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Oct 082012

In the Playstation 2 game Scooby Doo First Frights (which is also available on Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS) the Mystery Inc. gang heads over to a food festival at Keystone Castle. Along the way, they make a few stops with mysteries to solve. First it’s at St. Louis High School, then an amusement park, and a village by the ocean. That makes a total of four episodes.

Each episode has several levels filled with really neat creepy exploration. Even though you have to search every nook and cranny for hidden items and clues, you never have to worry about losing your way because there’s always a trail of Scooby Snacks to follow.

The game play is also neat. Each area always features a group of two Mystery Inc. members, whether it’s in one or two player mode. In one-player mode the CPU controls the other character to back you up.

Although every character has the same fighting skill and double jumping ability, only certain characters can do certain things. Fred pushes boxes and turns levers, Daphne climbs flashing poles, Velma works computer systems, Shaggy uses a yo-yo like a grappling hook, and Scooby can enter doggy door passages.

The Scooby gang isn’t known for “battling” enemies, but there are plenty of little monsters like skeletons, witches, creepy living dolls, and other creatures. Every episode has a boss, which is the main monster in the story. The monster has to be fought before the unmasking.

There are also chase levels, where Shaggy and Scooby must run for their lives from the scary monster. Those are tricky because the level is a fast scroller. If you can’t keep up, you have to start over. That can be tough sometimes, but at least you never have to worry about dying in this game.

What also makes the creepy exploration interesting is the story lines behind the mysteries. Throughout the level, the Scooby gang keeps in contact by walkie-talkie and encounter suspects. Like the original Scooby-Doo cartoons, there’s a laugh track during the story. I don’t see the purpose for that, unless it represents Scooby-Doo nostalgia, considering that no other Scooby-Doo series uses it.

As you complete certain tasks in the game, you get trophies, some of which can only be earned in Exploration Mode.

On the option menu screen, you can also view video clips from the story lines in the game as well as short scenes from Scooby-Doo the Mystery Begins.

I really enjoyed this game for its story lines and simple game play. The only part I dislike is the pass code option because there are no pass codes revealed in the game at all. How else are you supposed to get them?

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