Peter Pan Return to Neverland Review

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Graphics: 6.0
Sound : 5.0
Gameplay : 3.5
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 4.5
Review by Thomas Cap

Unlike its little brother’s pendant the PS2 Peter Pan game is not based upon Disney’s latest movie but introduces us to an entirely new plot.

Inventing an interesting story in the enchanted Neverland, the home of adventures and fun, would have been a piece of cake - however the sad outcome of dramaturgical decision rounds is as follows:

“Pixie Pixie Pixie?”

Hook captures poor little Tinkerbell, Peter’s beloved fairy, and makes her drop all her pixie dust – which inflicts serious damage, since it’s that special dust that makes Peter able to fly.

It’s your duty as shadowless and “lost” Peter Pan boy to get back all of the pixie dust scattered around the island in order to regain the everlasting ability to fly.

That’s about it – and you are right if you say that even Tekken had better storylines to offer.

After you entered the nicely animated menu and chose “New game” you’ll have to face unbelievable long loading times, which are spread equally across the game.

Unexpectedly your alter ego is Mr Pan himself, happily joined on his quest by Mrs Tinkerbell, the most beautiful ball of light in the world.

“it’s so ...familiar!”

For those who played Crash Bandicoot Peter Pan’s level design won’t surprise you for it is exactly the same, for those who haven’t it won’t be much of a surprise either for it doesn’t really change the whole game long.

There are countless areas and passages which simply reappear in later levels, a heartbreaking fact, which leaves behind the bitter taste of boredom.

From the visual point of view Peter Pan is below average – whereas the actual game graphic is pretty neatly made the cut-scenes are beyond help.

Expressionless polygon-dolls move across the screen like puppets on a string – ridiculous in comparison with the PsOne render-sequences.

Tinkerbell herself is quite a chatterbox, and it is her, who explains and teaches you new abilities.

Unfortunately Tinkie is not much of a mentor since many of her sayings are untrue.
For example she tells you to press the “R1” button to draw your dagger, your only weapon.
As a matter of fact pressing the button leads to nothing for the dagger appears automatically when an evil pirate is around.

Similar thing with the double jump and the gliding ability – both are to be performed by pressing the same button “combination” – “X” followed by “X” – therefore easily mixed up and lead to countless losses of life.

“Charge!!”

Fighting is especially difficult.
Although there are various moves to choose from you are still ages away from killing your ever blocking enemy– did I say killing? No of course you don’t “kill” somebody in a Disney game but rather send him to sleep with some nasty, yet unharmful dagger cuts...- In later levels you’ll be sleeping quite a lot for enemies get only worse and more unbeatable.

As you can see controls is not Peter Pan’s strong point – but what exactly is Peter Pan’s strong point anyway?

The music probably, since it is taken directly from the original movie and therefore is of very high quality.

If you are a Disney music fan (which I am not) you’ll love the orchestral support and might even stop the game just for listening to the catchy tunes.

On the other side sound effects (at least in the German version of the game) are of unbelievable bad quality due to their crappy and fuzzy recording and destroy the last bit of Neverland atmosphere.

“And now – something completely different”

Overall Mr Pan is nothing but another uninspired Disney game which leaves much to be desired in terms of gameplay, graphics and plot.

This game could have been great for kids to play but due to its high difficulty level and its crappy handling their expectations will be greatly disappointed.(yac)