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Monster House





Monster House 


I was pretty skeptical when I first heard the premise behind Monster House. Three neighborhood kids go after a demon possessed house with their water guns. The kids want to get the house taken out before Halloween, that way no trick or treating children are gobbled up by the monster house. The premise may sound similar to the notorious nightmare creator that goes by the mantra Resident Evil. Thankfully it is not to that extreme. It is also however not as cartoonish as the well known Luigi’s Mansion. A quick note is the video game is based strongly on the movie that was rated ‘PG’ for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language. The game switches between the various characters, and usually plays in a third person shooter kind of style. There are some occasional puzzles, and press specific buttons at the right time. The game does have quite a dark feel to it, even to the point where it can cause nightmares.

Graphically Monster House is downright eerie. The special effects done with the camera, while well done, actually gave me an occasional headache due to those very same effects. Chairs come alive, and have quite the evil look to them as they walk towards you. The television sets also come after the player in unnatural ways. There are no occultic images, and the only explanation given to the spiritual nature is the woman who died while the house was being built is the cause of the haunting. The entire house has quite the decrepit feel to it.

The sounds are crisp and clear, but in Monster House’s case that is actually a bad thing. There are some amazingly annoying sounds in this game (i.e. screams, crying, etc.). One of the characters says: “oh my God,” quite often. We understand how offensive that is to many Christians, and is in fact offensive to me. The music is dark, and dreary to go with the rest of the game.

Monster House on the Gameboy Advance takes longer to beat than the Gamecube, and Playstation 2 versions. Which is backwards from most hand held versus console versions of video games. This version does contain the ‘Thou Art Dead” arcade style game, which is nothing more than a really bad 8-bit style of side scrolling Golden Axe clone. The short length of Monster House hurts it, as does the no reason to replay it. This is a game in this reviewers humble opinion is not worth your hard earned dollars.

I really try to be as nice as I can, but the gameplay in Monster House also suffers. The cartoon violence with the water guns gets really monotonous. The main tactic is to shoot, back up, reload, and shoot some more. Wash, repeat, and rinse on all enemies. The occasional puzzle was so easily solved, that it did not even break up the action. The controls work well, but the secondary weapons are rarely worth the trouble (unless it is needed to break a lock on a door). The level design is completely linear. There is almost always only one place to go. Suffice to say, I did not find this game to be fun to play.

The spiritual nature of demonic possessions, and influences were not addressed in this game, although they are definitely present. It was a chore to play and review this game. Dark games like this really are ones I recommend you steer clear of. There really does not need to be any sequels to this kind of game, and since the player destroys the Monster House, then honestly there should not be anymore. I can hope can’t I?
- Paul


Graphics: 70%
Sound: 68%
Replay/Extras: 69%
Gameplay: 66%
Family Friendly Factor: 67%
System: Gamecube/Playstation 2
Publisher: THQ
'E10+' for Everyone 10+
{Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence}

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