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Happy Feet Two: The Videogame Review

Happy Feet Two: The Videogame Review

So many different types of rhythm game have come out this fall and the penguins of Happy Feet felt they needed to get their voices and dancing feet in there as well. Happy Feet is known for its catchy renditions of popular songs old and new and for their adorable dancing penguins. Happy Feet Two shares the same premise but instead focuses on Mumble as an adult instead of an awkward teenager. However, like many movie games, Happy Feet Two has faults leaving it in the dust of its dancing competitors.

If you are not familiar with the Happy Feet story, the first movie was a "coming of age tale" about Mumble who was going through a really tough time with puberty. Unlike the rest of the penguins, Mumble could not sing and was therefore outcast, however, by the end of the movie he finds solace in dancing and wins the penguin girl of his dreams. This time around, Mumble is back in the spotlight with a new fuzzy penguin baby named Erik, who runs away from home feeling depressed that he’s just not as cool as the other penguins.

Meanwhile, the penguin community is dealing with a global warming induced situation and Mumble must call upon his friends from the last film in order to save his family once again. Unfortunately, if you don’t really know much about the movies, the story in the game isn’t necessarily too clear and the characters aren’t properly introduced. Newcomers may need to keep a Happy Feet information page nearby in order to remember the names of the characters. The only time the story is intertwined with the gameplay is during the chapter bosses and the occasional cutscene, but other than that, you probably wouldn’t even know there was one.

Unlike a lot of rhythm games, Happy Feet Two does not require any sort of peripheral which might help parents not willing to spend a ton of money on accessories. This title for the most part is a 3-D platformer, however, there are rhythm sections and racing sections. In the platforming sections, you run around collecting music notes and penguins while solving fairly basic puzzles. Music is a core part of the game and there are lots of different tracks. Every time you start a new level, you're able to choose which song you want to listen to, but they start off very minimal. That's because you're tasked with upgrading them through the collection of notes. Increasing its level could add a vocal track or perhaps an added snare and you won’t here the full arrangement until all of the seven levels of one particular song are unlocked. As easy as it sounds, it can be fairly time consuming and unfair. For example, there’s plenty of times where you collect all of the notes in the entire stage, but you still don’t have enough in order to unlock level seven forcing you to go back and complete the same level again in order to proceed - it sometimes means there's no point collecting notes because aside from levelling up songs and buying them, they serve no other purpose.

Collecting penguins also gets you points (if you get more than one at a time) and also can help you finish a level. Each time you see a stranded penguin, you’ll need to free them by dancing to the beat of the song. They will then follow you across the rest of the map. At first you will just have to collect normal penguins along with the occasional sleeping penguin who requires a certain amount of regular penguins to wake up. Later in the game, you will be introduced to huge emperor penguins who can be used to scare away annoying gulls or destroy/move very tough obstacles.

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