Scaler – PS2

NOTE: The site admin and all other official staff have disappeared. I have no idea what happened or what will happen. These reviews have been sitting here for a while now. I’ll release the ones that haven’t been and sit back and wait to see what happens.

While doing research on Jersey Devil, I realized I’ve never really looked into the studio that made it. Turns out, Behaviour has had a rough time, forced to make terrible ports and GBA games for kids, games I wouldn’t look twice at in a yard sale. Scaler was one of their only original games, (Besides WET and I haven’t played that yet) coming completely and only from A2M AKA Behaviour.  Yes, they even changed their name to Artificial Mind and Movement, then changed it back later on. I really wish I had more room to talk about this company, it’s got an interesting tale, perhaps another time though.

Scaler is one of the most blatant rip offs of a game I’ve seen in a long time. It’s not bad by any means, but it looks like A2Behaviourm re-textured Ratchet and Clank. The mini-map uses the same style, and you get around on grind rails with little obstacles on them. They don’t even look like they belong, being some kind of metal thing, and the grind rail being a vine.  And the plot is ridiculous, I knew this from the get go A2M has problems with plot but my goodness. I didn’t even understand what was going on until I looked online.

                The combat is a broken joke.  The range is utter crap and you attack so slow enemies can get to you in between swings. The movement controls are pretty smooth though, so there aren’t any problems with platforming. And there are quite a few mechanics, transforming into different creatures to perform a certain task, collecting amounts of X to buy power-ups, turning invisible, and licking things up with your tongue. But it’s a pretty moot point. The environments are repetitive and alien enough so that you can’t really tell if anything is important or just decoration. I remember Prey and the Xen level from Half-life having the same problem.  Like installing a new texture pack in Minecraft that makes all your tools look nothing like tools, but expecting you to recognize what you’re supposed to do with them.

Sorry about the quality, only one I could find with the map on.

So apparently to escape lizard land you need to collect a crap ton of lizard eggs because….I have no clue. It’s like collecting crystals in Crash Bandicoot but instead of stopping Cortex you just want to put them up in your room because they look cool or something. Plus another thing they took from poor Ratchet is my least favorite part. Mag rails. And it’s just as bad, boring, slow, and frustrating as in R&C.  But what’s even worse are the characters. Leon is boring AND gave away the plot twist within a minute of meeting him. It’s the most massive foreshadowing fail I think I’ve ever experienced in gaming history.  Scaler tries to make clever one liners, tries to be the “cool mascot” and just comes off as annoying.

In the end, it’s a bit rare because it doesn’t deserve to be talked about. It had a lot going for it, but it just failed, and some games do that. I’m sure A2M tried their best, it just didn’t turn out right. Bottom line, it’s not a game I would get unless you want to add to your PS2 library for collecting reasons, but it’s not terrible.

The rail sliding was fun though….

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