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Critic Reviews

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Game Vortex (Feb 10, 2006)
Unlike more simple hardware (Gameboy), there are a lot of buttons and analog functionality on the PSP, and Ape Escape Academy uses everything. I was brought back to the first Ape Escape game, which was a marvel of creativity. On the downside, I wanted to see more mini-games. The feature that allows playback, and the fact that some games must be unlocked provides challenge, and not all the mini-games are puffery. Some are really challenging, either mentally or as twitch games. The ability to save favorite games and return to them later means that if you like the monkey action, you'll like to keep this one around for a while. Ape Escape Academy includes some of the most creative and fun mini-games I've seen in a while, and more of a good thing would have been good. As it stands, we'll just have to wait for download content to a game like this, which would be a really phenomenal feature. Until then, my advice is...let the monkey win!
75 (Aug 25, 2005)
Ape Academy va ravir les amateurs de mini-jeux et s'imposer comme une vraie référence sur PSP. Seul ou à plusieurs, on s'amuse sans s'ennuyer et l'excellent gameplay permet à tous d'y trouver une vraie satisfaction et un grand plaisir de jeu. C'est là où la célèbre expression "faire le singe" prend tout son sens.
Game Over Online (Jan 19, 2006)
If you're a fan of the Ape Escape titles, then you'll probably wind up enjoying this title, particularly on the go. The quick mini-game presentation can be very engaging, especially for players interested in short bursts of play. However, if you're looking for a large amount of depth or a lot of replayability, you might not be as satisfied with Ape Escape Academy as you would be with the console games.
73 (Oct 19, 2005)
Ich gebs ja zu, ich habe nun einmal eine kleine Schwäche für Titel wie Wario Ware und Mario Party. Da kommt mir Ape Academy gerade recht, um endlich die inzwischen schon ausgeleierte Ridge Racer UMD in meiner PSP abzulösen. Doch nach anfänglicher Begeisterung wollte der Funken nicht zu 100% überspringen. Im Mehrspielermodus unbestritten ein voller Erfolg, wird vor allem solo schnell deutlich, dass auch noch so simple Minigames eben doch in ihrer Qualität variieren können. So kann der Titel leider nicht ganz mit Vorzeige „Kurzweilern“ wie Wario Ware mithalten. Für einen kurzen Zock in Bus und Bahn aber dennoch uneingeschränkt empfehlenswert. Wer drei Kumpels organisieren kann, für den steht die Entscheidung eh schon fest – Bananen schälen und ab auf die Ape Academy.
Game Chronicles (Mar 02, 2006)
So if you love brainteasers, reflex testers, and games that will test your observational awareness, you might want to enroll in Ape Escape Academy. It might not stack up with the rest of the Ape Escape titles but I dare say it’s as much fun as…oh…a barrel of monkeys.
Gameplanet (Sep 29, 2005)
In summary, despite its drawbacks (lengthy load times, sometimes ambiguous instructions), Ape Academy is an extremely entertaining and original title with a high replayability factor, which is well suited to the PSP format. Gaming all-rounders and fans of the Ape Escape titles will enjoy it, and so will the kids.
However, the loading times between games somewhat diminishes the fast-paced feel that Wario Ware delivers. Also, some of the more ambitious games, like soccer, are plagued by sluggish controls. Still, this unambiguous title manages to (mostly) hit its target.
HardGamers (Feb 25, 2006)
Bref, Ape Escape Academy a réussi à apporter une bonne banque de mini-jeux forts intéressants, mais il n’en reste que le jeu manque grandement de profondeur et surtout, ne propose pas la petite touche spéciale que nous a habitué cette franchise. Un jeu à essayer, à moins d’être un réel fan de ce type de jeu.
Extreme Gamer (Jan 31, 2006)
Ape Escape Academy has traded in capturing monkeys for a school full of fun and frustrating mini-games. I was thrown a little off guard, but the end results provide an entertaining package. Even though Ape Escape Academy has taken a different route then in the past doesn't mean it is lacking that Ape Escape charm. There is lots of fun to be had in Ape Escape Academy , and there is no harm in giving this once a chance. Now for the cliché one liner summary, Ape Escape Academy is more fun then a barrel of monkeys.
