the latest augmented reality title to land on the PSP which is extremely
reminiscent of the Pokemon franchise from Nintendo as players attempt to
capture and collect these strange creatures. This is all done via the PlayStation
Portable Camera which helps bridge the gap between the real world and that of
the virtual world.
over 100 new Invizimals to hunt down
using the PSP Camera: you can now
modify your Invizimals by changing their
names, colours and choosing from a
greater range of attacking moves.
Enjoy a new
campaign that will take you across the
globe with new capture moves and special
co-operative capture mode allowing two
players to hunt down monsters together.
Thanks to some
clever cinematics, the player soon discovers that Invizimals exist in our
world, however they can only be seen through the Shadow Zone that
bridges these two worlds. The premise actually works, especially with
the PSP camera and at times, it's almost like Ghost Busters as you use
your PSP to find these creatures and needless to say, there are a
considerable amount of them out there.
However as you collect
these creatures, you also need to prevent Campbell from being unleashed
onto our world and that is the primary goal of Invizimals: Shadow Zone.
Campbell was actually thr first villain from the original game but even if
you have never played the original (like me), you don't need any former
back history at all. Thankfully.
In terms of gameplay,
it's quite simplistic, you speak to an NPC and they will give you a
mission to complete and fortunately the game is populated with some
interesting and colourful cutscenes to help progress the story along.
One strange aspect of the game is that these cinemas use live actors that
does make the game more realistic as opposed to cartoon or CGI
The PSP camera works
like a treat as well and as you zoom around your room or desk, you will
soon discover one of the Invizimals hiding in your world thanks to the
inbuilt radar of your PSP. In order to catch the Invizimals, you need to
use the trap card that comes with the game.
Once the PSP detects the
trap card, a mini-game then ensues (e.g. jigsaws, whistling or firing
lasers) that requires you perform a variety of manoeuvres to catch these
critters. Catching them is fun but combat is where the game shines and
the game is a little bit of a button masher sometimes. Fortunately only
with the mini-games and not that combat.
The controls for combat
are well mapped on the PSP and it kind of works as a turn based option
with a set number of attacks like Fire or Earth. The easiest way to
describe the combat is that it is like rock, paper scissors and learning
the different attacks is the key part of the title. There is even an RPG
element to the game as you can perform some basic customisation options
on the Invizimals like appearance and statistics.
Graphically, the Invizimals is a good looking game on the PSP and the
stars of the title are the Invizimals themselves that look detailed and
interact well with their "real-world" environments. The combat animation
is a joy to watch as are the various special attacks as all sorts of
flying debris is thrown around. Add in some great cutscenes and this is
one game that kids of all ages can play for a considerably amount of
time. The music is quite upbeat, the voice acting a little forced and
tacky but it actually works as do the great sound effects and different
In the end, Invizimals:
Shadow Zone is a fun game that works on most levels as opposed to EyePet
on the PSP which was a little lacklustre. The augmented reality option
works like a treat and for those younger gamers that enjoy collecting
Pokemons or similar games, they will definitely enjoy this title from
start to finish. Add in some multiplayer options and it's good to see
another developer release something decent for this market. Great use of
the PSP camera, nice graphics and a sturdy gameplay engine that works.