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    Review: Hail to the Chimp
    Thursday, 24 July 2008
    It would be easy to dismiss Hail to the Chimp at nothing more than just another party game. If you were to do that you would miss out on some of the funniest presidential banter you are ever likely to see in a game.

    It is of course worth bearing in mind very few other video games have ever aimed in delivering this particular brand of comedy. Satire is the comedic flavour being used with the colourful animals providing witty remarks and a walrus doing his best impression of Ron Burgundy prsenting the news on GRR News. The news reels and advertisements throughout the game provide the political flavoured laughs and do in fact cover a very extensive range of issues. However you will find yourself occasionally groaning at some of the more terrible and cheesy jokes. It could be argued that Hail to the Chimp has few highlights as game bar this humourous look at the USA's election system.

    The game uses a very unique and funky art style with a paper grain effect used in abundance. Each character is bright and vibrant and can have a variety of accessories plastered on them to make them look truly garish. The levels fit in with this ton using bright colours and sharp contrasts to make areas stand out, it can still be hard to keep a track of things.

    Despite earlier saying this game should not be dismissed as just another party game, unfortunately the gameplay does fall into the genre's stereotypes. All of the games humorous content is delivered outside of the actual game which means it is largely devoid of laughs. To simply sum it up, the game suffers from very shallow gameplay and simplistic mechanics.

    There are a choice of different stages each with their own unique twists as you would expect, all of the games different modes can also be played on each of these stages. All of the varying types of games don't be differ too much to be honest and it actually three other candidates collecting clams which represent votes, there are different game types but they only vary in the way which the game collates the clams into votes. This can be handy if you are better at dashing and grabbing clams for the ballot for example, than keeping hold of the most clams for 2 minutes. It could be seen as a way of representing the multi-faceted of the presidential election system and can be used to tactically try and win your favourite stages, demonstrating how not every state has to be won. Clams can be acquired by simply running into them and picking them up as they appear on the stage, or more aggresively fight for them. It is shame however that the combat mechanics descend into button mashing. This gives little risk-reward balance to fight as it feels so random and unfair, coupled with it feeling boring, only helps to add to the games full repetitive structure.

    The game offers little variety in multiplayer just giving you chance to play each of the battles with friends instead of the AI. The computer controlled characters deserve a mention if only for how extremely unbalanced they are. They either kick your ass, beating you into submission or you do exactly the same and serve that up to them. There is no such thing as a close battle at the AI seems either too easy or too hard. So with this in mind it is hard to recommend this game if you are only going to play it solo and without mates!

    Whilst the game is indeed funny there is little to keep you coming back once all the jokes have been seen and this happens far too quickly. Some of the jokes do stand up to repeat viewings but not the vast majority and they in fact start to grate and it become increasingly frustrating. It's a problem the game as a whole suffers as there is simply not enough to keep your attention. It would have perhaps benefited from being a cheaper downloadable title to make up for its shortcomings, instead its a budget price disc game that is barely worth it and suffers from severe longevity problems.

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    posted by flameboy @ 16:13  
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