GameZone (Jan 13, 2006)
Ah, monkeys, who doesn’t like them? Personally, I feel that adding monkeys to various situations just make things even better; I mean who doesn’t want to see monkey figure skating or monkey ice hockey? Thankfully there’s the Ape Escape series that has been keeping monkey fans more than satisfied on the PlayStation and now, finally, on Sony’s PSP. In an effort to bring us a wide variety of monkey-themed mini-games, Ape Escape Academy is here. Schools in so bring plenty of bananas.
65 (Aug 31, 2005)
Ja, ich finde Affen super. Nein, auf der Ape Academy würde ich keine Stunde überstehen – alleine schon das fürchterliche Dauerkrakeele meiner behaarten Mitschüler würde meinen Kopf zum Platzen bringen. Ewig auf meinen Einsatz im Unterricht zu warten würde meine wuschige Mähne alt und grau werden lassen, das dauernde Hoch und Runter des Schwierigkeitsgrades würde mich schnell langweilen. Puh. Bloß gut, dass sowohl ich als auch das Genre der Partygames mittlerweile auf der Evolutionsleiter nach oben geklettert sind – mein Kumpel Wario geht mir nicht so auf den Sack!
GameSpot (Jan 17, 2006)
As if to counter the knee-jerk anti-simian sentiment fostered by the Ape Escape series, in which a revolving cast of spiky-haired anime kids runs around snaring mischievous monkeys with nets, Sony presents the monkeys' side of the story with Ape Escape Academy. OK, so there probably aren't any underlying sociopolitical motivations behind this minigame collection, but there are plenty of monkeys, and the inherent appeal of watching cheeky little monkeys dressed up in funny little costumes comprises much of the appeal of Ape Escape Academy. This loopy energy, however, is the only thing standing between you and a compilation of pretty by-the-numbers minigames.
Gamer Within (Sep 18, 2005)
While the younger crowd may enjoy Ape Escape Academy for a short while, the inevitable level of boredom with the repetitive and uninspired title results in the game being a short lived experience. Unfortunately, Sony has let the ball drop with their latest addition to the monkey franchise, which is a sure disappointment for fans of the series.
AceGamez (Sep 23, 2005)
It's a shame that such a lacklustre title as Ape Academy has tempted the hard earned cash out of the pockets of gamers upon the launch of this fabulous handheld. What galls me even more is that the poor gameplay, frustrating loading times, overly cartoony graphics and irritating sound may give monkeys a bad rep; there's definitely room for our simian friends in computer games! It's not as if this couldn't have been a great game, either - the design is good, but the execution is unforgivably sloppy, with bland graphics, overly slow reaction time on screen and ridiculous load times, none of which a game like Wipeout Pure suffers from, so we know the PSP can handle it. With all that said, now I've finished this review I'm going to challenge my partner to another round of Ask Darwin and hopefully thrash her at yet another game of Monkey Hockey!
GamePro (US) (Jan 17, 2006)
With Ape Escape Academy, the Ape Escape franchise makes its first move from platformer to mini-game collection. The allure of the PSP's pick-up-and-play style, along with the success of competitor Nintendo's Wario Ware: Twisted for the DS and long-running Mario Party franchise, seems like a solid bet for SCE and developer Shift. But it takes more than quirky monkeys to craft a capable party game, and this one just doesn't peel the banana.
Ape Escape Academy proves that these monkeys can’t be taught new tricks and they should stick to their platforming roots. Academy only succeeds in the graphics and sound, but by no means was it even amazing. It was just like what you’d see in any other Ape Escape game which is solid. The game fails where it counts with bad mini-games, terrible instructions, slow controls and a pretty worthless multiplayer option. Ape Escape Academy certainly had the potential to be at least a decent diversion on the PSP handheld; instead it’s recommended that players just stay away from it altogether.
