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|Title:||Captain Planet and the Planeteers|
|Rating:||2.5 out of 5|
This game is based on the animated TV show by the same name that ran for six years beginning in 1990. While looking like your standard super hero fare, Captain Planet and the Planeteers had a strong environmental message in each episode. It was to spur respect and preservation toward the planet.
I'm more of a super hero fan, so I wasn't initially enthused by the game. However, after seeing screenshots and videos, I really wanted to check it out because I love side-scrollers that have descent diversity. Captain Planet and the Planeteers offers you the ability to pilot several vehicles as well as playing as the Captain himself. This sort of diversity often makes scrollers a lot more fun.
Our world is in peril. Gaia, the spirit of Earth, can no longer stand the terrible destruction plaguing our planet. She must have help. From the Island of Hope she creates 5 magic rings distributed around the world. Each Planeteer who accepts a ring adopts it's elemental powers. the five rings represent: Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart. When they combine their rings, Captain Planet is summoned.
Each of the elemental powers is associated with a different kind of attack. Fire seems to be the most potent of them as many only work at very close range. But don't think this game is comprised of choosing the right weapon for the job. Your biggest challenge will be survival!
This game is very difficult!
Part of the difficulty is pure mechanics. You will often encounter an onslaught of incoming enemy firing that you must return fire while dodging. It can get pretty frantic. I've seen very few games that focus attacks so close to the player.
In most games one tries to distance oneself from harm. That's not always possible in Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Very often you need to skirt danger to avoid it. Similarly, many weapons are only efective at close range. It's definitely a different style of game play. I prefer larger safe zones :)
There are 5 levels to beat and you'll want the instruction manual to get through them. Unlike the early 8-bit days when many games were quite easy to pick up as you went along, there are some strategies here that you might never realize without the aid of the instructions. For example in level 5 they tell you to shoot tanks 5 times to destroy them and suggest you be kind to penguins. Um... yeah OK.
For all the things that irritated me about this game, I really liked the vibrant colors and graphics and it has good control. Each level brings new challenges that may be so difficult they cause you to dislike the game. I can't stress enough that this is a difficult game.
I'm surprised they made it so hard since they want kids t play it to become more aware to Earth's finite resources and the value in protecting them. If you rage quit the game on the first level, you won't ingest all the planet-saving mantras.
I enjoy the game's vibrant imagery and dual stages where some action takes place while piloting a variety of vehicles and the portions taking place indoors as Captain Planet. The difficulty gets irritating, as does the environmental preservation message. overall, there's fun to be had with this title, but you need to be a patient person... and read the manual.
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