. You see, according to the plot, monsters are just as afraid of humans as humans are of them. All this action will take place in a straightforward platforming manner. That in itself isn’t a problem, but the fact that the game is hampered by nearly every imaginable annoyance that plagues these sorts of games is.
Visually the game is a bizarre interpretation of its silver-screen counterpart; the model rendering of Sully looks downright inaccurate. Clipping problems also occur left and right, so much so that I had to repeatedly restart the level because my character would constantly get caught in a wall or object rendering Sully immobile. Levels are peppered with different objects and monsters but for the most part, they look generic and bland. Music consists of some clips and tracks from the actual movie but is overshadowed by the game’s repetitive sound effects and rushed voice-overs. The quality of sound from the voice-actors is similar enough to the movie’s characters but the lines they read sound out-of-place and do not purport the same feel as the actual film.
Navigating your way through the game’s levels requires a fair amount of platforming, which seems odd since your player feels more suited for non-jumping activities. You’ll also encounter lots of backtracking and unnecessary item collecting. In fact, some of the levels consist entirely of collecting different items to proceed. Fulfilling certain secondary objectives will result in unlocking a bonus level or a bonus movie clip. Bonus levels are a nice diversion from the game’s tedious platforming offerings; they are mini-games in where you have to collect as many ‘discarded-screams’ as you can before time runs out or your unable to keep pace.
All in all Monsters, Inc is a half-hearted attempt at cashing in on the movie-based license genre. If you’re a kid, you’ll quickly get frustrated with the games illogical requirements and objectives, and grown-ups will grow bored of all the back tracking that’s involved in progressing. I don’t even recommend this game for a rental. Furthermore, I hereby declare a boycott on purchasing crappy games created for the sole purpose of cashing in on a name. Monsters, Inc. is where I am drawing the line. And to future capitalists who have their sights set on the next big movie-to-game adaptation, I say this far and no further.