TOKYO-The apes from the Ape Escape series are back again in the follow-up to Piposaru Academia, a collection of monkey-themed minigames that was released in Japan alongside the PSP. Piposaru Academia 2 will contain 100 new minigames and will be wrapped in a new rock-paper-scissors-style card game that ties the whole thing together.
The game's main mode opens with you holding a handful of cards, each with a varying number of points on them and each with rock, paper, or scissors on them, as well. You'll also see which cards your opponent has, giving you some clues as to which cards to play. Win or lose, though, the game shuffles you off to a quick minigame.
We were able to see only a couple of quick games in the demo version being shown at the Tokyo Game Show 2005. One is a reflexes game that makes you attempt to anticipate a slap coming from a monkey and dodge it accordingly. We also saw a pair of baseball-themed games--one where you are trying to hit a pitch and another that has you attempting to throw a ball fast enough to prevent the other monkey from hitting it. The game will contain 100 minigames in all. The minigames and card game seem to load nice and quickly. Considering that some of the minigames last only a few seconds, fast transitions are key to keeping the game moving.
Piposaru Academia 2 looks like it's doing something interesting with the minigame formula, but ultimately, its overall quality is tied to the quality of its 100 minigames. Since we saw only three or four minigames, it's still tough to say how this one will turn out. Either way, it's currently scheduled for Japanese release this December.