Hello Kitty Roller Rescue
The Hello Kitty franchise by Sanrio is
probably the cutest thing to ever come out of Japan and with that said,
the PlayStation 2 game is equally as cute. The story behind the game is
relatively straight forward and when Block-O leaves his planet to
conquer the universe, he accidentally lands on Earth. Here, he sees
people throwing away boxes after giving each other gifts, and grows
angry at the treatment he thinks is being accorded to fellow
block-shaped items. He dispatches an army of blocks to take over Earth
and help the downtrodden boxes. It’s up to Hello Kitty and her friends
to “block” the Blockheads.
Hello Kitty Roller Rescue features Hello Kitty on roller skates, which
is an unusual mode of transportation. It works fairly well and is a good
match for the 3D environment in terms of fluidity and the look of the
skating, but tends to be a slow kind of movement. At times, it feels
like Hello Kitty is moving around in molasses. Hitting a button will
give her a boost of speed, but it is very short-lived.
The gameplay for the most part is easy, with the exception of the boss
levels. Hello Kitty has to rescue her friends in each level, and will
need to solve some easy puzzles in order to do so. These puzzles are
super easy, as the in-game hints are very plain as to what is needed for
each task. Simple levers, bridges, movable boxes and unlockable doors
are the main type of puzzle encountered. Action is the main focus of the
game, but after about the fourth level, Hello Kitty has help in the form
of a friend, who will aid her automatically in fighting. These friends
can be levelled up, by Hello Kitty finding special items for them.
Graphically, the game looks great and everything is vividly coloured and
the Hello Kitty characters look just as bright and cheerful as always.
However, the camera movement is distracting, as it’s just a little too
“close-up” to the action to be comfortable, especially for those prone
to motion sickness. Also, the camera tended to get stuck at points, and
too many times Hello Kitty will be battling away in front of a tree or
other obstacle, sight unseen.
As with the graphics, Hello Kitty features a very "cute" sounding
soundtrack that actually sounds like it comes from a Saturday morning
Japanese anime cartoon. With an addictive musical score and all the
screams of joy and pain from Hello Kitty and crew, one cannot but help
enjoy this title.
In conclusion, Hello Kitty Roller Rescue is a good children’s
platformer, with an attractive combination of pleasing looks, easy tasks
and collectibles. A few things hold it back from being a better game,
such as the lack of mini-games, more interesting challenges and the
awkward camera viewpoints. However, the presentation is nicely done and
the ability to add clothes and weapons as they are unlocked is fun. This
game is most likely to appeal to young girls under the age of 12.