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Hello Kitty Roller Rescue


When the sinister Block-O and his cronies come to destroy Earth, thereís only one cat that has the power to save the day. Hello Kitty straps on her roller blades, fashionable outfit and grabs the nearest magical wand to help save her fair city. Joining in her quest are her friends Badtz-Maru, Keroppi and Pochaco, so if you are familiar with the Sanrio franchises youíll be in heaven.

Alright guys, it should go without saying that this one is strictly for the younger audience and girls in particular. Chances are good that if you go out to your local mall there are stores with tons of Hello Kitty merchandise. It seems only natural that with all the marketing for the franchise out there that it would eventually leak into the gaming industry. We all know that the videogame industry is mostly a boyís playground with the only games for girls being a random Barbie or Bratz title once in a while. Keeping all these things in mind, Hello Kitty Roller Rescue comes off as a pretty fun game and is a definite must for any Hello Kitty fan.

Gameplay:


Skeptical guys out there may be thinking, ďI donít have to play dress-up with Hello Kitty do I?Ē Well, I hate to break it to you because you can change her wardrobe as you play, but thatís not the focus of the gameplay at all. Instead the world of Sanrio comes alive in a 3D platforming environment with plenty of variety in playing styles.

The gameplay here is undeniably extremely simplistic and just about as easy at it gets in terms of difficulty. Considering the game targets the under ten crowd you shouldnít expect a grand sweeping adventure that lasts fifteen hours and tries your patients. Also because itís a childrenís game you can expect to be bashing buttons and collecting tons of coins that go ďdingĒ when you touch them.

Since Hello Kitty is running around on roller blades youíd think that she would be the fastest cat on wheels. Unfortunately she actually controls a little sluggishly and feels like she moves faster when she jumps instead of walks. Through no explanation of rhyme or reason she also has the ability to double jump to reach new heights or clear tall obstacles. As you move around youíll also have to continually center the camera behind you because it doesnít try to fix itself and behaves pretty lamely.

That magical wand I told you about earlier is what youíll be using to attack the Blockheads that want to destroy your town. While you do have the ability to unlock other weapons like a toy hammer and a maraca, the end result is essentially the same. There are a couple types of attacks, but really the little ones that play this game will just be pounding the B button relentlessly. If you want to add some spice to your gaming life though you can attack from the air and launch a projectile or even do a special attack if you have collected enough stars.

I was pretty surprised to see a couple of things break up the monotony of the button mashing that most of the stages boil down to. There are some levels that require you to hit switches in order to open doors, some offer canons to sit in for a first person perspective and there is also a fairly decent amount of bosses youíll have to get through. All in all the gameplay is broken up enough that even experience gamers may not get too awfully bored if your younger sister wants you to play with her.

As you collect coins and save the townsfolk there will be more features that become available to you that you can access from Hello Kittyís home. For starters there is a wealth of outfits that you can unlock and the few choices of weapons to use. There are also character profiles, CGI movies and some of the gameís music that can be purchased or won as you go through the game. Itís enough to keep the kids happy even though the game itself takes a little under two hours to beat.

Graphics:


It could almost be said that Hello Kitty Roller Rescue is too cute for its own good, but the game offers a faithful representation of the worldís many characters. Going from 2D drawing to 3D animation was pulled off pretty well here and the animals of Sanrio look very nice. I wasnít expecting anything too grandiose mind you, but for a kidís game the graphics are smooth, colorful and work well.

Some of the animations are a little choppy at times and at some points the graphics get a little rough around the edges. Overall though the game is definitely very entertaining looking and will keep Hello Kitty fans very happy.

Audio:


The audio is average for this type of game and thatís about the best that could be said for it. The sound effects did their job but really got on the nerves after a while and the same thing can be said for the music. Instead of talking, the characters all grunt and squeak which is kind of a good thing, because the voiceovers in kidís games are usually pretty bad. The sound isnít necessarily bad here; itís just that itís not all that great either.

Conclusion:


Quite obviously this game is aimed at a younger audience and Hello Kitty fans in particular. If you are neither of those things then youíve already made up your mind to skip it. If perhaps you know someone with a GameCube that is a fan then you canít go wrong giving Roller Rescue as a gift. The game is pretty competent for what it is and even though itís not the most original experience in the world it is entertaining. In the end though Iím going to suggest a rent it because the game does only last for two hours or so and itís really easy, even for kids.