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Monster High: Ghoul Spirit (Nintendo DS)

£9.9£99Clearance
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This freaky-fab competitor is a rock-solid player who never just wants to watch the game from above. As well, the first time you do a maze, you won’t know the best path to go, so some of beating the game handily comes from rote memorization of the course in question. They do not seek out targets, and if they don't hit another racer, they will bounce off the walls for a while, and on build-in tracks are likely to hit the user eventually.

While the relations with the main characters and the teachers follow from completing chapters and going to classes, the gauges for relations with the other students seem to fill up for no reason. A name also needs to be chosen, which can be one the player creates themself or selects from a generator. My wife is one, but she really didn’t like Ghoul Spirit and she hates roller derby so she probably won’t care much for Skultimate Roller Maze either. The second type of innate abilities are the special abilities, of which each character has their own though the effects may be the same. It’s been three years since I’ve played the game so I can’t really remember the controls so I can’t remember at all how to play the game.Overall, the game is solid enough than an experienced gamer will have no problem with it, but those not used to a “sand box” style game might be confused as to game progression, especially single digit aged gamers. So if you are purchasing this for someone that has never played a Wii game before or they are very young, you might want to be there with them to help explain how the Wiimote functions. The bad news is that the theme song is only used at the very beginning of the game and the voice acting is limited to the same half a dozen lines repeated over and over again.

The quality of the relationship is displayed through a gauge: the fuller it is, the better the relationship. Each character fits into a weight class and each character has a unique ability that can be employed to gain the upper hand in a match. It’s hard to make out what they are saying with some of them, so the audio could have been recorded a bit better.

You’ll find enemies rarely smack you except right at the beginning and usually you’ll be pretty far ahead unless something knocks you out for a bit. If you don't know what any of that means, chances are you don't have a grade-school girl in your house. Some of these reveal information found only in Ghoul Spirit, or at least at the time of the game's release. It’s fun for what it is and it was cute enough that I didn’t mind the cakewalking, so actual Monster High fans will enjoy it even more. As my wife and some of our friends are very big into the franchise, I was happy to review the second Monster High video game, Skultimate Roller Maze even though I’m not a fan of racing games.

The only course I had a problem with was the one entitled “Monster High School” because it was indoors and at times it was hard to see what direction the track was going. The Wii version does not allow for a photo to be taken, but the console's larger processing power and the Wiimote's abilities make for richer content. I enjoyed testing out characters and playing through all the tracks, but there isn’t a lot to the game after the two hour mark to keep any single player version that interesting. I will say this though – I’m an experienced gamer and know my Wii controls inside and out, so it was very easy for me to play this game.

Despite a gorgon's stare being able to petrify people by looking at them, the gorgon avatar does not wear sunglasses (But it was confirmed that not all gorgons can turn people to stone). So while this game isn’t the most innovative of titles, it does stand out with how it combines all these genres as well as the demographic it is aiming for. As I’m reviewing the DS version, it should probably come as no surprise that the graphics aren’t going to be mind blowing.

The assignments can be done when the player so chooses, but the secret student mission and the Freaky Flaw mission need to be unlocked by completing regular student missions. You can choose from four different types of races as well: Race (standard series of three-lap races against three opponents), Quick Race (a single three-lap race), Relay (each of your teammates gets to race a single lap in each race), and Timed (your team against the clock). The game could really use multiplayer and it’s shame that it is lacking that, but overall it’s still something the target audience can and will have fun with.Considering a big part of the Monster High craze is the visual appeal of these dolls, I wish the game could have captured some of that.

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