Codename: Kids Next Door – Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. PS2 Review

Okay, well first that name is just far too long! What the hell were you thinking? G.R.A.W was a cool acronym, but this sure as hell is not and adding to that, there is no way I’m writing much of (or would be happy reading again and again) this Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E review. So we are going to have to give this outrageous acronym another acronym and that will be O.V (Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E). So what is O.V like to play?

The Story Of O.V

Kids Next Door did not start out life as a video game. In fact, it is apparently one of those popular early morning shows that air Cartoon Network show (one I’ve incidentally never seen). The cartoon is about five ten-year olds and their fight against oppressive adults, and it looks like the game follows suit. It is obvious from the outset that O.V is aimed at kids (read: eight and below). The game’s story plays out like a collection of episodes from the TV show with each level in the game taking the guise of one the TV show’s 30 minute episodes.

It seems like the game tries to be “overly cool” to appeal to its demographic, and while people of the right age may like it, I found it annoying. None of the kids have real names they have “numbuhs” (yes, “numbuhs”) and they must collect “powuh-ups” throughout the game. The also use weapons called M.U.S.K.E.T.’s and B.A.J.O.O.K.A.’s (sigh!). Was there any need for this forced coolness? Well I don’t think so, but this is just one of the many glaring disappointments I have with this less than spectacular game. O.V plays just like every other platformer ever made. Nothing is new here and there is nothing that has not been done better somewhere else before. You have already jumped across many, many moving platforms and dodged nasty lasers, so do you really need to do it again while up against enemies named “Gramma Stuffum” and the “Toiletnator”? We think not! O.V is the very basic of platforming by numbers, and the developers played it too safe with this one – the game suffers greatly as a result.

Presentation

A quick look at the screenshots dotted around this page will lead you to believe that O.V is not going to be the next big winner of “America’s Next Top Model”. Speaking of reality shows OV has got more in common with some mingin’ “Big Brother” contestant than anything else. The basics seem to be there, but no love has gone into the graphics to make them look any more than passable. Weirdly enough, the game seems to animate well and no movements look choppy and the frame rate always stays reasonably high, but this is all a result of the abysmal graphics. The sound, while higher in quality than the graphics are not anything to write home about. The voice acting is capable (maybe as they used the actors from the show?). The sound effects are okay, but can grate on the ears slightly. The music, however, needs to be to toned down or turned off altogether as some really bad composition has been dreamt up to accompany the mediocre title.

Overall

Maybe some fans of the show would like this, but I sure as hell did not. When playing through the game, none of the moments really stood out as being memorable. Nothing really compelled me to want to finish the game other than for the simple reason I had to write this review. Maybe I’m 15 years too old to enjoy this game or maybe it’s just a bad game overall, I just don’t know! Buy it at your own risk! You have been forewarned!

4.2 out of 10

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