Make friends with a vegetarian shark, fool everyone into thinking you beat him up, become famous. It’s all in a day’s work for this little fish, and Activision’s game-of-the-movie is here to let you play through the whole tale yourself.
The latest Dreamworks computer-animated movie, Shark Tale, bears more than a small resemblance to Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Both involve undersea worlds of talking fish and scary sharks. Both employ famous actors for voice work. Shark Tale branches off, however, in that it eschews pristine natural settings for an urban fish city, built right into a coral reef. The characters have stronger attitudes and fit into several urban stereotypes.
Activision’s Shark Tale game follows the movie’s plot, as you might expect. There are a variety of gameplay styles presented over the game’s many levels. Some stages are set up as chase scenes, others are improbable fish vs. shark boxing matches. There is a race level in which you swim through the city and try to pick up pearls (money) along the way. There are stealth levels which play on a 2D plane (but feature 3D graphics, of course). There are even dancing levels.
Yes, dancing. Dancing fish. Fish dancing to licensed music. The dancing levels are similar to Dance Dance Revolution, but there are no combination steps requiring more than one direction to be pressed at the same time. The fully licensed songs include such classics as MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”, which plays out its entire length, making the experience quite a bit longer than a typical DDR song. Most players will probably stick to the D-pad for these levels, but developer Edge of Reality has included support for DDR dancing pads. Although there are no such pads available for GameCube, you can hook up one for another system if you have a controller adapter. We tested this feature with a third-party PS2 dance pad and Nyko’s PlayCube converter, and it works just fine.
Shark Tale is being developed and marketed for younger players, but its many gameplay styles will be familiar to older gamers too. It’s scheduled for release about a week before the movie’s debut in America.