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Tokyo Jungle (Video Game Review)

Tokyo Jungle is a bizarre new title from Sony's Japan Studio. This untraditional title challenges you with surviving an apocalyptic world as an animal rather than human, because as it turns out, all humans have mysteriously disappeared from the city. The disappearance of humans has allowed nature to creep in and take back over the streets of Tokyo, and now, anything from your domesticated dogs and pigs to fierce jungle cats and elephants roam the streets of this abandoned city. The game's storyline doesn't extend much beyond this point, but it's all you need to have fun while proving that it's a real jungle out there.

You begin the game with only a few animals to use in the game. The Pomeranian is likely to be most gamers' first choice, but you'll soon unlock larger, more fearsome predators to make surviving much easier and fun. Tokyo Jungle features two ways to play: Story Mode allows you to play with various animals and complete objectives tied to their unique skill sets, and Survival Mode is just that--struggle to survive in a world where there is always a larger creature ready to devour you and your pack. The wide variety of animals each need to be played differently; while you may hunt smaller prey to keep up your strength as a dog, you'll need to avoid conflict and find edible plants as an antelope. Your playstyle will change with each new animal you unlock throughout Survival Mode, and the large selection of animals will have you coming back to Tokyo Jungle to try all the different types.

Managing health and stamina is the key to surviving in Tokyo Jungle. These replenishables only restock once your animal is no longer in danger. Spend too much of it fighting off enemies and you may find yourself outmatched and too weak to run away, while playing as a passive animal may lead you to finding no safe place to hide. Part of the fun with the game is not only surviving but passing on your traits to a new generation. This will require you to both find a mate and take over territories in the city in order to have a safe home in which to raise your young that you will control upon your death in the game. This intriguing mechanic adds plenty of depth to any playthrough and is just one more reason Tokyo Jungle is a must play title on PlayStation Network.

Each game in Tokyo Jungle will give you a list of challenges to complete. Finish one, and you'll earn Survival Points which can be used to unlock more creatures. Survival Points also increases your leaderboard rankings, so completing challenges and taking over territories for bonus points is something you should always strive towards during your time in Tokyo Jungle. Even with the great amount of animals to play in the game, Tokyo Jungle's graphics suffer and never look as impressive as many other titles on the PlayStation Network. Both animations and character models lack real detail, but it's not a deal breaker, and getting chased by a bloodthirsty lion is still frightening enough to get your blood pumping. The game's sound effects and soundtrack aren't the best here either, but they still perform well enough to let you know what you're up against at all times. Tokyo Jungle does make it easy to jump in and out of cooperative play, even if the multiplayer feels a bit tacked on with no online features to boot.

All in all, Tokyo Jungle is a great game with no other game truly like it on any downloadable marketplace. No other game allows you to find and equip loot and potions to your choice of animal and then take that animal into a living and breathing ecosystem that will challenge you to survive just as animals do in the real world. This refreshing take on the action RPG genre is a fantastic example of why independent developers and downloadable titles could very well be the future of gaming and why the future has never looked brighter. If pretty graphics and a mulled over presentation is what you're looking for, you might want to pass on this game, but if you're looking for a game that is unique and is just a blast to play, check out Tokyo Jungle on PlayStation Network today!

Tokyo Jungle is now available exclusively for PlayStation Network and can be purchased for $14.99. Tokyo Jungle is rated T by the ESRB for Blood, Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes and Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Tokyo Jungle website.

Game Features:
  • Multiplayer 1-2
  • Dozens of Animals
  • Pass Traits Down Through Generations
  • Online Leaderaboards
  • Trophy Support

  • Game Information: Developer: Japan Studio
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
    Available exclusively for PlayStation Network
    Release Date: September 25, 2012
    Score: 7 out of 10
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