Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (PS2/GC)
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is a tie-in to the movie of the same name, released on September 25, 2002 for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. It was developed by Big Sky Interactive (also known for Spongebob Squarepants: Revenge Of The Flying Dutchman, which came out two months afterward on November 21, 2002) and published by THQ. It has no connection to the PC and Game Boy Advance adaptations.
The game is a 3D adventure starring a boy named James Isaac Neutron (or Jimmy Neutron for short) and his robot dog Goddard. In the game, the evil King Goobot has abducted some of Jimmy's friends, so Jimmy must begin an intergalactic quest to save them.
Why It Sucks
- First of all, it came out almost a year after the movie it's based on, passing the PC (which came out a month before the movie on November 7, 2001) and GBA versions (which came out three months after the movie on March 15, 2002). You could say the Jimmy Neutron TV series justifies such a late release, but the game stays closer to the movie.
- Horrible graphics that almost veer into Bubsy 3D levels of outdated. Games featuring Jimmy Neutron hardly ever get the model right, and this may be the worst offender. Not to mention that the characters mouths don’t move when they talk.
- The title screen consists of nothing more than the Jimmy Neutron logo and a black background.
- There are only six levels, and given that this is a linear adventure game with nothing more to do beyond completing the missions, you'd have little to no reason to go back to it.
- You do the same thing on all levels: wander around and collect items.
- You can only carry weapons for a limited time. Worst yet, you lose them when you enter a new room.
- The voice acting is horrible. While some of the cast from the original movie returned to voice their respective characters, they have varying degrees of quality. The characters with replacement actors sound worse, especially Wally Wingert as Carl.
- Weirdly, the manual lists Carl's original voice actor, Rob Paulsen, in the cast, but in-game, Wally Wingert is credited as Carl's voice.
- On the second level, there is a very tight jump you have to make. There is waste dripping from the ceiling, there is a puddle of waste below your jump arc and there is an enemy ant waiting for you. Since you have a predetermined jump arc, you have to be very precise to make it and contend with the hazards, otherwise you'll die and have to do the whole thing over again.
- Subpar controls, especially noticeable when you ride Goddard (especially when he turns into a scooter).
- A fixed camera angle, which makes it harder for you to see pitfalls. You can't control the camera, either.
- Due to this, you get cheap deaths. Doesn't help that no matter how far you get in a section, you get sent right back to the start.
- A premise with a very small connection to that of the movies.
- The GameCube version has a glitch where the pause menu flickers in and out when selecting an option.
- Interestingly enough, according to info found on The Cutting Room Floor, the game was started back when BigSky still went under the American branch for Kalisto Entertainment, in 2000. Given the wide gap between that and when the game was released, you'd have to wonder what went on during that time. You could conceivably release a good game within the course of a few months, but this feels like it was just scrounged together within less than a month. Why even bother with this if you wouldn't be able to make the deadline in the first place?
- A cringeworthy 40-second making-of segment.
- The sidescrolling shooter of Retroville is almost like a bullet hell type of game, as the boss ship's lasers instantly depletes your "pie" wedge, and worst of all, you cannot win.
- Terrible final boss battle against Goobot, all you can do is attack him from behind and he won't turn around to retaliate. It's as terrible as Dracula from Simon's Quest.
- The music, while repetitive, is decent.
- Retroland is a pretty fun looking level.