Friday, May 29, 2009

Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian

Developer: Amaze Entertainment
Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), Wii, DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Is that supposed to look like Ben Stiller?

0:00 I believe I fell asleep watching the first "Night at the Museum" movie on an airplane, but I can't be sure. That's how much of an impact it made ... I don't even remember falling asleep with certainty. Still, they sent me the game, so it deserves an hour at least...

0:01 A company logo in a skeletal dinosaur's mouth turns into a moon above a church-like Smithsonian Castle. The title pops up amidst epic trumpet music and crickets chirping in the dark. "Press Start Button." I do!

0:03 The game takes its sweet time creating new game data on my hard drive. Ah, there we go. New game, please.

0:04 I never understood the difference between "Brightness" and "Gamma." Why can I adjust both in the options when they do the same thing?

0:05 "Factoid: Press Y to get a hint," says the loading screen. Sounds more like a "Pro Tip" than a "Factoid" to me. Cut to a TV set showing "New York Tonight with Sheila Burns." The guest: Ben Stiller's character, Larry Daley, who invented a glow-in-the-dark flashlight. The lumpy 3-D model looks kind of like Ben Stiller, I guess. Quick flashback to his adventures in the first movie, then Sheil mentions they're replacing the statues at the museum with holograms. Daley leaves immediately, while Sheila transitions to a segment on dental fillings made of fudge. In the cab, Daley gripes about the move to holograms. "Sure ... you lose something in the transition to digital culture," says the cabbie. The writing is surprisingly decent. I'm loving the subtle self-awareness.



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