Toe Jam and Earl III – Mission to Earth - Xbox

For most of us, we will remember the days of Toe Jam and Earl on the Sega Mega Drive. Well some 13 years later, the duo is back, but this time updated for Xbox.

As before, the game revolves around Toe Jam and Earl saving the day and funking their way into the hearts and souls of those that play the game. The basic premise is that you (ToeJam, Earl, or new friend Latisha) must find the stolen 12 Sacred Albums of Funk, and return them to their rightful owner, the Funkopotamous, otherwise known as Lamont. Inevitably and somewhat predictably, you will you will eventually take on the bad people, otherwise known as theAnti-Funk, and save the world from all that is unfunky. Quite simple then?

Well not quite. The game gives off mixed signals and while the Xbox is still predominately aimed towards those who drink beer and like the odd gadget (nothing wrong with that I hear you cry), Toe Jam and Earl seems geared towards the younger members of the household, and perhaps is Microsoft's way of capturing both angles.

The gameplay is therefore structured towards this younger audience and most levels are based around you searching the levels for keys, presents or vinyl's before finding the exit door. Collect more keys and more levels open, it's as simple as that. Occasionally you'll find the odd mini-game to offer a break from the bad guys but this is nothing to get too excited about.

Graphics, like the gameplay are also very childlike, and unfortunately do nothing to push the system to it limits such as games like Splinter Cell. What's more frustrating however is the controls and for some reason the developers have decided to not to allow you to be able customise them, this normally wouldn't cause a problem, but here again for some reason the camera angle control is inverted and therefore goes the opposite way that you would expect.

Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. Think about those games or movies you loved as a child. Brilliant aren't they? Yet track them down and play or watch them again and you soon realise that all though memories are quickly shattered.

Verdict

Unfortunately for Toe Jam and Earl, that nostalgia can soon and will be shattered. If you buy this game for the nostalgia value you are likely to be disappointed, unless of course you have been in another dimension and still regularly play on your Mega Drive. If you have young ones in the house you might just be able to justify buying that latest First Person Shooter to the other half if you pick this up at the same time.