Review: Just what is it that is in those scooby-snacks?
Scooby, Scooby-Doo! Where are you? We've got some work to do now... Ah, the music brings it all back to me. Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers is a marvelous example of what to do when working with a beloved license: Capture the feel of the original. THQ and Terra Glyph have put together a fun little game that faithfully recreates the look and sound of the old Saturday morning cartoon. In the game, you control Shaggy, everyone's favorite coward, and his pal Scooby-Doo. Each level, or episode, has a mystery and the duo must search for clues to solve the crime and pieces to build the trap to catch the bad-guy.
While walking around looking for clues and trap pieces, Shaggy and Scooby have to avoid rats, spiders, bats, zombies, and each episode's villain. If any of them manage to scare the cowardly duo, Shaggy's courage goes down. If all of his courage disappears, the two of them run away and you go back to the last save point. Luckily, Shaggy's courage can be replenished by picking up scooby-snacks or stopping by the nearest kitchen for a sandwich. Once all of the clues and trap pieces are gathered, the panicking pair must lure the villain back to Fred, Daphne, and Velma, where all can finally be revealed.
The visuals of Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers are at the same time dated and fantastic. Sure, the title isn't reaching the visual benchmarks of The Battle for Naboo or anything on the Dreamcast or PS2, but the team at Terra Glyph captured both the look and movement of the cartoon series. The colors are vibrant at times (like on the Tiki monster's costume), dreary at others (like in the dungeon), and Shaggy walks just like he did in the show. Several of the other animation sequences are spot-on as well. However, If another Scooby game were made down the road, perhaps on the Gamecube, I'd like to see the developers use a cell-shading technique for the graphics. One similar to what Sega used on Jet Grind Radio.
The audio once again manages to capture the magic of the old series. The opening recreation of the Scooby-Doo! Where are You? theme song and the samples of trademark Scooby and Shaggy lines take me right back to my childhood where I was sitting on the floor in my pajamas on a Saturday morning. It is a shame though; to not have the entire script voice-acted in the game. I know, the N64 has its limitations, but that is the one thing that would have made the audio on this game impossibly impressive. Of course, adding voice-overs for the main characters could turn out dreadful, so leaving them out might not have be entirely bad. Besides, I am able to hear the voices in my head as the words come up on the screen, so all is not lost. The sound effects also sound as if they are taken directly from the show itself, increasing the feel that you are actually in the show.
Gameplay is where Classic Creep Capers starts to feel a little wobbly. The controls for Shaggy feel pretty good as long as you stay on one screen, but as soon as you travel to the next, they get a little bit awkward. With the same press of the control stick, Shaggy keeps moving forward on the new screen, which, because of a camera perspective change, causes the direction of travel and direction of indication to not match. The actions are also a little simplistic, with all in game actions controlled by the 'A' button. It works surprisingly well, but just feels a little bit lacking.
There really aren't a lot of features to be found on this title. The ability to save to a controller pak is nice, especially is you are renting the title, but adding expansion pak support may have provided the memory to fine tune the graphics that last little bit. There is no multiplayer here either, which is both unfortunate and understandable. I can't really think of a way that a multiplayer mode would work, short of a cooperative mode, which the system just couldn't handle.
It is really unfortunate, but this title contains little to no replay value, as far as the game is concerned. The puzzles that make up each level, while amusing, just aren't engrossing enough to warrant playing through the game over and over again. Still, it is almost worth turning the game on just to enter into your own little Scooby-Doo episode.