Hook (Game Boy) review
"Hook was a film released nearly a decade ago now, starring Robin Williams as a grown up and jaded version of the fabled hero Peter Pan. With Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts supporting, the film boasted a strong cast, and a pleasantly likeable script helped make it a very enjoyable movie (even if repeat viewing exposed it's many flaws). This made it one of the big cinema smashes of the year, and so it was no surprise to me when I came downstairs that Christmas morning (I believe it was 1992...) ..."
Hook was a film released nearly a decade ago now, starring Robin Williams as a grown up and jaded version of the fabled hero Peter Pan. With Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts supporting, the film boasted a strong cast, and a pleasantly likeable script helped make it a very enjoyable movie (even if repeat viewing exposed it's many flaws). This made it one of the big cinema smashes of the year, and so it was no surprise to me when I came downstairs that Christmas morning (I believe it was 1992...) to discover not only a VHS edition of the movie, but also a videogame based on the movie. Of course, at that time I was too young to have grown cynical about movie tie-ins, so I approached the game with an open mind (as opposed to the trepidation of recent licensed games - the forthcoming Harry Potter as an example). It is altogether too easy to be cynical about this game. It is a platformer (what movie game on the Game Boy isn't?), collecting things is vital (*yawn*), the levels are based on movie locations..... The only thing that is surprising about this game is that it is actually pretty darn good.
Yes, you heard (or read) me right, this game is good fun. As mentioned, the various platform levels see you having to collect a certain number of items (be they apples, cakes or pearls) in order to open up the exit. Although you naturally control Pan, Tinkerbell is also a prominent feature in the game. Collect some marbles and a thimble, and Tinkers will follow you throughout the stage. She can then be used to dispatch villainous pirates by flying away with them, of help you to fly across certain larger gaps (which are marked by a substance innocently [?] known as fairy-dust) to collect more out-of-the-way items. That makes locating Tink and her 'ingredients' quite important when you start a level.
Although most of the levels are standard platform fare (mines, woodlands, underwater), there are occasional flying levels, in which the action is viewed from behind Pan as he flies Superman style over Never Never Land. These such excursions serve to break up the monotony of the (numerous) platform stages, and give the impression that a greater deal of care has gone into the game than many other movie-to-game, erm, games. The game is also pleasingly large. While it is no Wario Land, it certainly appears epic against other similar games (Small Soldiers springs to mind).
The graphics and sound are functional, but are really nothing spectacular. The levels are fairly distinctive to a degree, although one underground level looks like another, as with underwater levels, flying levels.... The animation too is nothing spectacular, although it is smooth enough as to cause no real problems, although the control seems to be a little clumsy at times (usually when precision is required).
Basically, this game is nothing very special, and while it stands up well against other movie games, it becomes little more than 'above average' when put up against the Game Boy's big hitters. It will give you a fair few hours of enjoyment, and I'd certainly recommend you buy it if you can get hold of it, but it isn't quite innovative enough to compete with the Marios and the Warios of the Game Boy platformer stable.
Community review by tomclark (March 07, 2004)
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