Sep 27, 2009

Clearance Bin Video Game Review: Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums

Title: Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums
System: Playstation 2
Rating: E

Script: Welcome to the Clearance Bin Video Game Review, by Today, we look at Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums, for the Playstation 2. This game will burn up about $5 out of your wallet.

The game starts off with an ACME Trainee named Cole, in New York City. Cole stumbles upon Carmen Sandiego while his more experienced partners are on a wild goose chase, looking for her in Siberia. Between this cutscene, and the beginning of the game, you’re fed random trivial facts about the geographical location you’re playing in. This lovely aspect continues to every level, but I suppose this was meant to make learning fun for kids.

The first level has so many controls to learn that you initially think it’s a training course, but it is in fact contributing to the story. For example, your main weapon of choice is a staff, which you can use to strike, combo-strike, jump-strike, or pole vault. Then there’s about a dozen other moves that don’t involve your weapon of choice. It makes it all kind of tedious.

What’s even more tedious than the moves, which you will eventually learn, is the seemingly millions of different items you have to collect through the levels. To name just a few, there are pellets, clues, amulets, maps, puzzle pieces, masks, and crazy looking ying-yang tri-forces, but the focus of the levels is to collect the compasses… we think.

Unlike some games where you can avoid fighting and merrily skip through your level, you have to defeat every enemy you come across in this game. And the A.I. leaves much to be desired. But for every enemy you defeat, you gain a binary code, which will unlock a door at the end.

Final Say: At first, we thought the game was pretty decent, then after an hour we just didn’t care where in the world Carmen Sandiego was. So as our final say we suggest passing on this game. It had its moments of entertainment, and it was well-thought out, with collectables and creative enemies, but there was no “it” factor. Nothing about it made us want to continue playing.

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