Disney's Treasure Planet
by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Released to coincide with the the release of the movie, Disney's Treasure Planet is the classic tale of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island with a sci-fi twist. Instead of sailing the oceans you'll be sailing across the galaxy and instead of buried treasure you're after Treasure Planet. Of course the old characters are all here but in a sci-fi guise. Take the infamous ship's cook, John Silver, for instance. He's here but now he's a cyborg and just like in the book he's a total scallywag and yes you've guessed it, you play as Jim Hawkins.
Disney's Treasure Planet is basically a 3D platformer and all things considered it's a rather good one. Whilst it never reaches the high standards set by the Crash Bandicoot series or this years Sly Raccoon, it is still an enjoyable game. The game's controls feel natural and anyone who has played a 3D platformer on the PlayStation 2 will instantly be at home with the controls.
On each level you have to activate beacons in order to progress. Activating the beacons is done through a variety of methods and different tasks will have to be performed to activate a beacon on each level. Collecting gold coins, destroying boxes and collecting objects are just some of the tasks that you could be performing to activate a beacon. It's not all strictly platforming though and there are different levels such as the solar surfing ones that help give the game some variation. Of course it wouldn't be the same without any boss fights and you'll be pleased to know they are here too. A special mention must also go to the game's difficulty. Initially things start off very easy but as the game progresses it becomes quite challenging. It's good to see a well paced game where the difficulty increases gradually and doesn't just stop at easy or suddenly go straight to near on impossible.
Throughout the game you are accompanied by a creature called Morph. Morph is really handy and can change into a variety of objects to aid you solve certain problems. If you need to smack a button then jumping in the air and pressing your attack button will see Morph transform into a giant mallet and whack the button. Sometimes you'll need help pulling a lever and Morph can literally give you a hand by transforming into a large hand to give you assistance. Along with Morph's help there are also a number of power-ups that will temporarily give you extra abilities that allow you to complete your tasks.
Graphically the game looks good and is on a par with other games in the genre. The game comes with the option of running it in a 60Hz mode as well as the option to switch to a widescreen mode. The game's framerate was very smooth with no slowdown experienced at all. If one complaint had to be made, it would be that a lot of the objects were a little too angular but this really is nit-picking. The camera is generally good and didn't cause too much of a problem although there were some instances where it hindered making a jump.
What let's Disney's Treasure Planet down for deaf gamers is the unsubtitled cutscenes that are taken straight from the film. Subtitles can be enabled for in-game dialogue and this is useful for giving you instructions. Not all verbal comments in the game are subtitled but the essential ones are. It's good to have some subtitles in the game but it just doesn't give you the same enjoyment when you can't enjoy included parts from the movie.
Disney's Treasure Planet is a good platforming game, whether you're interested in the film or not. What's disappointing is that the film extracts are not subtitled and this takes away the intended ambience for deaf gamers. Deaf gamers aren't really going to be able to appreciate the game's story unless they have seen the film, which is a shame. Of course taking it purely as a platformer it's still a pleasing title but there are better ones out there such as the superb Sly Raccoon.
Game Rating: 7.3/10