Tokyo Jungle Review
- Posted September 15th, 2012 at 21:14 EDT by Paul Kelly
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Tokyo Jungle is a refreshing game with a unique setting. It doesn't stay exciting forever, but there's a lot of fun to be had.
- Unique idea that should be applauded
- Core gameplay is fun
- Lots of content
- Said content can be a pain to unlock
- Lacks polish
- Can get repetitive
Japan is home to some of the most unique and quirky games in the industry, many of which never make it to western shores. There are exceptions of course, one of which is Tokyo Jungle. We have to thank Sony straight away for giving new idea like this a chance.
Tokyo Jungle is a PlayStation 3-exclusive developed by Sony’s Japan Studio in conjunction with Crispy’s and PlayStation C.A.M.P! In Japan the game was released on both PSN and on Blu-ray but it is PSN only in NA/EU. The game sees you take control of a species of animals which have to survive in a world in which all human life has vanished for some reason.
The game has two modes, Survival and Story. Both of these modes contain pretty much the same gameplay aspects but with different scenarios. Survival mode is probably the mode you will play the most, since it’s the mode that enables you to unlock most of the content, even Story mode levels which I think is a bad way of doing things in that regard.
Survival mode sees you take on the dangers that the Tokyo Jungle brings head on. You start by selecting a species of animal; the starting ones are the Pomeranian dog (which is sort of the game’s cover star) and the Silka Deer. Every animal species has statistics relating to how good it is in regards to its Life, Attack, Speed, Hunger, Stamina and Defense. Each of these is attributed to the two categories of animal in the game, predators and grazers. This basically breaks down into carnivores and herbivores. Whether you choose to play as a grazer or predator can affect how you approach the game since they have different characteristics that have positive or negative effects depending on the situation you are in.
The game breaks down into four key mechanics which you need to learn about if you want to survive. These are: Stealth, Hunting, Combat and Mating and Territory. Stealth is all about hiding in the tall grass and avoiding (or killing) the other animals. Hunting is done by approaching your prey, and when close enough, a moving dull coloured teeth icon will appear prompting you to press R1 and kill the unsuspecting foe in one hit. You then have the opportunity to eat the dead animal. To do this you just go over to it and press circle. This helps to keep your chosen animal alive and also improves your animal’s rank. Yeah, your animal is ranked but more on that in a bit.
When you can’t stealth kill you have to fight. Combat in Tokyo Jungle is pretty simple: press square to win. As such, this means you only have one button in order to attack foes; however, if you hit R1 at the right time you’ll execute an instant kill. Enemies will of course fight back and can inflict major damage, so it’s best to keep moving and try to read what your foe will do next. The enemy can do a pouncing attack which can prove fatal, though you’ll get a brief warning before this happens. When you see this you can move the right analogue stick to evade the attack. If successful you can counter them by hitting R1 if you see the red teeth icon again and go from potential dinner to killing machine. It must be noted that grazers can’t fight or hunt. To feed, they must either consume the plants that are littered throughout the city or drink pools of water.
The final key mechanic is the Mating and Territory mechanic. This is important in Survival since nothing lives forever and you have to reproduce and keep the species going. The first part is to mark your territory. This is done by going to areas marked with flags and by pressing circle. In any given area of the game there are four flags to mark and once you have done that you are able to use what is referred to as a “lair” in the game, which is basically a pile of hay. In order to use the “lair” you have to find a mate.
A mate will appear on the mini-map at the bottom of the screen as a pink heart (the mates are female, all controllable ... (continued on next page) ----