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  Scooby-Doo! Unmasked

 "Ruh-roh! Fred's cousin, Jed, is nowhere to be found! His animatronic monsters have gone haywire and are attacking everyone in sight! It's up to Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. to stop the creepy costumed creatures, unmask the mystery, and find Jed before it's too late. Could Jed be prime suspect? Zoinks! Get me a Scooby-Snack!" – THQ

 This Playstation 2 release from THQ Games is another in a strong line of Scooby-related adventures. This time around Scooby and the gang are heading off to meet Fred's cousin, Jed, but get more than they bargained for (as usual) when they find themselves faced with yet another mystery to unravel. Upon arriving at the Monstrous Fright & Magic special effects company, they discover Jed is MIA and his top-secret Mubber formula, responsible for creating super realistic monster costumes, has disappeared as well. It's up to you, as Scooby-Doo, to aid your super-sleuth gang of Mystery Inc. towards the truth behind the enigma and of course to down as many Scooby-Snacks and disgusting combinations of food as possible.

 Storytelling is the main mode of play and it's your job to guide Scooby on his journey. Throughout the game you will interact with the rest of Mystery Inc., but most importantly you'll collect various clues and hand them over to trusty Velma, who'll typically point you in the right direction as to what you're supposed to be doing. The controls are very basic. You walk, jump, kick and pick things up. Nothing like brain surgery in any shape or form. However, the controls will become slightly more involved when you get Scooby into some crazy costumes, but nothing you can't handle I'm sure.

 There are a few things to keep on your Scooby radar during game play. For one thing, your health level is shown in Scooby Medals at the top left of your screen. If Scooby gets scared or hurt, your medals start to disappear, and once they get to zero you have to start back at the last game checkpoint; a pain in the butt, but pretty basic for storytelling mode. One way to increase your number of medals is to collect and bring ingredients to Shaggy's Porta-Kitchen. He'll whip you up a colorful snack in no time. The other way to add Medals to your collar is to munch on, what else, Scooby-Snacks. These are scattered rather generously through each and every environment, so feed your Scooby well, as they also act as breadcrumbs to your next destination. As an added hint, you can also find Mubber and other treats by breaking crates and other items throughout the game surroundings.

 I couldn't fully explain the game without bringing up the bizarre Mubber formula. You'll notice that as you defeat various creatures, like rats and spiders (eww!), little bits of Mubber will be left behind. You'll want to snatch up all the Mubber you can find, trust me. Once you have enough collected you can use it to create incredible costumes of your own, including Karate and Bat suites. I must say I enjoy the slow-mo fighting during Scooby's karate costume battles. There are other items you can collect during play, like Costume Coins to unlock costume machines for a given costume type and Trap Pieces, which when brought to the Mystery Machine will unlock monster profiles. I know, doesn't sound all that exciting, but it will give you important info about the game's baddies and bosses.

 The ultimate point of the game is obviously to solve the mystery. THQ games have done an exceptional job of staying respectful to the legacy of Scooby-Doo. The graphics flow nicely and I like that the difficulty level progresses as the story does. You might also recognize a certain ex-Batman as the voice of Winslow Stanton, and honestly, isn't everything made better with a little Adam West?

 Everything from the Mubber-fueled monsters and costumes to the classic catchphrases make this Scooby adventure everything you would expect from a traditional Mystery Inc. episode. There are climatic boss battles and engaging environments, plus the added joy of words like "Zoinks!" and "Jinkies!" It all comes together, just like the ingredients for a tasty Scooby-Snack, and snack time is all the time for Scooby and Shaggy. So go ahead…investigate the dark creepy dwelling, explore a haunted mansion and grab some cotton candy at a spooky amusement park. Any way you look at it, it's all good and it's all Scooby-Dooby-Doo!

Review ID Number: 656
  Product Details
THQ Games
Review Date: 2006-01-25
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
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