Well, the Zodiac is once again in that season of hype, with
games like Tomb Raider and Neverwinter Nights still on the
horizon. Until then, a slew of titles are being released
for the Zodiac, and perhaps the game that is making the most
buzz right now is Animated Dudes. But as a 2D side-scrolling
platformer, can it stand up to the 3D heavy-hitters on the
Zodiac? Yes. Yes it can.
Animated Dudes is a charming little title for the Zodiac,
with plenty of personality and humor to match. The game functions
like many other side-scrolling platformers, moving across
a 2D plane to get from one side of the field to another,
or sometimes, different directions on different levels. But
the feeling this game gives is one of unparalleled style
and grace. The presentation is very trippy, and the surreal
style compliments the overall game in making it stand out
from the norm. You can play as one of three characters in
a junkyard brought to life: A plunger that can double-jump,
a blob of slime that can hover and spit projectiles, and
a stick of dynamite with a very powerful whip attack. You
control them through a variety of scenarios that compliment
their play style, from simple side-scrolling, to river rafting,
to sewer crawling… Each level presents its own share
of challenges, usually combining two different scenarios
to create a diverse and enjoyable game experience. However,
the main drawback of this game is the difficulty level. This
game is unbelievably, horribly difficult. The learning curve
is extremely steep. You might even find yourself losing five
or more lives on the same jump, and the lack of spare lives
in this game forces you to constantly restart scenarios,
and it can just be plain frustrating. Even if you are against
cheating, trust me, you will want to use the infinite lives
cheat described at the end of this review just to negate
the frustration factor.
The controls are standard for a game like this, but they
work very well. The analog controls move you around, you
can jump and attack with the face buttons. They're really
nothing very special, but are responsive and not too sensitive.
If anything happens to you in this game, it's most likely
not because the controls were the problem. It's hard to ask
for anything more in a game like this, so I can only judge
by how responsive the controls are, and they're pretty responsive.
The graphics are part of what make this game what it is.
The animation is incredibly smooth, and the art is wacky
and refreshing, but the quirkiness makes this game stand
out from the pack. The characters design is reminiscent of
movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas, with a strange,
deformed quality that adds to the individual and unique personality
of the characters. The cutscenes and enemies also reflect
these trippy designs. But artwork aside, the characters and
sets are extremely well drawn, and the graphics are smoother
than any other game I've seen for the palm format. The beautiful
display of the Zodiac compliments the surroundings in conjunction
with the characters. This is truly one of the more graphically
pleasing titles on the system.
The sound for this game is wonderful. While the music can
get a little repetitive, they also have a strange, off-key-yet-pleasing
type of creepy sound to them that compliments the graphics.
The sound effects are plentiful and match very well with
their respective triggers. The jumps sound like jumps, the
birds sound like birds, and everything has that same endearing
warped quality that made the artwork so striking. The sound
effects for things like spitting and hovering are oftentimes
humorous and pleasing to hear. Both the art and sound hit
This game is definitely worth a purchase for any platforming
fan. This game stands out in almost every category. The uniqueness
of the game runs not off of a cheap gimmick, but by honing
a striking artistic quality that makes it even more enjoyable
to play. It's a game that can be used to show off almost
every feature of the Zodiac, and the quirks in this game
make it stand out from the mindless and repetitive games
flooding most gaming platforms. The action is ever changing
and mixes up any kind of monotony very effectively. Aside
from the frustrating difficulty level (and I mean FRUSTRATING),
this is almost a perfect game and a recommended purchase.
Playing Hints and Tips
- Use the Infinite Lives code. You'll still lose health and die
when prompted, but this will eliminate the frustration of returning
to the start of the scenario when your un out of the short supply
- The following cheats will end when switch a scenario, so be sure
to re-enter them.
-Full cheat code list (should be entered while playing):
211364217 Save current state
712463112 Load saved state
362111473 next level
433142315 Infinite energy
421312236 Full energy
346721127 Infinitive lives
211364217 Add one life
371234742 Infinite megaspheres
221177346 Add one Megasphere
346512366 Add 50 recycles
242341374 Waterproof & spikeproof
634712337 God mode!
Fun cheat codes (may work incorrect on some levels)
176316347 Change hero ...->Slime->TNT->Plunger->Slime->.......
231432143 Change hero to Skate
273646321 Change hero to SpaceSuite
Open all levels in "quick game":
1) Select "Credits" in main menu
2) Place red arrow above "Ilya Zenin" using stylus or joystick
3) Enter this combination 112244848854
4) If you enter this combination correctly, you could select any
level from "quick game" menu.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Both the art direction and graphical
quality in this game are amazing, especially for a side-scroller.
The sound direction and ethereal quality
makes the sound effects in this game go perfectly with the
art style. It also sounds damn good.
A very fun game, just very frustrating.
If you can get over the constant, cheap deaths, this is a
great and pleasing game.
Despite the difficulty, this game is
just hard to put down. You just want to keep going until
you beat the level... And then go on to the next one.