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Gamer Tuesday

March 27, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Muppet Party Cruise

Developed by: TDK

System: GameCube, PlayStation 2

There is nothing better than after a year or so of hard work, stress, and family issues to spend a week aboard a luxury cruise ship and leave behind your worries, fears, and obligations. The Disney company understands this greatly so one day they decided to combine the luxury of a cruise ship vacation with the thrills and magic of a Disney theme park vacation, creating the Disney Cruise Line. For years their ships have delighted families all over the world with their services and entertainment choices. This week our very own Brent Dodge and the People Movers team will be enjoying their stay at the Disney Fantasy ship. To celebrate I will be talking about a game that deals with a party cruise: Muppets Party Cruise!

Last November, when we were celebrating the release of The Muppets in theaters, you might recall that I wrote an article detailing my desire for a really good, critically acclaimed Muppets game as the felt characters have yet to leave any significant impact on the gaming industry in the same manner as in movies, television and music. One of the games I mentioned in that article was Muppet Party Cruise, a title that has been universally panned by nearly every major gaming outlet, including Electronic Gaming Monthly's Seanbaby. Despite that, many people actually enjoy it. Since we are celebrating the first Disney Fantasy cruise voyage this week, I decided to give this game a chance here on From Screen to Theme.

The basic premise is very similar to that of Nintendo's Mario Party series: up to four players partake in mini-games while being spread out across a game table. The player with the highest score by the end of the match wins. The difference though is that the Muppets are on a party cruise! Pepe the King Prawn accidentally booked their vacation on the lower half of the boat and it is up to the player to take them to the upper deck where they can have fun!

As expected, the player gets to play as some of the biggest names in the Muppet world, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, and Pepe. Other Muppet characters from 'The Muppet Show' and 'Muppets Tonight' generations make appearances as well, such as Randy and Andy Pig, Sweetums, members from the Electric Mayhem, and many more. The characters are all voiced by their original performers, making the game authentic in terms of Muppet characterizations and development.

There are 15 basic mini-games to play through, each one hosted by a different Muppet character. In addition, there are 15 more mini-games to unlock for a total of 30 mini-games. These mini-games can be unlocked by achieving specific tasks in the game, such as obtaining a high score. You can also unlock Muppetisms, a series of short videos starring the Muppets. In comparison to Mario Party, Muppets Party Cruise is slim when it comes to mini-games, but the mini-games have been proven to be fun and all around solid.

In terms of graphics and sound, Muppets Party Cruise does a solid job of presenting us the Muppet world in digital form. Like I previously mentioned the Muppet characters are performed by the original actors from the modern day movies and TV shows/specials. Muppet Party Cruise even features some original music and songs that add even more Muppet flare to the game. It doesn't exactly push the boundaries regarding how a Muppet game should be presented but it gets the job done.

So in conclusion, Muppets Party Cruise may have been poorly misjudged at the time of its release. People do enjoy this game despite its flaws. Call it an overall solid design or a deep appreciation towards the Muppets, but people enjoy it greatly, and that is enough for me to feature it on Gamer Tuesday.


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