Two screens, yet half the fun?
Well, I suppose you can't hit a home run every time. The latest in the Kim Possible series of games, Kim Possible: Kimmunicator, is not like Drakken's Demise, or Team Possible. In fact, Kimmunicator plays like...well, a stock standard average license game. Which is depressing.
In this game, you play as Kim and Rufus (the pink Mole Rat thing), as Kim searches for her kidnapped friend Wade. He's the computer nerd one, not the loudmouth one. The loudmouth one is Ron. And the most you'll see of Ron in this game is on the front of the box art.
Kim starts off at Jack Hench's training camp. Jack trains henchmen, then outsources them to assorted supervillains. It's Kim's ticket into Drakken's lair, where Wade was being taken to. Now, here's an interesting thing. You start off disguised as a henchman in purple hench-gear, right? But there's a menu on the touch screen that lets you switch outfits, one of which is Kim's normal clothes. Put these on, and what happens?
You're perfectly free to run around, as Kim Possible, despite the fact that you are in the same training camp as the numerous thugs that you kick the crap out of. This perplexes me. Here is an opportunity to be really creative and make you require specific outfits for specific situations, and instead all it is is an alternate skin that does nothing. What a wasted opportunity.
The move from 2D sprites to 3D polygons seems to have affected Kim, too. Leave her on the edge of the very first platform you encounter, and she'll slide right off. Don't worry though, the game doesn't discriminate - this happens on every platform you encounter. What a great start to the game. Kim's movements are sluggish, she skids before stopping, and her jumps (the double jump in particular) don't seem to be high enough.
But enough of the controls. Let's talk about the touch screen usage. What would you do if you had a perfectly fine weapon select function? Why, you'd remove it, of course! Instead of the streamlined weapon select from the GBA games (which could be accessed by holding L, selecting your weapon with a cursor, and letting go of L); you must now select the items menu from the touch screen, select the appropriate item on the touch screen, and finally use the weapon by pressing R. (Better hope you chose the right one!) But what if you don't have the appropriate weapon? Well in that case, you select the Shopping Menu, search for the item you want, hope that it's available for purchase, hope that you have enough chips to buy it with, and purchase it.
All this has accomplished is to needlessly complicate things. Gone is the upgradeable health bar from Kim Possible 3 - now you're stuck with three health points and must keep purchasing medkits, selecting them, and using them as you need them. Gone is the reward of a new item for you to muck about with each world. Instead, you'd better hope that you saved up enough chips for the item when it becomes available, and that you remember to buy it. It's bizzare. If I didn't know better, I'd say it's as though A2M were trying to make the game as user-unfriendly as possible.
There is literally one good thing about this game, which is a mini-game you must play to enter Dr. Drakken's volcanic lair. In this level, you must paraglide down through the winding volcanic tunnels to the base entrance. You pull the parachute's strings with L and R to guide it left and right, while you can give the parachute some lift by blowing into the microphone. It's really entertaining, and gets pretty tough in the later bits where you have to steer through some narrow corridors and glide extremely close to lava (or is it magma? I never can remember).
This game probably wouldn't have been so harshly judged if the previous two Kim Possible games, also made by A2M, weren't much better than any other Disney game by comparison. But due to their surprising quality, it's even more disappointing that Kimminucator is so average.