ESRB Rating: E(veryone)
Twitch: Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof, woof, woof.
Spaz: Dude, why are you singing that song?
Twitch: Because today we're reviewing Eidos' newest adventure game for children, 102 Dalmatians. And besides, I wrote that song!
Spaz: You didn't write that song, a reggae group called the Baha Men wrote it.
Twitch: No way, man, I wrote it years ago.
Spaz: Uh, right ... and exactly what proof do you have?
Twitch: A long time ago I had these two dogs, Pooper and Scooper, and one day I came home from school and they weren't in the house. So I asked my Mother, "Who let the dogs out?" and in the back yard I could hear Pooper and Scooper going ...
Spaz: Let me guess ... woof, woof, woof, woof.
Twitch: Right, anyhow I started to lay down a rap ...
Spaz: All right, that's enough, let's get on to the game. 102 Dalmatians is a fun adventure romp for kids and adults, like Twitch, who still have a child's mentality.
Cruella De Vil, archenemy of puppies worldwide, is in a tizzy due to the failure of her high-tech toy line. Her impending financial ruin inspires a mad plan to dognap all of the Dalmatians in England in a belief that if children don't have puppies to play with, they will then purchase her toys. Now it is up to Oddball and Domino to rescue their one hundred brothers and sisters and thwart Cruella's scheme.
Twitch: Each level has six trapped puppies that must be rescued, and each level represents a different area of Merry Olde England, be it Regent Park, Big Ben, or Piccadilly Circus. Freeing all of the puppies on a level opens up the next area for exploration.
Spaz: Fear not, though—any time you are stumped, there are talking animal friends like squirrels, parrots, or turtles who will provide clues. Your puppy also has the ability to run and jump. But even more fun is making the puppy bark to shatter attacking toys or sniff around and then dig for clues.
Twitch: Ingenious methods, like trampolines and air drafts, must be used to reach higher levels. Plus if you find yourself in water, you can do (what else?) the doggie-paddle. In fact, these puppies are easily the Lara Crofts of dogdom, only with more nipples.
Spaz: So far we have made 102 Dalmations sound like an action game, but in truth it is much more of an adventure since each level must be meticulously explored, enemies must be lured into traps, and the environment must be manipulated to gain entrance to hidden levels and out-of-reach areas. There are even the now-standard turn-a-switch and push-a-box puzzles. A rotating camera allows for easy navigation.
In fact, if we have any complaint with the game, it is the inclusion of four "boss levels" so familiar to console gaming. The final boss level forces you to use a giant laser gun to destroy the platform that protects Cruella. While the weapon is nonlethal, it is still incongruous is such a nonviolent children's product and should have been eliminated.
Twitch: And besides, what good is it having a gun in a game if you can't blow off someone's head?!
Spaz: As an added bonus, there are numerous mini-games included, such as golf and tilt-maze, but even without these, 102 Dalmatians would still be a recommended purchase. The graphics are top-notch, and Domino is voiced by Frankie Muniz of Malcolm in the Middle fame.
Twitch: I have no problem awarding this game two paws up!
Spaz: Nor I! Be with us next time as we ...
Twitch: Wait! Did I tell you that I now have two cats?
Spaz: I don't even want to know.
Twitch: One day I came home from work and neither of them were in the house so I yelled, "Who let the cats out?"
Spaz: Don't even go there.
Twitch: Then from outside I could hear the cats ...
Final Grade: A-