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‘“King Kong’” is authentic translation to the small screen

by Kenny Lindsay

Peter Jackson’s ‘“King Kong,’” the official video game of the movie, rips open a higher level of movie-to-game entertainment with a deafening roar. We’ve all seen how the production of games made into movies and movies becoming games have always been a bit on the sketchy side. According to Game Informer magazine, the creators of ‘“The Lord of the Rings’” by EA Games were reluctant and abrasive when it came to the governing involvement and advice of Peter Jackson. As a direct result, one of the greatest motion pictures ended up mopping the floor with what could have been an astounding set of games. ‘“The Lord of the Rings’” arcade pretty much sucked when compared to the movies, and understandably Peter Jackson kicked EA Games to the curb and decided to run to Ubi Soft with ‘“King Kong.’” Not only was this an important step in creating a successful movie/game, it should also pave the way for other similar productions and all of us gamers out there have something to look forward to in the future.

The ‘“King Kong’” video game takes the player directly into the movie, and instead of boring details I’d like to point out the more significant aspects of this awesome title. One of the most exciting features is obviously to play as Kong, and what the makers did is keep this constantly looming over the player’s head. They could have easily beaten a dead horse and overkilled King Kong’s playability, but they didn’t. As the main character, Jack Driscoll, and his crew wonder through the dense foliage of Skull Island in a fight for survival. The goal of tearing apart a mighty V-Rex using a giant megapede as a deadly whip or have a game of bowling with a 30-foot-wide crab become desperate ambitions. Why? Because playing as a human sucks and we don’t stand a chance for procreation unless the mighty Kong can bail us out, which ironically ends up being the death of him. Although, one feature to look forward to is the alternative ending. There are a lot less tears for the player and Kong is given the chance to live on. Also, the game includes some extras including art galleries, cinematic screen filters and an internet code stat (when and if it actually works).

The sound effects and score of the game are impeccable. When the music picks up there’s trouble; when it fizzles safety is noted; and when the game becomes a little boring, watch out! Even with no sound at all the game just looks loud. I also had the chance to play the X-Box 360 title on a high-definition screen and it about blew my mind. The graphics and cinematics are absolutely stunning and the swift and blinding violence can even get a tad frightening at times. Jack is played throughout the game as first person and when it’s time to open up a can of whoop-ass with Kong, the play switches to third person. On the bright side, this behemoth gorilla according to my estimate weighs in at around 3,500 pounds, is unusually graceful and easy to maneuver and this point of view change is easily set aside.

The entirety of the game is very short lived but the extraordinary adventure makes it well worth it. The details of Skull Island are to the fullest and the player really gets a sense of being lost on the unforgiving and unexplored region. Personally, if time permits, I look forward to playing through ‘“King Kong’” again. Hopefully any following movie-to-game adventures will keep up with this colossal title and match its magnitude in order to make the game worth buying, giving us gamers something to look forward to.

To comment on this story, e-mail Kenny Lindsay at kenny@yesweekly.com.

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