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Hail to the Chimp is a fairly stellar party game, filling a niche which has been sorely lacking on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Any minor flaws are far eclipsed by the game's hilarious presentation and all-are-welcome mechanics. If you're looking for a 40 hour timesink from which you'll emerge with new perspectives on life, liberty and the nature of video gaming, this is decidedly not the game you are looking for. Hail to the Chimp is a party game, plain and simple, budget-priced and ready from the get-go to form brand new rifts in your closest, most treasured friendships.
But that's where the $40 price tag helps. I'd have preferred a little more to play/less to watch in general, but I'm nitpicking; all you really need to know about is the concept -- and the developers executed that concept quite well. If the setup makes you chuckle, chances are the game will too.
After all the votes have been counted, Hail to the Chimp at least deserves to be in the running for a portion of many gamers' 360 budget. While it's not necessarily the most qualified candidate on the ticket, it's got a solid platform and is entertaining enough to maintain a respectable number of party game delegates. Besides, it definitely more fun than the current real-life political circus.
There are some technical shortcomings; the animation can get choppy when there's too much going on (say, during a volcanic eruption) and it can be tough to keep track of where you are onscreen and which of your opponents you need to be punching in the face. But overall, it's passable. If you're looking for a 360 party game with something for the adults, this is definitely the candidate you should endorse. But we have to think that's a pretty big "if.
Official XBox Magazine
Still, no candidate is above reproach, and $40 buys a sufficient variety of pleasurable political scuffling. Hail to the Chimp might lack presidential polish, but it still earns an unexpectedly agreeable term in office.
That said, the game might still be worth checking out. It’s currently selling for a humble $20 USD new, and there’s a whole lot to love outside the gameplay that, to its credit, isn’t smitten with glitches, freezing, frame rate issues, or many of the other issues that can result in a game being completely unplayable. But this doesn’t make the game anything but tedious to play, but fun to watch. Cautiously buy the game for pure laugh value. Don’t get it expecting a fun gameplay experience.
Rent. The 360's achievements are pretty easy to nab; and you'll be entertained for a couple of hours.
The main concept behind Hail to the Chimp isn’t bad at all. But the overall experience is so painful at times that you won’t play the game for hours…unless you play it with your buddies…and then again, it’s a long shot. Hail to the Chimp deserves a tap in the back for its originality and wit, but it doesn’t deserve my vote…not until a better and revamped Hail to the Chimp…or Hippo.
Nevertheless, this vivid presentation also brings immense charm to Hail to the Chimp. Clever political ad parodies and LOL-worthy faux TV spots are more entertaining than actually playing the game itself. Dropping $40 for a bunch of cartoons doesn't sound like a good deal though, so save your clams on this one.
Instead, beating levels unlock television shows and campaign commercials which can be watched via a menu. These are treated like unlockables, but end up being far more entertaining than the game itself. If these videos were interspersed in-between the single-player campaign I would imagine it might actually be worth playing through, but because of the repetitive nature I can’t really recommend that anyone puts themselves through that. If the game were actually simplified and released as a downloadable title for the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, or Wiiware service it might be worth checking out, but as a full title, even at a discounted price, it isn’t worth the trip to the store.
Hail to the Chimp is one of those games that will quickly become a novelty. There is a fun little romp tucked away in here, but you have to dig (and play the game with other people) in order to find it. The humor is genuinely funny and the profuse amount of content packed on the disc make it worthwhile for fans of quirky titles ripe with humor. The game is certainly not going to win any awards nor will it re-invent the genre. But for those of you who give it a chance you may come away pleasantly entertained for your forty bucks, while other will simply come away frustrated. Not for everyone so make sure you check out the demo on PSN or Xbox Live before taking the plunge.
It's a shame that the gameplay doesn't live up to the respectable standards set by the humor and visual appeal. Hail to the Chimp has some great chuckleworthy moments, but any enjoyment you get from them will be sapped away as you play challenges that somehow manage to be frantic and dull at the same time.
All in all, I can't recommend Hail to the Chimp as a game, but it gets my vote as a satire of politics. The clunky controls, slow character movement, obstructive camera, repetitive gameplay, and chaotic multiplayer work against the title, and although the graphics and audio make up for it to a degree, it's nowhere near enough. The news parodies makes it somewhat worthwhile to watch; maybe they should have released Hail to the Chimp as a DVD movie instead.
Cheat Code Central
With its appealing cartoony visuals, funny political satire, and collection of humorous unlockable videos, Hail to the Chimp isn’t a complete bust. If it didn’t suffer from overly repetitive gameplay, ridiculously unbalanced A.I., and had a bit more variety, this game honestly could have been a lot more fun. As it stands though, Hail to the Chimp is fairly disappointing. If you think you can cope with this game’s many issues and find political satire humorous, then perhaps this game will appeal to you. However, for everyone else I would strongly suggest looking elsewhere for your mini-game fill.
Rick Stults from Gamecock Media Group said “Gamers complain about the lack of innovation and originality in video games. Hail to the Chimp is the antidote” well, Hail to the Chimp might have the originality down with its politically charged storyline; however the gameplay lacks innovation and originality outside of the zany characters and network television presentation. Like the stereotypical politician, Hail to the Chimp promised more than it can deliver. Hopefully, Wideload will pack away the monkey business and get back to things that matter, like brain eating zombies and clever nostalgic gameplay.
Game Informer Magazine
This is Fuzion Frenzy with one-liners about stuffing ballot boxes and endless, boring minigame repetition. There are worse party games around, but many better ways to enjoy the company of three friends.
Hail to the Chimp is a collection of decent ideas, all poorly executed to some degree. The satire, while welcome to the genre, has been managed in a much better capacity by other games. The mini-games are all weak, mundane, and especially repetitive. Hail to the Chimp serves as the example why Mario Party has a board game structure and differentiated mini-games. Hail is just a particularly weak title, in a genre that is regrettably full of weak titles.
Hail to the Chimp has zero redeeming qualities. There's nothing about this game that's worth recommending. The AI is bad, the control scheme is unforgiving, it's not funny at all and all of the games feel too similar to one another. Going to the actual polls is more fun than this.
Things didn't have to be that way, of course. Wideload Games has proven itself a competent developer in the form of Stubbs the Zombie, which I felt was truly great. Hail to the Chimp is just a much different game and I'm okay with that. Its actual premise is plenty cool and party games can be a total blast when they're executed well (a fact that more of the Xbox 360 audience would do well to accept). No one likes a bad game, though, and 'bad game' is really the only fitting description for this well-intentioned mess. I applaud both the publisher and developer for taking risks and for trying to do something fresh and different. They just happen to have failed spectacularly.
G4 TV: X-Play
If I didn't know any better (and believe me I don't), I would say that the team at Wideload were either trying to catch the eye of a television producer so as to spin the game into a cartoon series, or they were trying to find a place for a boat-load of content that they created for a cartoon show they hoped would be picked up but wasn't. Either way, the result is something that is practically unplayable and should be avoided at all costs. I'd say stick to making games and forget about trying to make the transition into a television or web series, but I don't really feel comfortable suggesting that given what is on display here.