"Farewell, Kim Possible, and the lanky sidekick whose name escapes me once again."
Kim Possible and her wacky friend Ron Stoppable team up in this sequel to A2M's highly-praised Kim Possible 2: Drakken's Demise. A2M took over from Digital Eclipse when the original game was less than well-received, and A2M made a surprisingly good game starring the Disney character. Kim Possible 3: Team Possible continues this tradition with a great action game where players get to use a variety of gadgets to stop the wholly-evil Dr. Drakken from initiating his half-baked world domination plan.
Upon first looking at the game, Kim Possible 3 seems as though it will be very short. However, the game is actually deceptively long for a licensed title. Where most licensed games can be finished in under an hour, KP3 takes close to five hours of solid play to fully upgrade Ron and Kim, as well as earn all the secrets and unlockables. Excluding Kim's base, which acts as a "hub" world, there are three worlds for players to explore. Each of these worlds has eight sections. These sections are quite large, and aside from the main path that leads to the boss, there are also side-paths that lead to secret extras, such as photographs that reward you with TV show stills. Each world also has a set of three objects: a lip-gloss case, a...er...garden gnome, and a nacho. If you find all of these, you unlock three bonus mini-games (one for each world) that you can play from the main menu.
KP3 also has a clever method of upgrading Kim and Ron's health. Scattered through out the levels are crystal balls. The small ones give you one; the big ones give you 100. For every 500 crystal balls you collect, you increase the current character's total life meter. The meter starts off at five hit points, and can be upgraded to a maximum of twelve! Because the crystals are really difficult to miss, you'll be running into crystals all the time, making it less of a chore to upgrade health, and more like something that just happens as you progress.
Once you've teamed up Kim with Ron at the start of the game, you'll be able to switch between the two at any time. Kim is quick and has martial arts to help her out, while Ron is a bit of a klutz, but his better gadgets make up for it. His gadgets include rocket boots, which give increased height; hot sauce, which can be used to melt ice barriers; a lifeboat (he has very deep pockets) which can be used as a shield or a springboard for Kim; and Rufus, his pet mole rat. When you select Rufus, you can control him for a limited time. Rufus can climb up walls and squeeze into tight spaces, as well as activate treadmills and chomp through wiring to disable security doors. Ron also learns a special power-up move which activates when you repeatedly hammer A, where he does a powerful stomp that sends shockwaves through the ground and breaks certain walls.
Kim, as previously mentioned, has a wide variety of acrobatic moves in addition to her gadgets. Kim can swing on poles, wall jump, punch and roundhouse kick in quick succession, and even backflip her way through levels by double-tapping left or right. When backflipping, Kim can also do a higher jump than normal that lets her access slightly difficult to get to places. In addition, Kim has a grappling hook, a comb/boomerang, remote sonic mines, and a holographic decoy.
The game has a really intuitive tutorial system. Whenever you encounter a new gadget or move, you'll be shown how to use it with a "shadow" version of your character. At each point where a button needs to be pressed to perform a critical action (such as jumping), the shadow will leave a still version of itself at that point with the appropriate button as an indicator. It's very clever and very simple to understand.
The music is also a nice highlight of the game. The themes come in a range of styles, from jungle beats to space-like sci-fi music, each with its own espionage feel. The music seems to go for a while before it loops, as well, which is a credit to the music designers, especially as the levels can seem long at times! Sound effects are nice cartoon-style effects, as you'd expect, and they also include monkey screeches, as well as some voice samples of Rufus when you use him.
Kim Possible 3: Team Possible is a nicely-designed, fun game. Those picking it up just for the license will be pleasantly surprised, as the game will keep you occupied for a decent amount of time, and there's reason to go back and pick up any photos and other items that you may have missed the first time through. Hardcore gamers probably will burn through this fairly quickly, but it's still entertaining for the time that they'll play through it.
Oh, did I mention that the game also comes with a Rufus door hanger?