Saru Getchu! The monkeys are on the loose again! The evil monkey Specter and Dr. Tomoki are brainwashing people through TV stations. Kei, Yumi, Aunt Aki, and Natalie are the only ones not affected. Can they stop the evil monkeys plot and return peace to the city? There’s no time to monkey around. Check out the review! Your mission is to catch a set amount of monkeys in each level. There are 442 monkeys to catch in all and 20 levels to go through. The mischievous monkeys will cleverly try to disguise themselves in the environment as if they’re humans, ranging from kung-fu fighters to space astronauts. Now let’s get down to some Monkey Business! After you select Kei or Yumi, you reach the Main Hub. From here, you can use the Warp Pad, Training Room, Mini Game Corner, Fortune-Telling, Data Desk, Gallery and Home Theater. There is also a shopping area that lets you buy songs, videos, extra lives, health, morph stock, and other items.
When you want to choose a level, step on the Warp Pad and choose your destination. While the level loads, a screen will show the level and how many monkeys are in it. Speaking of levels, they all follow a specific theme. Some are based on parodies of famous movies, others are original. Some movies that are parodied are from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Titanic. Others environments are Hot Springs, Forest, TV Station, Mountain, and Snow just to name a few. There is a lot of variety and creativity packed in each level. The controls feel great with the dual shock controller. Your movement is done with the left analog stick. The right one lets you use your equipped item. Select is used to select gadgets, R1/R2 is Jump, and the face buttons let you use a gadget of your choice. All of the other controller options are simple to use. You can change them in options if you like. Kei and Yumi are armed with their trusted monkey net. But that’s not all you have in your arsenal! There are also Gotcha Gadget’s. These are helpful devices that can help you catch those pesky monkeys. They are the Stun Club, Dash Hoop, RC Car, Monkey Radar, Catapult, and Sky Flyer. The Stun Club can attack monkeys on the ground or in the air. Dash Hoop will let you travel areas quickly. The RC Car can be used to take out enemies and drive through narrow passages. Monkey Radar lets you see how close you are to one. It also gives you a description of the monkey. Catapult fires three different pellets at enemies or objects.
Sky Flyer lets you hover for a small amount of time. All of these gadgets will play an integral role in catching those crazy monkeys. You’ll use them to also solve puzzles and find hidden items. You receive each gadget after a certain part in the game. Each gadget is easy to control, but if you want to learn, you can try its tutorial. You need to be familiar with all gadgets to catch every last monkey in the game. A new, very fun feature added in this installment of Ape Escape that wasn’t here before, are the Gotcha Morphs you can change into. Like the gadgets you can use, these morphs have their advantages as well. They are Fantasy Knight, Miracle Ninja, Wild West Kid, Kung Fu Master, Genie Chamber, Monkey, and Cyber Ace. My favorites are described as followed; Fantasy Knight can block fire and enemy attacks with their shield. Miracle Ninja can walk on ropes and run along special walls. He also has some cool Ninja attacks that he/she can use. Wild West Kid can shoot pellets and fire a net. Each time you morph you will use your morph gauge. When depleted, your morph will stop and you’ll be back to your normal state. Morph Stock is available at the Monkey Mart. Each one you buy will increase the time you can morph. You can have up to 10 levels of it. The normal Morph bar will refill over time automatically. The stock parts are refilled with Morph Energy you find during a level. There are a lot of secrets that you can uncover in Ape Escape 3 that will have you coming back for more. You have three mini games you can unlock. One of them is based on a Metal Gear Solid parody. There are also different modes and passwords you can enter. Ape Escape 3 is game that fans and monkeys will enjoy. This is action/adventure gaming at its finest. I definitely put it up there as one of the best PS2 games available, so check it out! Pros: Graphics, Gameplay, Humor, Control, Mini-Games, Extras Cons: Where’s Ape Escape 4?! Score: 9.5