Lilo and Stitch Review

While Lilo & Stitch was clearly designed as one for the kiddies, they likely will not be able to surmount its technical limitations.

You can play as both of the main characters from the movie.
You can play as both of the main characters from the movie.

A joint development by Blitz Games, SCEA, and Disney Interactive, Lilo & Stitch comes off as a low-budget attempt to cash in on the still-lucrative and swollen PSOne market. The game is based on the recently released Disney movie, though it's unlikely that even its most devoted fans will get much out of this one. Lilo & Stitch isn't subtle in the way it emulates the gameplay conventions of better-known platformers, and due to some sloppy implementation, it isn't very successful in its copying attempts either. It was clearly developed with a younger audience in mind, but it is precisely this demographic that will be the most put off by its often-punishing difficulty levels and extremely touchy controls.

Lilo & Stitch is basically a low-rent carbon copy of Crash Bandicoot. The game's designers used the classic PlayStation platformer's linear 3D level designs quite heavily, and likewise with all the requisite variations: the side-scrolling stages and the running-into-the-camera-toward-the-player stages. You'll get to play as both Lilo and Stitch, and both of them control basically the same, save for one key point: Lilo doesn't have nearly as many moves as Stitch does. Lilo--the little girl who finds and adopts the bizarre, ferocious alien Stitch--is able to jump and attack enemies with short-ranged motes of "voodoo." She's also able to pick up oil canisters that are scattered through the world and then put them in her pocket for detonation later. Stitch, on the other hand, is able to jump, attack enemies with a short-ranged breath weapon (with much the same properties as Lilo's voodoo), and execute a Crash-style spin attack. Also, by fueling himself with soft-drink power-ups scattered throughout the levels, he's able to execute a high-speed roll attack. He's easily the more compelling of the two characters, and the fact that you'll have to endure playing as the functionally challenged Lilo half of the time isn't anything but frustrating.

But even Stitch's relatively amusing ability set is sapped of any sort of enjoyment by the sloppier aspects of the game's technical implementation. Primarily, all aspects of the game's collision detection feel broken and inconsistent. This applies to the platform jumping (which factors heavily into many of the levels), as well as to fighting with enemies, and as a result, the game's primary action seems frustratingly broken. Landing on platforms is much harder than it should be, due to the fact that you'll slide off them if you land close enough to the edge. This is even worse with moving platforms, as you can imagine. In regard to enemies, you'll be injured for coming into contact with them from trajectories that were harmless only seconds ago. Take into account that most of the characters' attacks are primarily short-ranged, and you'll be able to see just why this won't do.

Largely, the game's action revolves around traversing all the linear 3D levels while having to collect various pickups. The stages seem like little more than empty obstacle courses most of the time, filled only with dull, unimaginative enemies and lame design gimmicks. The ones meant as diversions sadly make up the most enjoyable parts that the game has to offer--these being the chase scenes and the side-scrolling stages. Even these, though, are undermined most of the time by the technical problems.

Unfortunately, it's a bad game either way.
Unfortunately, it's a bad game either way.

Given how late Lilo & Stitch is coming out in the platform's life cycle, it's surprising that it doesn't look better. There is a good deal of noticeable meshing in the game's environments, and many of the textures look jarringly low-res, even for the standards of the dated system. The main characters themselves, though, look decent enough, and they're also fairly expressive. The sound, on the other hand, is weak and either overmixed or undermixed. You'll hear lots of different music, ranging from classic pop music to surf music, and when it stands out, it isn't due to its own merits--rather, it's because the rest of the experience has faded into the background, where the music probably should be instead.

While Lilo & Stitch was clearly designed as one for the kiddies, they likely will not be able to surmount its technical limitations for long enough to enjoy playing as either character. No one, regardless of his or her age, should even bother.

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Disney's Lilo & Stitch More Info

  • First Released Jun 14, 2002
    • PlayStation
    While Lilo & Stitch was clearly designed as one for the kiddies, they likely will not be able to surmount its technical limitations.
    Average Rating76 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Blitz Games
    Published by:
    SCEA, SCEE, SCE Australia
    Platformer, Action, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Mild Violence