Softpedia (Jan 23, 2007)
Cheetah was the only chimp that made it in the media and that's not even thanks to the monkey's abilities, but to the fame that Tarzan got. Games are part of the modern media more than ever and now that the next-gen console wars have begun, who's to play minigames? Ubisoft struck gold with Rayman Raving Rabbids as it was a highly anticipated title that delivered good content and quality gameplay. The same cannot be said about Ape Academy, considering that is pales even when compared to the older Ape Escape titles.
Ape Escape Academy does maintain the energetic, frantic flavor of past Ape Escape games while providing a few mini-games that are amusing. It’s a shame that the controls are awful, quiz games are a complete waste of time, and constant load times between games interrupt the flow. Trivia questions about entertainment, history, and music would improve the multiple-choice games immensely and clearly, some games like the frustratingly difficult Monkey Matador need to go. This is one instance where I’d recommend one play hooky than attend this academy.
IGN (Jan 19, 2006)
Ape Escape Academy, from developer Shift, seems like the perfect game to play on the road. It's easy to pick up and play for a few minutes, then carry on with whatever it is you're busy doing. It's bright and cheery, too, so it's easy to see when hanging outdoors. It's also the type of game designed (at least in part) as a multiplayer affair. Sounds like a near-perfect mobile game. But, as the development gods would have it, it's not.
HonestGamers (Feb 01, 2005)
At the end of the day, Piposaru Academia unfortunately graduates with little more than a "C" point average. Compared to the sub-mediocre delights of Sony's previous genre outing (Gacha Mecha Stadium Saru Battle *deep breath* aka Ape Escape: Pumped and Primed), this is a glorious sequel of which they should be proud. All things being equal however, that's not really saying too much. The combined quality of the mini-games is certainly a vast improvement, though forcing players through the annoying single player mode in order to unlock them was most definitely a mistake. Some will persevere, others will look elsewhere, and in the meantime a hefty great big dump has been left on the once great Saru Gechu name. If you're truly desperate for something new to enjoy while out and about then perhaps you'll find some value here. It won't keep you coming back for more, but it may just be enough to tide you over until the PSP's next big release.
Defunct Games (Mar 02, 2006)
The more I played Ape Escape Academy the more I questioned why Sony would bring this game out at all. It has terrible controls, uninspired mini games, an outdated look, and a serious lack of direction. Oh, and did I mention that you can beat the game in a single afternoon? There aren't a lot of reasons to enroll your self in Ape Escape Academy, it doesn't offer the classes you want and won't help you later in life. There's no need to incur student loans with this one, this Academy is not worth attending.
Cheat Code Central (Feb 14, 2006)
Making a game out of mini-games is like making a meal out of crackers and ketchup. It's not always very satisfying. Ape Escape Academy is somewhat void of substance. It should be included as bonus content when the series is released on consoles commemorating some kind of Ape Escape anniversary or milestone. You can monkey around with this game all you want but just make sure you do it within the allotted time of a rental period.
PSX Extreme (Jan 31, 2006)
Ape Escape Academy is incredibly disappointing. Even if you were to find three friends with PSP's and copies of the game, you could only play four games, which is a complete joke. There's no reason that true game sharing couldn't have been implemented, especially considering how long it took this game to come out. The back of the box says "Become the master of the monkeys before they make a chump out of you!" but the only way you'll be made a chump is if you pick up this game.
Deeko (Feb 08, 2006)
The Ape Escape games have always played out with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, but apparently with this installment they just went ahead and bit it right off. As much as we love those comical monkeys in helmets toting guns, Ape Escape Academy is nothing more than a school for rejects and should be closed down as soon as possible.
Whilst there are some problems with Ape Academy, such as the long loading times, the main disappointment with the game are the copious amounts of sub-standard mini-games. As a multiplayer experience Ape Academy fares better although there's still nothing particularly special about the game. For the single player there's definitely little to get excited about and the game is without a doubt the worst launch title for the PSP that we've seen.
