Claw (Windows)

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Written by  :  Thexder0 (1783)
Written on  :  Oct 07, 2002
Rating  :  2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars

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Cute, but way too repetitive and frustrating (51/100).

The Good

The graphics are nice, well drawn and expressive (see screenshots). The cutscenes looked extremely well animated (I have the DVD version of the game, what probably helps a bit). The game has violence but no gore, so the animation seems perfect for a young kid.

Sound is adequate. Voice acting, though sparse, is well done and occasionally funny. Music is very good and sets up that "pirate's mood". I imagine young kids will like to play this a lot, so they can play the same levels over... and over... and over....

In this sense, secret treasures add quite a bit of replay value... but I gave up on them before I even finished the game the first time around.

The Bad

Now, I know this is a platform game, but how many times do I really have to time the same jumps over and over and over and over again? After playing some 5 levels, the graphics and villains were still changing, but the gameplay was the same... And there are 14 levels!

Controls were very bad in my computer for a number of reasons. First, while it is possible to remap the keys, for some reason the JUMP command did not respond promptly when I switched it from the default space bar to the CTRL key. Of course, it took me quite a while to figure this out, get back to the default control scheme, and then get used to keys as the developers had them. Frustrating.

Second, some levels bogged my computer down, specially the last three. By "bogged down", I mean that the frame rate dropped to less than 10 frames per second at many spots. My computer did satisfy system specs: Pentium 233, good graphics card... the same computer I used to play through Unreal without graphic problems. How come this platform game brought it to its knees? Frustrating.

And this is not just an annoying graphics glitch: in a game where TIMING is essential, if the frame rate drops from 20 FPS to 10 FPS in the middle of a jump (as it often happened), dear Captain Claw misses his second jump and falls in a bubbling hot pool of lava. Yes, that happened even if I turned off all sounds and used the smallest window I could. Since you do have a limited number of lives and about 3 saving spots per level, this often meant restarting the game before a number of hard jump sequences. Frustrating.

And, finally, the last few levels are HARD. Maybe that would be ok, but with these flimsy controls and variable game speed, it was absolutely unbearable. Oh, yes: and frustrating.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a good platform game that looks pretty, that your kids will like and that you will want to finish, get "Pandemonium" instead. Oh, yes, if you want ANOTHER platform game with cute graphics, that your kids are bound to play over and over again, Claw might be a choice too. And, if you are planning to finish Claw, have at least a Pentium II to do it. Otherwise, be prepared for... frustration.