Game Over Online ~ Catwoman

GameOver Game Reviews - Catwoman (c) Electronic Arts, Reviewed by - Lawrence Wong

Game & Publisher Catwoman (c) Electronic Arts
System Requirements GameCube
Overall Rating 58%
Date Published Friday, August 6th, 2004 at 04:56 PM

Divider Left By: Lawrence Wong Divider Right

With the success of Spider-Man, a series of comic book characters are now seeing life again on the silver screen and of course, in front of computers and consoles. This companion release to Catwoman can be lauded for its timeliness. It came out around the same time if not on the same day as the movie. It features a virtual Halle Berry as Patience Phillips. And you may even get to see this Berry in that leather outfit even more than in the film itself. But that's about all the strengths I can think of with this game. Once the adventure starts, it all goes downhill from there.

Like most comic characters, Phillips is a complete loser. Slaving away as a marketer at a cosmetic firm, she's mistreated by her boss, missing deadlines and in general, her personal life is in a bit of a mess. She is shy and the type to encounter so much bad luck you're surprised she was still alive.

One day, Phillips stumbles upon a cover-up at her employer. Beauty cream that they were selling would only work if the customers continued buying it. If they didn't, their face would gradually degenerate and decay to a bloody mess. However, before Phillips can do the right thing, she is caught and subsequently dies. But an ancient Egyptian cat shadows her and infuses life into her again. Born as Catwoman, Phillips begins discovering the use of her powers and the rest of the movie is about her vendetta against her former employers.

In the movie, Catwoman does a lot of exploring, getting along with day-to-day life and whetting her pathetic romantic life with the police detective Tom Lone. (Actually I'm not sure if her love life is more pathetic or Lone is). If you count how many guys she beats up in the entire movie, you could probably do so with the fingers on both your hands. Oh wait -- maybe you should add an eleventh finger for Sharon Stone. At any rate, there wasn't a whole lot of action in the movie. However, since platform action-adventure games aren't good at conveying any sense of the character, plot developments, we're reduced to obstacle work and senseless action.

The game is filled with more obstacles than action though - if that can be its saving grace. It is unfortunate, then, that it is also plagued with a camera system that likes to act against the conscience of Catwoman's handler. That works against your super-charged feline jumping capabilities. Some of the obstacles require some moves to be performed in combination. It may look easy in the movie but it's God-awful difficult in this game because of the controls, which tend never to do what you want it to do. Just do what I'm thinking, not what I'm pressing I would curse at the television screen. Catwoman merely purrs and struts her assets off. Then I find myself thinking I should curse less should someone walk unexpectedly in on my gaming session.

Just like the movie, the combat in the game is comprised of all sorts of cool moves that demand mastery of the imprecise controls. Too bad even the simplest move can disable the Hedare corporate goons. There is chance for you to collect points and upgrade your Catwoman moves. I found it totally unnecessary as I ploughed on through without feeling like I'm missing a thing. Oh, I did miss some more of the sexy Catwoman moves I imagine.

Electronic Arts proudly announces that the game follows the movie's plot. The movie's plot could probably sustain about 45-60 minutes and it was dragged on to about two hours. This game tries to drag out that simple concept even more to its own detriment.

I'm not sure how many times I've heard that Berry looks amazing in this movie and in the game and everywhere else. But she is getting to be 38 and it is typical for women over 40 in Hollywood to never get any of the glamorous action movie roles. Just think, the most logical choice would have been to beg Michelle Pfeiffer to reprise her Batman nemesis role. Hopefully, Berry will get a chance to embody a character with a story worth telling and in this case, a game worth playing, before she is shut aside.


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