Scooby-Doo! Invented because children’s mothers didn’t want their children to watch violent cartoons and that’s why and 70’s cartoons in America sucked for a while. Now Scooby-Doo somehow has stood the test of time…kind of. Think about it, it’s about a talking dog and a bunch of teenagers going around solving mysteries which involve monsters and all sorts of creatures, they find clues, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are either afraid of everything or eat everything, get chased by the villain, are a pawn for the villain to get captured, villain gets captured and is unmasked, 99.99999% of the time it’s some guy, they explain how they figured out how they figured it out, villain says they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and that dog. Yeah, despite watching the show as a child, it’s literally the exact same thing every week, so I don’t understand how it’s still around after around 46 years. So with a long-lasting franchise and some awful live-action movies, we have games too and how about one that gives you the experience of the show.
Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, developed by Heavy Iron Studios and published by the late THQ and was released in 2002 for the PS2 and GameCube, but the Xbox port was released in 2003 and in the US only.
So Scooby and the gang consisting of Shaggy, Fred, Velma, Daphne travel to Mystic Manor where Daphne’s friend Holly asks the gang to solve a case of the disappearance of her uncle Professor Alexander Graham, based on real life inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell (thank him kids, you wouldn’t have your iPhones if it wasn’t for him). It’s said that he disappeared before he could show off his brand new invention. The gang decides to help Holly, but as usual, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo would rather eat than solve mysteries because Shaggy is a drug addict…I think. But whilst investigating, the gang have been kidnapped by The Mastermind, voiced by Tim Curry, because if all else fails, always get Tim Curry. So Shaggy is around the manor and it’s up to Scooby-Doo to save the day.
You play as Scooby-Doo throughout the entire game, your objective is to go around different areas in and out of the manor, collecting scooby snacks to get to next parts of the areas. You can run, jump and use many different attacks to fend of enemies, these enemies are actually monsters and creatures from the original cartoon Scooby Doo, Where Are You! Scooby overtime collects various weapons and power-ups to help you through the game like a Shovel to collect more items, Springs to double-jump, Football Helmet to bash cobwebs and tougher enemies and many more. Scooby’s health bar fits the character well, you see, his health consist of fear, when it’s gone, he’s completely scared out of his wits and goes back to the beginning of the area, though it can be refilled by of course, eating.
Other hidden items include monster tokens, each of them having an image of a classic Scooby-Doo villain. You then go to a monster gallery to see a model of the monsters you’ve collected and reading trivia, and for any Scooby fan, it’s something to really collect.
The gameplay is ok, it’s decent enough for a kids game, but considering it’s a kids game, it is kind of difficult at times, but it’s mostly because you’re playing as a character on four legs and trying to be steady and trying to move slowly at some parts can be difficult because for some reason your more likely to get hit by an enemy or a projectile. After a while it gets really tedious despite the fact that it’s a kids game and I’m way too old for this. In fact, I was looking forward to play a simple kids game, especially to fill the month of Halloween, but the game just didn’t really interest me. In fact, I was so disinterested with it that this was almost a ‘I Tried’ review had it not been for my friend in the Summer playing the majority of it since he played it when he was a child so it was nostalgic for him and yawning for me.
Now there is one thing I really do like about the game: It’s one of the most respectful licenses since Spider-Man 2: The Video Game, the graphics are so dated and looks like it could be released for the N64 that I also think it fits considering that the animation for the original series cost 5p and three pieces of paper, so comparing it to the original series, it’s a classic in it’s own right. Some of the music is similar to the original, though you can tell that some tunes that try to be 60-70’s style music still feels modern in tone. Nice try though! And of course, the story is dumb, cheesy and unfunny, again, a respectable license. Heck, even Don Knotts has an appearance as the groundskeeper and even helps you at times, and was the only voice appearance he did for a video game.
Did you Know? There are some holiday themed easter eggs, when you play the game at Christmas Day, it will snow. Halloween, bats appear above doors and windows. New Years, Saint Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day and Fourth of July have events too.
Overall, this is another game that I should have played as a child because it’s a simple and strangely tiresome experience, but it really stays true to the original in every way. Whilst I’m not the true fan of the show, watching it every now and then, it’s a game that fans will adore for paying respect to a franchise that has been around for 46 years and still going strong with Direct-to-Video movies, television movies and even a new TV show coming out, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! But I want to talk about why this show was made. It was made because parents didn’t want their children to watch violent and superhero cartoons, but then the 80’s arrived and we had Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats and now we have Superhero cartoons and somehow Scooby-Doo survived being buried alongside other cartoons from the 70’s. Scooby-Dooby-Doo play this game if you’re a child or a fan of the franchise, otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.
You can get it on the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox.