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Hook Logo

Have Ocean managed to retain that Spielberg magic with their latest conversion, or will JM Barrie be turning in his grave?

Hook I t's quite often the case that big film releases are snapped up ready for licensing for a computer game without a shred of an idea as to what the game is going to be. This usually results in the game being a rather weak action game that is only loosely based on the characters within a film. Lucasfilm have a very different opinion. They think that the only way to do justice to a film in a computer game is to produce a graphic adventure, and Ocean have take a leaf out of their book with the licence of the hit movie Hook.

You take the role of Peter Banning (who is, in fact really Peter Pan – he just doesn't know it just yet), who is taken to Neverland to try and rescue his children, who have been captured by the evil Captain James Hook. Unfortunately, Peter has completely forgotten all about his times in Neverland as the eternally youthful leader of the Lost Boys (no the blood-sucking, Kiefer Sutherland variety, but the friendly orphans). You must guide Peter around (with help from Tinkerbell), involving puzzles, finding useful objects and talking to characters before you can retrieve your children from the clutches of Hook.

WELL I NEVER!
The plot of the game is only loosely based on the film (after all, it would be a bit easy to complete if it was exactly the same), using characters and situations as clues to how you should continue, rather than enhancing the plot. Most of the situations and people you meet on the way aren't in the film at all.

Hook The game is controlled via the usual sort of 'point and click' interface. You simply point at the command that you want to use (look at, talk to, pick up, use or give) then the person or object you want to manipulate. Walking around is even simpler. Just click on the point you wish to get to and Peter will walk there. A particular sharp eye is needed when playing the game, since unlike most adventures, you aren't given any hint as to the usefulness of an object. You have to 'Look At' EVERYTHING on a screen to find out whether it can be used or not – you're given no clues whatsoever! If you want a piece of advice, you can try talking to Tinkerbell to get an extra clue or two, but she doesn't often give much information away.

Interaction with the other characters is done by using the 'Talk To' icon. This gives you a set of questions you can ask (which are cycled through using the right mouse button). This is one of the main problem areas. Whereas in something like Monkey Island the conversations evolve as you go on, allowing the characters to develop their own part in the story, Hook simply churns out on the same messages time after time, making everyone in the game seem a complete dullard.

One thing that is pushed forward in the Peter Pan story is to 'keep thinking happy thoughts'. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done while playing Hook. The graphics have been very nicely done in places (there were, after all, five artists working on the presentation) but they lack the style found in Monkey Island 2's wonderful artwork.

Some kind of wonderful?
Hook needs 1 Meg to run It's a shame the graphics aren't wonderful, since the presentation is all that Hook has in its favour. The plot hardly captures the innocent charm and fun of the original film, and the gameplay is just too boring to keep any adventurer for long. At times it appears that complete lunacy has taken over – especially in the way that some of the clues are given. Tinkerbell gives 'clues' to do things that have been done about 10 minutes ago!

The control system is one of the most limited to appear on an adventure for quite some time. Five commands? Come on! The unwieldy control system is also very difficult to use. For example, after attempting to use an object, you have to click the icon to stop using it before you can do anything else! This is very frustrating when you're trying to carry out a series of actions.

Due to the style of the game and the obvious pirate connotations, some comparisons may be levelled between Hook and Monkey Island 2. However, comparing Peter Pan's digital adventures with Guybrush Threepwood's mighty escapades is like comparing a Gameboy to an Amiga. Hook lacks the scope, atmosphere, humour, style and enjoyment of Monkey Island 2, ending up a rather dull adventure with no real staying power.
Maff Evans

Amiga Format, Issue 38, October 1992, p.p.56-57



"The plot hardly captures the innocent charm and fun of the film"

Hook
Ocean * £25.99
  • Occasionally nice graphics, but a bit too cartoon-like for this style of game.
  • The presentation is rather swish, particularly the atmospheric intro sequence.
  • The control system is far too limited and unwieldly to get you involved into the plot.
  • The Story and characters don't seem to evolve at all, leaving everything seeming rather flat.
  • A tedious graphic adventure which shrinks into insignificance next to Monkey Island 2.
verdict: 48%



Hook Logo

Steven Spielbergs Versuch, das Märchen von Peter Pan im Kino fortzusetzen, gilt als Millionen-Flop – und was haben die Lizenzhelden von Ocean daraus gemacht? Das erste richtige Adventure ihrer Firmengeschichte!

Hook Wer sich den kitschigen Leinwandschinken angetan hat, kennt die Hintergrundstory bereits, alle anderen erfahren sie aus dem opulenten Intro: Der mittlerweile erwachsene Peter Pan bekommt einen Brief seines Erzfeinden Hook, der seine beiden Kinder entführt hat. Flugs bringt die liebliche Elfe Tinkerbell unser Peterchen zurück auf die Pirateninsel im Nimmerland, damit er seinen Nachwuchs wieder einfangen kann – und schon befinden wir uns am Ausgangspunkt des Spiels...

Zuerst muß sich der besorgte Papa mal als Pirat tarnen, was ihm gar nicht so leicht fällt, da er immer noch auf den seriösen Familienvater Peter Banning gepolt ist. Seine Versuche, ein Taxi zu bestellen oder mit der Scheckkarte zu bezahlen, sind in einer Welt, in der nur Gold als Zahlungsmittel akzeptiert wird, ziemlich fehl am Platze. Ja, wenn man ihn eine Weile tatenlos herumstehen läßt, zieht er sogar ein kleines Kästchen heraus, das verdächtig nach einem Gameboy aussieht! Früher oder später kriegt man das aber auf die Reihe und stattet den Helden vergangener Kindheitsträume mit astreinen Piratenklamotten aus. Dann kann man sich frohgemut an die Lösung der nächsten (Reise-) Probleme wagen, wobei übrigens keinerlei Kinderhelden-Rabatt gewährt wird – die Rätsel sind allesamt ohne!

Hook Kindisch einfach arbeitet dafür die Maus/Icon-Steuerung mit den Funktionen Schauen, Sprechen, Nehmen, Benutzen (in drei Varianten) und Geben. Gequatscht wird in einem etwas umständlichen Multiple Choice-Verfahren, bei dem man sich mit der rechten Maustaste durch die Antwortvorgaben klickt und mit der linken anwählt. Ähnlich aufwendige Nagetier-Aktionen sind nötig, um eine Beschreibung der Gegenstände im Inventory zu bekommen; aber so wichtig ist das alles nicht – wer „Monkey Island" kennt, wird auch im Nimmerland zurechtkommen. Schließlich erinnert das gesamte Abenteuer-System deutlich an das "Lucas-Evangelium", was sich auch bei der witzig animierten, aber vornehmlich in brauen, ocker und grün gehaltenen Grafik bemerkbar macht.

Mr. Threepwood hatte allerdings kein holdes Elfchen Tinkerbell, das ständig um ihn herumschwirrt, und er durfte sich auch nicht über ruckelfreies Scrolling und fehlende Nachladezeiten freuen. Nicht zu vergessen die hübschen Screenanzeigen, durch die man jederzeit darüber im Bilde ist, wie es gerade um die jeweiligen Erfolgsaussichten der beiden Kontrahenten (Hook/Peter) steht. Die Musik- und Geräuschkulisse ist ebenfalls sehr stimmig, der einzige harte Kritikpunkt betrifft das schön vergilbte Handbuch: Es informiert weder über den genauen Funktionsumfang der einzelnen Befehle, noch über die Möglichkeit, Spielstände anzulegen.

Ein bißchen muß Action-Spezialist Ocean also an seinen Abenteuer-Fähigkeiten noch feilen, aber im großen und ganzen ist das Debüt recht gelungen! (mm)

Amiga Joker, September 1992, p.50

HOOK
(OCEAN)
MOVIE - ADVENTURE

73%

"BEACHTLICH"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPASS
75%
77%
72%
73%
71%
74%
FÜR GEÜBTE
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1MB
4/JA
NEIN
SPIELSTÄNDE
KOMPLETT


Hook Logo

Pulling on his green tights, Rik Haynes joins Ocean in Never-Never Land...

Hook BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
Those of us with kids or young relatives have probably had their belly full of Hook, the blockbusting movie from Steven Spielberg and Sony. Updating the JM Barrie masterpiece, Peter Pan, in typical Hollywood style, this wholesome slice of American schmaltz certainly made its mark over the Easter holidays. And, after very little hype, here is Ocean's tie-in.

Closely following the movie's plot, this game is Ocean's first stab at producing a new generation graphic adventure with fancy graphics, goofy puzzles and a slick point 'n' click interface. Taking the role of Peter Pan, the player must rescue his children from the grasp of dastardly Captain Hook. Before this tear-jerking event can occur, though, Pan must regain his faith in the magical powers of youth and lose some of the flab. If he gets stuck attempting to solve a problem, striking up a conversation with any character nearby normally provides a handy clue. Apart from that, try using your brain – it's not that hard to complete.

Hook LACKS FINESSE
Sadly, despite aspiring to the heights achieved by Monkey Island, Hook has none of the finesse of rival productions of Virgin Games and Delphine. Whilst slightly above average, the scenery artwork and sprite animation certainly fall short of something like LeChuck's Revenge or Cruise For A Corpse. Elements of Monkey Island were bound to creep in. On that note, Peter Pan certainly strides along like the main character from the world's most popular adventure. On a more positive observation, the interface is quick and easy to use and some neat sound effects have been blended into the background.

If there was ever a good time to shove a game through the Ocean 'Movie license construction kit', Hook is that release. The film's over-the-top storyline and special effects scream out for a bit of platform action across Neverland, arcade swordfights with Captain Hook and his band of pirates, and perhaps a flying section with Tinkerbell. It's a surprising mistake really, considering the Manchester powerhouse's usual knack of producing the right game for the right license.

Exactly who will pick up on the game, I'm not sure. Fans of Monkey Island will be extremely disappointed with this poor offering. It's nowhere near sophisticated or witty enough for fans of the genre and far too complicated for the average six-year-old.

CU Amiga, July 1992, p.72

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
team:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
memory:
 
Out Now
Graphic adventure
In-house
Mouse
3
1
No
1Mb

 

OCEAN £25.99
A very poor relation to Lucasfilm's Monkey Island
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
77%
73%
25%
64%
OVERALL 64%