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Night At The Museum 2: The Video Game Review

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★★★★★

Can this be real? A videogame based on a kids’ movie that treats its source material with care and imagination? A juvenile romp that uses the characters and situations of the big screen adventure to create an experience that will delight fans of the movie and younger players in general? A movie-tie in that shirks tired platforming and beat ’em up clichés in favour of a wide variety of challenges that keep the action fresh and compelling? Yes, Night At The Museum 2 is all these things and more – it’s just a pity that the whole thing lasts only marginally longer than the film that inspired it.

Cleverly using the Ben Stiller movie as its jumping off point, NATM2 allows players to use the hero’s magical trinkets to command the weather, tame wild beasts and repair shattered masterpieces, the ever-shifting gameplay keeping the action moving at brisk pace and offering a gentle learning curve that’s perfectly suited to greener gamers. Polished presentation, voice work from Stiller himself and thousands of items to collect all help make for a game that will keep kiddies hooked until the end credits roll, the game’s immense charm distracting attention from the awkward platforming sequences and awkward attempts at humour that invariably fall flat on their face.

But while the game is flawed, its biggest failing is that the whole adventure can be nailed in a single two-hour sitting by gamers at most levels of experience, which is entirely unforgivable as the game costs anywhere up to four times as much as selling out to see NATM2 at the cinema.

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