Mark Marrow
25 Mar, 2007

Disney's Kim Possible: Global Gemini Review

DS Review | One for the kids.
Kim’s video game history dates back several years ago, to when the arse-kicking heroine and her group of unlikely bad guy stoppers – Ron, Rufus and that computer wiz, Wade – made an unlikely impact on the GBA. All of the games Kim has starred in - bar last month's PS2 debut - have always appeared on handheld consoles. Despite the limitations, the majority of games have always managed to capture the essence of the series, as well as providing simple platforming fun that could easily be enjoyed by any gamer. Global Gemini bestows upon gamers another enjoyable experience, yet unfortunately fails to fully capitalise on the features of the DS, and in providing any sort of challenge at all, regardless of whether you’re a child or adult.

The story of Global Gemini is patchy at best, and isn't one you'd typically associate with the action-packed Kim Possible television show. Apparently, Gemini, Motor Ed and Adrena Lynn have brainwashed members of world protection group Global Justice, and are hoping to cause further trouble. Kim, Wade, Ron and Rufus the Mole Rat manage to catch wind of Gemini’s plans, and try to prevent them before things get out of hand. The game does an ordinary job of detailing the progression of the story, often introducing a handful of new characters during cut-scenes - yet too often, you have no real idea of why they are there or who they are. Fortunately, the lighthearted one-liners do a nice job of making the characters from the game more akin to their television personalities.

The game is similar to some of Kim’s previous outings, with the game incorporating a neat 2.5 engine that presents standard side-scrolling action, as well as a few techniques to create a slightly 3D world, providing gamers with plenty of enjoyable platforming gameplay. This is ultimately where Global Gemini shines so well, offering platforming bliss throughout the entire game. The game simply requires gamers to jump from ledges to ledges, swing onto higher platforms and beat up any baddies in-between the platforming madness. A few Kim Possible trademark moves are also in place, such as being able to perform back flips and wall jumps.

Plenty of platforming fun is ensured.

Plenty of platforming fun is ensured.
There are a handful of items that need to be collected in each level, including new outfits for Kim to don. Unlike Kim’s PS2 outing, collecting these items holds little purpose, aside from the chance to receive grades after completing a level, which is based on the collection of items, time and defeating enemies. While this provides incentives to replay levels, you aren’t exactly compelled to do so, as you don’t receive any sort of unlockables.

There’s a decent amount of variety offered throughout the game; not only in level locations, but also in gameplay. You’ll be able to play as either Kim or Ron through levels, or sometimes both. At your disposal is a handful of cool gadgetry for both characters - Kim’s traditional hook shot that allows her to swing across gaps, night goggles that reveal enemies and hidden platforms, rings that bestow greater strength to break down walls, and even jet pack shoes that enable you to reach higher ground. Selecting gadgets is done on the fly by using the touch panel and mapping them to certain buttons on the DS, which generally works quite well in managing all of your gadgets.

In addition, there are a few levels that solely utilise the DS touchscreen altogether. An example of one is where you direct Kim on a snowboard to avoid rocks and to collect items through the level. These levels are extremely precise in movement and are great distractions from the platforming gameplay, though it’s a little disappointing that the game doesn’t feature more of these levels, or at least similar gameplay ideas that utilise the DS’ features.

The game upholds the familiar Kim Possible presentation.

The game upholds the familiar Kim Possible presentation.
Global Gemini implements multiplayer functionality, allowing you and a friend to race each other using mopeds or snowboards. These modes are fairly simple in design, so it’s a little unfortunate that you’re required to have another copy of the game to experience multiplayer.

Thankfully for fans, the game does a nice job of upholding the cartoon presentation of the television show. Characters look identical to their television counterparts, and environments are generally well-detailed, with clever effects that look great on the DS. Meanwhile, the audio side of things is a tad sub-par. Most of the tunes aren’t particularly fitting to the context of the areas you visit, and often feel out of place with the series.

Kim’s second DS adventure ultimately suffers from the developers oversimplifying almost everything in the game. There’s a nice variety of bad guys that you’ll encounter but it’s extremely rare that any of them will even attack, and the story is told in patches. In light of the release of What's the Switch? on the PS2, and the earlier GBA outings, Global Gemini doesn’t quite hold up, despite its unbelievable potential. Regardless of its problems, the simple platforming fun is likely to go down well with the younger audience, although don’t expect a very deep experience.
The Score
While Global Gemini isn’t without its flaws, it is a game that offers a lot of simple, yet highly enjoyable, gameplay that is perfectly suited for its intended demographic.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

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