Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved Scooby Doo, whether it be the cartoon or the live action movies that have been released. I even found myself to be fond of the much hated Scrappy Doo. Anyhow, I picked up this game a few weeks back, having never played it, I didn’t know if it’d measure up to the excellent Night of 100 Frights, or Scooby Doo! First Frights. Does this game live up to its successors? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!
The first thing I noticed upon playing the game was the camera angles. The screen constantly changes, and unfortunately, the controls do as well. Every move you make is determined by the camera angles, and when they switch, they change the control scheme. This can be particularly annoying when trying to outrun the level’s monster or avoid creepy crawlies. However, the controls themselves are simplistic as can be. The control stick moves Shaggy around, the A button does almost everything else, from picking up items to opening doors to climbing ladders, etc. The only other button used is the “R” or “Z” buttons, which open up the item inventory and lets you select the item of your choice. In each level (Except the last one) there is a kitchen. This functions as a mini-game, and at the same time restores Shaggy’s health if enough food is grabbed! Get enough food, and you get the satisfaction of watching Shaggy (in typical cartoony fashion) devour the whole dish in a single bite!
At first there doesn’t seem to be a story. When the game starts off, Shaggy, Scooby, and the rest of the gang are simply solving mysteries based off of classic Scooby Doo episodes. However, as each mystery is solved, the story weaves itself together in to an–at the time–unusual plotline, which is unusual because at the time the game was released (in 2001) the cases were never connected to each other on the show. The game’s final level ties the others into the story, although it does this somewhat shallow. Even still, as a rabid Scooby fan, it was a real treat to revisit the classic villians of the Black Knight, Snow Ghost, and the Witch Doctor. The game exclusive Ghoul King was also a fun mystery playthrough as well.
While I don’t normally like to talk about graphics in my reviews, I feel this game actually works better with the somewhat cartoony graphics, and it must be pointed out that while the gang doesn’t look exactly like their onscreen counterparts, they still look good despite being in Nintendo 64′s somewhat poor graphics capabilities. Sure, they don’t look perfect, but in retrospect, they could’ve been worse than they are.
While the game isn’t perfect and has several flaws, Scooby fans will likely enjoy the game for what it is and have fun reliving the classic villains from the series, (and the all-new one as well). The game is dated by today’s standards, But this gamer found himself feeling highly nostalgic while playing through the four levels, and although controls aren’t perfect either, they add some much-needed (in my opinion) difficulty to the game. In short, if you’re a Scooby fan you’ll likely enjoy it. If not… There’s really nothing I can recommend here.