Some may ask: “Why do you play old games?”
Well, we love exploring gems from the past and seeing other players discover them, too. We find that these reviews help players overcome fears and obstacles of playing retro games. OK, so they don’t have the latest generation graphics, but that’s not how you should look at the game. Games, especially classic ones, should always be evaluated by the impact they had on the industry at the time.
One of the games that not only had an impact, but also left a lasting legacy, is Ape Escape.
The history of ape escape
Ape Escape is a fun game series that was introduced in 1999. It first was launched on the PlayStation platform. Since the initial release, Ape Escape had three parts with a fourth in development since 2016 and lots of spin-offs (latest being a 2010 game PlayStation Move Ape Escape for PS3).
Ape Escape was developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was the first game to utilize DualShock Analog controller. It’s a third-person, single-player action game with the goal of catching monkeys.
As the story goes, monkeys obtained helmets that made them smarter. So, they used this device to free their friends. Your job is to catch ‘em all.
How Ape Escape changed the game industry
As we have already mentioned, Ape Escape team worked and tested a unique system of controls for the game. This took over two years. The developers agree in a unison that this was the hardest part.
Another way this game was exceptional was the soundtrack. Developed by a DJ and electronic music producer Soichi Terada, the soundtrack featured a memorable low-key tune. Especially, for a Japanese audience who, due to Japan’s ban on dancing (yes, dancing) has got used to this sort of music.
But the most important reason why this has become such a huge hit was probably the game’s sense of humor. The game openly took shots at other games like Metal Gear Solid, animation series such as South Park, and pop culture in general. And this theme has been continued throughout all other games of the series.
Ape Escape 2 and 3
We may easily say that Ape Escape changed the gaming world. But so did Ape Escape 2 and Ape Escape 3.
You don’t see this often, but quality and innovation-wise, the subsequent Ape Escape parts (at least the main game) aren’t even a bit worse than the original. In fact, players still argue which part was the best.
It’s probably worth mentioning that the main team, including the composer Soichi Terada, remained on the project. This helped to secure the quality and potential the game already had. But Sony also knew the capabilities of PlayStation 2 (it’s their console, after all) and seemingly squeezed everything it had for Ape Escape 2 and 3.