Monday, February 14, 2011

8 - Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums

Genre: Action, platformer
Rating:  E for Everyone
Developer: Artificial Mind
Publisher: Bam Entertainment
System: PS2 (Also: GC, Xbox)
Release Date: 2004

Carmen Sandiego has always been a weird enigma in my gaming life. I always wanted to love the series but found myself completely unable to play it. When it was in vogue I was but a young child who had no real knowledge of the world I inhabited. It was nearly impossible to play but damn if I weren't captivated by the title character of Carmen.

So this game for PS2 is surprisingly far from the roots. While your characters provide you with lots of information about the level you traverse, the actual gameplay involves little to no detective work. It's just a platformer game at heart for kids. I really wish the game had maintained the old style of playing, but that probably wouldn't capture the attention of today's children.

There's a hint of stealth gameplay but it's a tiny hint. The enemies are robots who will shoot at you if you get in their sights. However, if you hide behind anything they will not give chase or remain in an alert state. They'll simply turn back around and do what they had been prior to your arrival. As such, this is a terribly forgiving stealth system, if it is even counted as one.

I don't think I actually died in this game. The only reason I pulled it out was because it was boring. Chasing a notorious thief is supposed to be exciting but it all felt like a chore. The graphics and movement of characters was very nicely done. Despite that though, there was no good reason to continue playing and in fact it seemed I would have to force myself to die for it to actually happen.

Would I play again? Perhaps (it's an easy game to beat).

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