Muppet Monster Adventure Preview

The Muppets take on a creepy castle conundrum in this 3D platformer from Midway and Jim Henson Interactive.

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It was inevitable that the Muppets would land in a 3D platformer. Most franchises that appeal to children (or the grown-up kids that staff most video game publications) work their way into a console title eventually, and the Muppets are no exception. But will Muppet Monster Adventure have what it takes to stand apart from the teeming mass of other licensed games?

The story behind Muppet Monster Adventure is a surprisingly complex one: Professor Honeydew's rich, eccentric uncle has died, and the gang must travel to his spooky mansion on the hill to hear his last will and testament. Of course, much ghastly calamity ensues, and most of the Muppets are lost inside the mansion. In the process, they transform into a variety of monster movie clichés - such as Gonzo as Dracula. Robin survives, though, and the Professor and Beaker hook him up with a magical ray-shooting glove and a storage backpack. Robin then sets out through a series of levels based around a hub to recover the lost Muppets.

From a gameplay and control standpoint, Muppet Monster Adventure is standard 3D-platformer fare. Robin runs, jumps, and shoots like any number of other characters in similar games. There are, of course, many kinds of collectible items, such as glowing stars that represent "evil energy" - they can be used to open up new levels, and a weird kind of Muppet coin that enables the most interesting feature of the game. Each coin features the face of a particular Muppet character; collect enough of them and Robin will gain the power of that Muppet/monster hybrid. Since Gonzo's become a vampire, the Gonzo coins give Robin the power of flight (through bat wings). Fozzie's apparently become a werewolflike creature, so through use of the "Wocka Wocka Werebear" power, Robin can sprout large claws and climb up some walls. The variety of special powers that Robin can use should keep the game interesting after the run-and-jump aspect of the game inevitably wears thin.

Muppet Monster Adventure is slated to release in October, so if you're a Muppet fan or you're jonesing for a new PlayStation platformer or you dig wacky music, check it out.

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