With the release of another Disney movie comes the inevitable game that accompanies it, movie games have never been renowned for being brilliant, especially ones based on cartoons, however Treasure Planet offers a good solid addictive game. Being a platoon based action adventure game Treasure Planet was never going to offer anything revolutionary and new, but the game does hold your attention and mainly aiming at the younger market this is all it really needs to do.
Disney's Treasure Planet is based on Robert Lewis Stephenson's classic novel 'Treasure Island', rather than being set on the high seas though, Treasure Planet take the adventure into space and is set in the distant future. It is a future where pirates are the scourge of the space highways robbing and pillaging various crafts in space from cargo ships to passenger liners. The basic story is that after coming across a map to the mythical pirate hideaway Treasure Planet, Cabin Boy Jim Hawkins sets off in search of the planet and hopes to get his hands on some serious pirate booty. This is never easy and you get to control Jim as he follows the map with various companions in search of the planet.
Treasure Planet opens with a cut scene which is taken from the movie which gives you a general overview of the story. The cut scene is very impressive and shows off the Playstation 2's ability and power. The cut scenes play a big part in the game and are placed between levels; each one develops the story a little bit further as you progress through the game.
The game itself is very well presented and becomes quite addictive after a while; it begins with a talk from Jim's friend Dr Doppler who explains that the map is linked to beacons situated throughout the 3D landscapes. In order to find the next route on the map to Treasure Planet you have to perform certain tasks to light the beacons and guide the way. The tasks range from the usual platform game objectives like collecting various objects, once you have enough the beacon is lit and you progress to the next one. To move on to another level in Treasure Planet you have to have lit a certain number of beacons on the previous level, on each level it differs with the tasks you have to perform, one task is collecting but another task involved chasing and catching a strange alien creature.
In order to a variation to the game there have been included levels that don't just involve running around and collecting objects. One level sees you zooming around an abandoned mine on an engine powered wind surf board called the Solar Surfer. This level was particularly enjoyable, there really is a lot of thrill zooming around on the board, yes the level does include collecting coins but the main aim is to race around the mine against the clock.
The controls in Treasure Planet are very simple and easy to pick up; they do seem a bit jittery to begin with though. I sometimes felt like the character of Jim over reacted and this can be frustrating when you are close to the edge of a drop and accidentally fall over it because Jim runs just a little bit further than you intended him to. The control system includes jumping, hitting, kicking and crouching, you can also look around from Jim's own perspective by pressing the triangle button, and this is very similar to the feature that is in Tomb Raider.
By pressing certain combination buttons you can use Jim's sidekick Morph, a cute little creature who can change shape to whatever he wishes. If you press the jump and punch button Morph turns into a hammer which you can then use to break open more solid objects such as crates. Other features that are present are the use of Bionic Arms which can break through objects that Morph can't and can be used to pick up heavy objects that can then be thrown to smash things. Objects like the Bionic Arms are found on lighted pods that you jump on and press the square button to obtain; you only have these for a certain amount of time which can be annoying because you have to keep going back to the pod.
Along the way through the game you bump into different characters from the movie, these include Dr Doppler, Captain Amelia, B.I.N. the robot and the evil backstabbing John Silver. To talk to these characters you simply press the circle button, it is useful to listen to what they have to say as they can give you some helpful hints to progress through the levels.
For the market that this game is aimed at it is perfect, it is a typical jump around, collect objects and smash things adventure with very little thought required for game play. This will very much appeal to the type of audience that will go and see the film and probably won't find its way into the machine of an older game player.