Sony Computer Entertainment America has today announced that Ape Escape 3 for the PlayStation 2 will be arriving in North American stores on January 17. The game, about which very little has been known before now, will once again see the evil Specter and his army of mischievous piposaru apes threaten to take over the world, and this time they plan to do it via mind-clouding television programming.
Assuming the role of Ape Escape hero Kei or his sister Yumi, you'll be tasked with putting an end to the piposarus' plans by dashing through the TV studios and capturing the apes before any more of their crazy shows hit the airwaves. Each of Ape Escape 3's levels will take the form of a different television stage, where you'll be required to capture a certain number of apes before you can progress to the next level. As in previous Ape Escape games, your primary weapon will be a net with which to capture your simian adversaries, and you'll also gain access to a number of other gadgets, including a propeller, a radar sensor, and a hula hoop.
New for Ape Escape 3 will be a transformation meter that, once you fill it up, lets you morph into different forms that will be needed to complete certain objectives, beat certain bosses, and gain access to hidden locations. Morphing into a ninja, for example, will give you the ability to run along walls and perform a flying squirrel move, while assuming the form of an Arabian prince will let you summon a dancing genie that the apes can't help but follow. Other forms will include a knight carrying a large shield, a Western kid armed with a paint gun, and a kung fu master with the ability to perform powerful combo attacks.
The apes in Ape Escape 3 will purportedly be significantly more intelligent than their counterparts in previous games, and in addition to being able to dodge your attacks and capture attempts, they'll have the ability to knock weapons out of your hands and use them against you. If a damned dirty ape manages to get its stinking paws on your net and hit you with it, you'll be ejected from the level.
In addition to the main mode of play, Ape Escape 3 will boast a "Mesal Gear Solid" mode that apes (sorry) the Metal Gear Solid franchise, as well as two minigames titled "Super Monkey Throw Stadium" and "Ultim-ape Fighting." We'll bring you more information on Ape Escape 3 as soon as it becomes available.