Note: This is the review for the Nintendo GameCube version of "Open Season".
It's common knowledge now that one shouldn't expect too much from a movie-licensed video-game that's developed solely to promote the movie itself. "Open Season" is one such game: average, slightly underdeveloped, yet simple, easy and fun for children.
In fact, the game is so easy, that there isn't any form of a "game over" other than in the mini-games. When losing all health bars, the only thing you'd have to do is tap the 'A' button to revive your character, and you're back on your feet with full health! This 'easy-breezy' gameplay may be a fun experience for some, and extremely unchallenging for others.
The single-player campaign doesn't take more than 3 hours combined to complete, after which the player is given the option to replay levels and the multi-player mini-games. However, this 'replay-value' feels pointless, since there isn't any new challenge or difficulty to motivate players to revisit the levels - and all the collectibles have already been collected in the first playthrough.
The multi-player mini-games aren't any fun to play either. The concept is clearly derived from family party-games like Mario Party - without any of its zest or vigour that makes those games entertaining, nor adding any value to the experience of this particular game.
As a platformer, there are times when the controls feel underdeveloped and clunky, and the camera being wonky to navigate - leading to momentary frustrations when the player tries to perform simple actions like jumping between platforms or attacking an enemy.
The game offers the ability to upgrade your character's skills through the tokens you collect. Unfortunately, I hadn't come to realise this until after I had finished the single-player campaign. The game doesn't notify the player of this upgradability, which renders this feature unnecessary and wasted - especially since the campaign is so easy to beat without having to upgrade your skills at all.
In spite of coming across as another uninspired and formulaic movie-licensed game, the overall experience of playing "Open Season" can prove to be fun for its younger audiences.
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