Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation 3
Release Date: September 25
You should trust Japanese when you want to experience something… rather strange. Available on PlayStation Network for around $15, Sony’s Tokyo Jungle is something we could call a wild-life simulator in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. You choose one of the many animals and try to take over territories, eat, avoid being eaten and mate until you… start to consider something better to do.
Before I actually start to explain what kind of game this really is, I want to say that I would have loved to give this game a better score. I love the wacky and unique ideas that come from Japan. Unfortunately, one wacky idea just isn’t enough.
The whole purpose of Tokyo Jungle is to stay alive and pass your juice to generations to come (if you survive long enough). Besides just trying to live long, there are challenges that try to keep you motivated before you inevitably die. These challenges usually are goals you have to meet before certain amount of time has passed. Reaching these goals does pump up your score, but I feel this is not the kind of game you want to compete with your friends anyway… I think.
I found it extremely dissatisfying.
With every run that lasted longer than 20 minutes, I eventually met an incredibly overpowered beast that wiped me out of existence in mere few seconds. So my interest to play an animal was over as soon as I found a way to unlock the next creature I can play with. With my only purpose being to find another creature to play as for a short while, I found it extremely dissatisfying.
But I do have to mention that if this kind of gameplay is something you like, there is a huge roster of different animals available ranging from Pomeranians to huge dinosaurs (Don’t ask why…). You can play as carnivoers or herbivores and each creature that you play as acts quite differently. Carnivores are stronger and reliant on combat while herbivores rely on getting away from danger at all costs. It is a different kind of run for each different animal so it does give the game so variety.
I just want to enjoy a good story, I don’t want to be forced to play extra stuff to hear it.
You can also find tiny tidbits of story in form of news, reports and diaries scattered through the city as you play the game. You play survival mode, find a story and story mode chapter is unlocked. So you have to play different modes to reveal the story behind Tokyo Jungle. Some of our readers may already know that I’m sucker for good stories, I just have to wonder why on earth you have to mix modes in order to learn why there are dinosaurs running wild in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. I just want to enjoy a good story, I don’t want to be forced to play extra stuff to hear it.
The fun is over before the good stuff.
Loot in wild-life simulator? Really? Yes. Loot boxes will randomly appear in the world that will give you items to either survive or to …wear. You can drink a bottle of water to delay your hunger, read a magazine that improves your ability to stay strong a while longer (don’t ask) or you can find your cat a cool hat (or something similar) that boosts its offensive abilities.
The negative side of the whole loot system is that it is pretty much pointless. You’re not getting enough loot to benefit from them if your gameplay sessions are short as mine. The fun is over before the good stuff.
So there is loot… and.. they look funny.. and.. well.. ummm.. randomly appearing LOOT!
Quite an experience
Unfortunately, Tokyo Jungle is also very clumsy when it comes to overall movement and camera angles. I died more than few times because my TV was suddenly full of one tiger that came pretty much out of nowhere. Game over. Dead. Try again!
The way how abruptly your good run can end is just… stupid. Bature might be cruel but I just don’t like it when dying happens like this in. And I must point out that I do like a good challenges and difficulty in videogames, which is the reason I play most of the games with hard difficulty setting.
In addition, all animals look they’re the stuffed ones from museums. Graphics look really grey and dull and they’re something you could expect to see on a PS2 game.
Music in Tokyo Jungle is also so terrible that I was tempted just bang my head to the table in that rhythm.
Unique idea, poor game.
I would have loved to give a game with such unique idea a good review score, but I really can’t. The gameplay is clunky, the game has PS2 looks (and feel) and the game gets really repetitive quickly. Simply put: Tokyo Jungle packs a whole punch of frustration and annoyment for a gamer who believe that this unique story must be something really different and insane fun.
BOG’s Tokyo Jungle Review Score: 6.0
Why so good? If you ever wanted to be a Pomeranian, shag and fight? This is your game. Unique idea.
Why so bad? Frustrating, annoying, grey, clunky.