Ape Escape 2 in 2019, a childhood classic featuring nipple stars and racism.
Note: the writing with a strikethrough is cut content.
Ape Escape is a fan favourite series. Ape Escape 1 is considered one of the PS1’s best games. Ape Escape 3 is considered by some, myself included, as the best in the series. Ape Escape 2 is… uh… well nothing, actually, it just kind of exists
Yeah Ape Escape 2 isn’t as lauded as the others for some reason which is a real shame. As such, I’m gonna dive back into it to see if it deserves this response.
Now In my Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled 8 Deluxe video, I talked about how that fast, action packed game opened with a terms and conditions reading simulator, which isn’t quite the exhilarating start I was looking for. Let’s see if Ape Escape 2 avoids this issue
Alright guys, Ape Escape 2 is almost ready to ship. We just need a great way to get the player into the game
“How about an epic video to get the player hyped”
“How about we just throw them straight into the action”
“How about we have a monkey sneeze on them”
“I’m so glad I missed my son’s birth for this”
Alright so after… that, I jump into a new game with pure excitement. I’m excited because in the American version of the game, two of the main characters are voiced by the same people who voiced Ash and Misty in Pokémon, so I can’t wait to see what the UK counterparts will be like
Most people praise the Ape Escape series for its unique control scheme, and that’s definitely notable. I mean you jump with R1 wow arrgghhh. But for me, Ape Escape stands out because of its collectibles. The collectibles here aren’t just coins and stars… actually they are, but the main collectibles are living, dynamic creatures, all with their own personality, behaviour and more. I love this because it makes every encounter unique – some apes will x and some will y. While games like Pokémon have also done this, I love Ape Escape’s approach so much because of how consistently hilarious the apes are, including the various name and costume gags each have.
Despite a few missteps though it’s generally on point. This personality carries over to the bosses. In the original game, the bosses were kind of… shit. I mean Specter was great but then you had that knight… thing which didn’t really do anything, you did races against this blue haired fuck which isn’t exactly a “battle”, and I don’t even remember the others. Here, though, you battle the Freaky Monkey Five. First there’s Blue Monkey [clip of him talking] Oh fucking hell. So after you beat… Gareth in a hula hoop contest, the next boss is Yellow Monkey [clip of him]
3+, really? He has stars on his nipples, British children are hardcore as fuck
Then there’s Pink Monkey who attacks you with, uh, love? and has schizophrenia
Then there’s… you?
There’s… [Red Monkey clip] Gareth 2
There’s [giant Yellow Monkey] argh not again
And finally Specter!
…And then Specter again, fuck
[“I’ll spank you, monkey”] To clarify, spanking the Monkey is a British term for jacking off so this line… 3+, everyone
The level design is just as on point. Each level is kept interesting by the number of varied gadgets you’re given to get through them. On top of the lightsaber, sci-fi fishing net and “sky flyer”… pfft that’s a stupid ass name, from the original, Ape Escape 2 also has new gadgets, such as the water gun [boring footage] and magnet [boring footage] They’re trash
Even without the gadgets, the core gameplay is well made.
I mean the game isn’t that difficult, but you can [Moon base fails part] [other fails showing while I ad-lib reactions, like me falling off a platform when swinging for an ape, etc.] [Fail 13, 14, 06, 07, 10, 1, 15, 21, 33, last bit of 35, 04, 22]
That’s great and all, but what makes Ape Escape 2 the greatest game to ever exist is one of its minigames, Monkey Football. This is a full blown football game that you can play with any ape you’ve captured and it’s objectively the greatest thing ever created. You can have Santa as your goalkeeper. You can win the world cup with Luke Apewalker… ok like I said not all the names are great. You can get pissed at the ref [monkey football Fail] like that clearly went over the line you fucking asshole [reactions to penultimate] alright let’s see if we can do it again [so that just happened clip]
The extras in general are fantastic. You’re able to rewatch cutscenes, so you can relive, uh, that [Yellow Monkey] if you want. You can listen to the game’s stellar soundtrack whenever you want, including this banger from Pink Monkey [Pink Monkey song over meme of emos dancing], you can read manga [typo screenshot
, maybe read out “you are”], well that one has a typo but, uh, this one for example [banana fwarmp clip]. I… I got nothing. And even Ape Escape themed novels, because of fucking course
Pokémon 2 is a fantastic game, and one that deserves a lot more love than it seems to get. While I honestly do prefer 1 and 3 slightly more, 2 is undoubtedly in the same stratosphere for me and easily one of my favourite platformers of its generation. Any final message you wanna give to the audience, Gareth? [“go home to ya mum” clip] Terrific