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  • Platform: PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Players: 1
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Edge of Reality
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Suggested Retail: $29.99
  • Graphics: B+
  • Sound: A-
  • Gameplay: B-
  • Replay: C
  • Fun Factor: B-
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A


By James Stevenson     September 30, 2004

Activision's SHARK TALE.
© Activision

Activision has been hitting the ball out of the park this year with regards to licensed games. SPIDER-MAN 2, X-MEN LEGENDS and SHREK were all great games. SHARK TALE is another good game from the publisher, but let us warn you up front that it's targeted to a younger audience. That's really the only shortcoming of the game though.

SHARK TALE sets gamers up with the story before and during the film, you play as Oscar, the star of the film who is voiced by Will Smith in the film (and an amazing sound-alike in the game). The story revolves around Oscar being mistaken as a shark killer by the Shark Mafia and what happens after that (obviously the movie is geared to both parents and kids).

The gameplay isn't something your more typical hardcore gamer will get much out of. The game features dancing sequences (which can be played with control pad or dance pad), as well as other more typical combat, side scrolling and racing areas. There is a large variety of gameplay represented in the game from hiding from the lights of the sentry fish at the Shark's main restaurant, to racing with a taxicab through the streets. Some missions even will remind you of PUNCH-OUT as you have to dodge a shark's attack and then quickly counter. You can also race through the city hanging onto a taxi for dear life and trying to hit water currents for a boost and drift around the corner. There are also the previously mentioned dance modes. MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" is proudly featured, and you'll dance to the whole thing. It almost seems like it goes on a little long, and it's definitely not a difficult session as you only have one button to press at a time (for more details on these different play modes check out our Preview of the game).


A screenshot from SHARK TALE.

is one way you can tell it is a kid's game. It isn't that hard. Most areas can be completely on one or two tries. Everything in the game is very simple and scaled back, and there are a lot of concepts introduced that seem like they should've been built on and are just stretched out.

But that said, the game works in its purpose of being a great kid's game based on a strong license. It's basic, it's not too hard, but it is all done very well and it's not a bad game in the slightest.

The game itself looks great. It seems like there was a careful effort to make it seem as if you were under the sea, hard to tell exactly how it relates to the movie, but from the commercials and trailers I've seen it seems to fit the style well. It's not going to blow you mind with amazing visuals, but it still looks pretty good given the audience it was developed for and it definitely wasn't half-assed.

Sound-wise I'm still impressed it wasn't Will Smith voicing his character. We actually had to change that in our preview because I was dead-sure that Will Smith had voiced it. It wasn't like SHREK 2 where you could tell the voices were a bit off, the voices in this game are spot on. The music is also great with licensed tracks form the aforementioned MC Hammer was well as other groups like Outkast.

In the end - SHARK TALE is a great title for a younger audience that compliments the movie well. You should definitely check it out for the younger SHARK TALE fan in your life.


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