Big boss battles - a monkey with boxing glovesGeorge can only move left and right in the game. This not only prevents exploration, but also means that collecting items is often a case of just pressing the jump button at the right time. The majority of the time, however, you can just pick coins and bananas up on route through the level without needing to exercise any skills at all, they’re impossible not to get. Ultimately, this means that you never get a real sense of achievement or challenge in the lead up to the boss battles.
The rigid structure of the levels also filters through to the boss battles, which suffer with minor glitches and poor game mechanics. The first battle you take part in involves taking on Slappy, 'The Superintendent of Monkey'. He sits in the middle of a circle, whilst you are forced to remain on the outside of the circle. Slappy comes out of his area, gets close to you and attempts to throw punches at you with his huge boxing gloves. The combat simply involves pressing the ‘B’ button repeatedly and then trying to move out his way when he takes his punches. Sometimes your punch registers and on other occasions there appears to be a delay between the pressing of your button and George taking his punch. This can result in you getting caught by one of the monkey’s punches when it simple shouldn't have happened.
Once you've managed to take his health bar down slightly, he heads back for the centre circle and then throws dynamite at you while his minions attack you from both sides. So you then have to try and kill them, with this annoying punch delay, and avoid the stick of dynamite. Incredibly, although this didn’t happen every time, I had one health bar left and I lost it because it registered a hit even though the dynamite landed nowhere near my position. As a result I had to start the whole damn level from scratch because I’d used up all three lives trying to defeat this ape. If I'm frustrated by this and felt like snapping the disc in two, I dread to think how a youngster would react at the injustice of it all.
Combat doesn’t improve or become any more entertaining in the lead up to the boss battles, where you get to fight the likes of crocodiles, spear-wielding monkeys and the Tiki Tribe, but at least you can breeze through it, and if you want to, can simply avoid and jump over any enemies that stand in your way; the boss battles are just too difficult in comparison.