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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution

Published By: The Game Factory
Developed By: Gorilla Systems
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1-2
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: October 17, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty


Once every year, Strawberry Shortcake and her friends gather together for a special afternoon of fun and great activities. While Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are out having the time of their lives, here comes someone who has to spoil their great afternoon. It would seem that Peppermint Fizz is out to win each event by rigging the contest so no one else would win. After finding out what she was behind, Strawberry Shortcake and her friends vow to get even by winning all the events fair and square.

Once you fire up the game, you will notice that this title is one of action and interaction. As soon as you select ‘new game’, you are immediately place into the game where Strawberry Shortcake will be talking to one of her friends about the Strawberryland Games that are about to take place. Once their discussion is over, you enter the activity center, where you can play three different games, each with about 12 levels to conquer.

You are given a scorecard to keep tabs of what games you have competed in, how many tickets you have accumulated within each event, and your place in each event. Pretty much your main goal within this title is to compete against Peppermint Fizz and her dog in order to stop her from cheating. Each event/level has its own rules, which change depending on the level within the event. In the case of the Berry Boarding event, there may be times where you are require to you ski down the mountain as fast as you can. Others times, you may require you to dodge objects within the slop, due to Peppermint Fizz’s interference, while making it to the finish line.



Once each race is complete, you acquire a certain amount of tickets. The higher position you come in once you cross the finish line, or the more items you collect along the way, will determine how many tickets you acquire. The maximum amount of tickets you can hold at a given time is 999. Once you acquire at least 50 tickets, you can report back to the Dessert Booth in the beginning and cash them in for various treats and drinks that you can take yourself of feed to your dog. Depending on the item, you can acquire a speed and/or energy boost for a certain amount of time to get through levels quicker. This is something to keep in mind because a few levels will challenge your skills, and by using this nice feature, it can mean the difference between 1st place and 3rd place.

As you progress though the game, if you want to take a break form the competition, then you can enjoy three cool activities within the game. There is the Balloon Ride, Carnival Games and The Baker’s Corner. The Balloon Ride lets you view the game grounds and the surrounding area from high in the sky, while The Baker’s Corner allows you to put your skills to the test.

One thing you will also notice about this title is that there is little use for the DS stylus. Most of the movements by Strawberry Shortcake, her friends, and animals are done via the Directional pad. But there are a few instances where you will need to move a platform for Strawberry Shortcake’s dog to hop on (Black Liquorice Leap), or even if you want to perform certain tricks while skiing down the Sundae Mountains (Berry Boarding).



In terms of the visuals, they are pretty decent. They aren’t top-notch like The New Super Mario Bros., but they hold their own. You can make out each character and their various facial features. Within each environment for the various events, you get a sense of depth and the unknown. Because the camera pans over very slowly, you don’t really know what’s ahead of you until it’s too late (not that often). You would also notice objects within the background, depending on the event you are playing. You will also notice that most of the surroundings are done in a 2D style, while each character is rendered within 3D. This nice technique helps each character/animal stand out within the backdrop of the fruit-flavored surroundings.

The musical score throughout the game is very cheerful and upbeat. As you enter each event/level, you will notice the music fits the event perfectly. Like when you star the Berry Boarding event, the music immediately switches to a more upbeat techno feel, while retaining its kiddy appeal. You will also notice when Strawberry Shortcake is snowboarding down the “whip cream slopes of Sundae Mountains”, you have various sound effects going off like her jumping with her board to collect various items, or her grabbing the snowboard while doing various tricks. All in all, the sound quality is top notch for the type of game we are playing.

This title is truly all about having fun and getting the best possible scores within each event. As you complete each level, you are rated based on how long it took you to complete the task and how many items you collected along the way. So taking that into account, children will love to replay levels to out due themselves and the computer at the same time. With the added multiplayer option, they can even play against each other in events like the Berry Boarding, and have a race to the finish to see who is the fastest and who can collect the most items.

Overall Thoughts
This title is a sure fire hit with children of all ages. It’s full of fun and interesting activities. The visuals are easy on the eyes, and the tunes will have kids bouncing their heads for days to come. With an interesting storyline and immersive gameplay, you can’t help by love Strawberry Shortcake. Whether it’s a parent looking for their next title for their child, or a child looking for their next title to have mommy and daddy buy, this is definitely a must have for any child looking for an interesting, active, and immersive game.

Score
8.0/10


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