G4 TV: X-Play (Feb 22, 2006)
While many PSP games claim to be ideal traveling companions, few are as suitable as Ape Escape Academy. The action is quick, and the gameplay can be enjoyed by virtually anyone. The load times sometimes last longer than it takes to complete a few of the actual minigames, and there’s nothing novel going on in this game, but with no competition on the PSP it's a decent choice for quick, clean fun.
40 (UK) (Aug 30, 2005)
A gamer's affection for monkeys is almost immeasurable. So then, let's measure it! According to the Internet, there are at least three commercial game developers who use the word 'monkey' as part of their name. There are several monkey game series, including Super Monkey Ball, Monkey Island, and of course Ape Escape, which - despite some obvious confusion - plays host to all manner of monkeys. And, of course, that is to say nothing of games like Donkey Kong and its derivatives, and, on a related note, one of this Christmas's biggest games - a developmental collaboration between one of the world's most bankable film directors and one of the world's brightest game designers - which is about a giant ape.
GameSpy (Jan 13, 2006)
Ape Escape Academy does an awful lot wrong and not a whole lot right. With more mini-game variety (a lot more) and better multiplayer support, it could have been a simple, fun diversion. As it is, however, it's often an exercise in tedium and frustration. Even the ability to find and collect over 300 monkey statues won't make you want to play this game for more than a few rounds. Maybe these monkeys should stick to escaping in platform games.
Gameswelt (Aug 31, 2005)
Machen wir es kurz: 'Ape Academy' ist der bislang schlechteste PSP-Titel, den ich gespielt habe. Die viel zu wenigen, einfallslosen Mini-Spiele in Kombination mit einem unglaublich hohen Schwierigkeitsgrad sind schlicht und ergreifend ihr Geld nicht wert.
Game Revolution (Feb 01, 2006)
And speaking of brevity, there simply isn't much more to be said for Ape Escape Academy. It seems like a smart evolutionary step for the series to begin aping (ha) Nintendo's better handheld experience, but not when it treads down a path paved with banana peels, which, I am conditioned to believe, are very slippery.
GameDaily (Dec 14, 2006)
Sony's attempt to create their own capitalization of the Wario Ware game idea has somewhat gone south, like rotten bananas. Ape Escape Academy attempts to take the franchise in a new direction with a number of variety-filled mini-games, a couple of which can be engaged in with other players. However, the controls feel flaccid and slippery when they should be precise, resulting in a number of frustrating losses. And during the game's strict Graduation mode, that's a big no-no. Stick with Ape Escape 3 instead.
1UP (Jan 18, 2006)
Since the release of the PSP, Sony's UMD format has been the bane of portable gamers simply looking for a quick gaming fix while they're out on the town. Considering the entire point to portable gaming is to sneak in a game while you're biding your time, staring at a blank "now loading" screen doesn't exactly scream fun. So here comes Sony to the rescue with Ape Escape Academy, a collection of mini-games starring their loveable monkey mascots. Unfortunately, what should be an exercise in bite-sized gaming goodness becomes a grand example of what's wrong with the PSP. The PSP is its own worst enemy.
GamingExcellence (Feb 13, 2006)
In the end, Ape Escape Academy is a game that leaves me at odds with myself. Make no mistake, it is a god-awful game that should never be played, but at the same time, it leaves me with two distinct feelings. On one hand, I feel sorry for the people who worked on it. Talented people obviously worked on the art, the coding, the various game aspects, etc and even though I know they were compensated for it and did the best they could with what they were given, the game is not a great representation of the talent involved. On the other hand, I feel very angry; angry that I had to be subject to this game, angry that I wasted moments of my life on it, angry that a game devoid of so much intelligence can even be made in the first place. But mostly, angry because many people (consumers, gamers, grandparents, etc) will buy this game based on name-recognition or the packaging or the inclusion of monkeys or some other misguided reason and they will feel like they have been cheated.