Shoddy Movie Ports

Anyone who has played games long enough will know the generic result of any movie ports. Shoddy development with many flaws, make for an un-enjoyable experience for anyone except the crazed fans of the movie.

Maybe the year 2006 will hold something new in-store and contradict history by having some decent movie port games, let's not get our hopes up though. No-one really enjoys being bombarded by a selection of complex menus, before they have even started the game. This is an idea that fortunately the developers have left out, you will come up against two menus and these are so simple you will just skip through them, and have some idea of what you have actually done.

If I am going to be honest I prefer a game to have a tutorial just to save you having to guess your way through the first section or look through the instructions. For whatever reason though the controls seemed to become second nature and I was quickly on my way to becoming an established pirate. The game consists of strength and quick attacks which you have to adapt depending on the enemy you are facing. One of the most important buttons used in the game though is the circle, this is used throughout. To pick up and light barrels, use the circle button.

Common And Repetitive Circles

You may be getting bored of circles already, but try playing the game. Some of the best games ever made let the player have a lot of freedom and choose their own route, not this one. Every one of the objects seems to have been strategically placed for your own ease but sometimes having an easy game can get boring. Games such as Jade Empire for the XBOX allowed the player to decide their own game with the help of contact with other characters, but this game is much the opposite. The developers might as well have just put big arrows pointing where to go next, and each location is so linear that you will be resting your eyes every so often.

Any pirate needs to carry one important object, a weapon. Within the game you play the role of Jack Sparrow, and although he is very effeminate he can handle the sword. As I have already stated the game is very linear but you still need to use some sense to save your health bar, you have your trusty sword but that's not always enough. For example if there are a few enemies standing down the corridor, a keg will be conveniently placed in front of them, ready for you to kick towards them. Of course, this is useful but just seems so unrealistic considering it's a rounded keg wouldn't it roll? Fine, I'll quit with the conspiracy theories but I think you get the idea.

Computerized Pirates

The AI within the game is variable, you can choose which difficulty to play on before you throw yourself in. The usual options are easy, medium and hard. There are only a few minor differences between the difficulties though. When I first started playing, admittedly I went on easy to get a grasp of the game. This included which buttons to attack each enemy with, which is a good touch for beginners. As I went onto the hard difficulty though, it still felt exactly the same except for the enemies being quicker.

It seems a lot of the PSP games I have played recently have been plagued by graphical glitches and this new instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean is no exception. In this game, being able to stick your head through a supposedly solid brick wall is the norm. Another exploiting moment is when your character, Jack Sparrow jumps onto a zip line but magically floats on it when he hasn't even jumped. These faults honestly seem a product of laziness.

There are a lot of locations available in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and all seem well done. Each level have a 'ye olde' feel with flaming lamps located on nearly every wall. With every good thing in life, something bad comes your way; and as I already have said they can become frustrating. Objects such as kegs which you can blow up with the help of a light, just seem too easy to find. Overall it does seem that the game has been aimed at children.

The Pirate Dance

Music within this new instalment is sparse, it is only found in the menus, with the in-game sounds being Jack himself or other characters. Johnny Depp plays the role of Jack Sparrow in the movie and they have used him for the voice-overs, but you rarely hear these. They are thrown in at certain points throughout the game, but to me they are just plain annoying. It is the same concept with enemies you may wonder what their most common phrase is. It appears to be, "What are you doing?" in a really dodgy accent. Finally some of the in-game sounds such as Jack walking around, are prone to cutting out and do not flow well at all.

The game also makes good use of the PSP's wireless capabilities, with Game Sharing being the most popular choice. This allows 3 other players without the game to connect to the network and play the full multiplayer experience.