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Review: Monster House - PS2

by Steven Williamson on 8 August 2006, 09:48

Tags: THQ Monster House on PS2, THQ (NASDAQ:THQI), Action/Adventure

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Easy controls, various character traits

Set in the third person perspective, the controls in Monster House are easy enough for children to pick up without too many problems. Starting off as DJ you’ll be equipped with a water pistol and a water balloon launcher which can be used to saturate the attacking furniture or as a melee weapon to beat them into submission. By pressing the right shoulder button you can smash your opponent into pieces after four or five hits, but due to the unpredictable camera angles you won’t always hit the target first time, instead you’ll need to twist and turn to ensure that you remain head-on with any approaching piece of furniture.

When shooting with the pistol you’ll first need to lock onto a target before you can unleash the liquid, but unfortunately you won’t be able to toggle between enemies. Instead you’ll have to cancel the lock-on, point in the direction of the new enemy and activate the lock-on function again. It’s a small irritation that could have been avoided with a bit more attention to detail, it does mean that your reactions will need to be sharp if approached by more than one enemy.

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Each character is armed with main and secondary weapons and can pick up ammo and weapon upgrades along the way. The various upgrades enhance the weapon’s capability by providing a stronger jet of water and add to the variety of gameplay.

Each of the characters also vary in speed, Chowder being the fattest is the slowest of the three, but to compensate for this he has more powerful weapons, whereas the ginger-headed Jenny is the slimmest and swiftest of the bunch, but has to make do with a weak gun. The differentiation and styles of the characters is the highlight of the game, but the levels just aren’t designed to take advantage of this fact. Most of the rooms and corridors that you visit are essentially the same compact designs with the furniture in different places.