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Story and Game Play
If you haven’t seen Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian movie, the Xbox 360 game is a spoiler that will give away most of what you will see on screen. Larry Daley (narrated by Ben Stiller) encounters many of the characters from the first film including Octavius, Jebediah, Teddy Roosevelt and the crazy mischievous monkey. After discovering that the evil pharaoh Kahmenrah has stolen the tablet with the nine magical glyphs (seen in the first film), action must be taken to recover it and save all his historical museum friends.
Unlike most adventure games, Larry does not get involved in any combat against his enemies. He only has a flashlight and set of keys. Fortunately, these items become magically charged by the pharaoh Akhmenrah (the brother of Kahmenrah). The keys become useful as a shield as well as a tool for climbing, activating objects and accessing hard to reach items. The flashlight initially allows Larry to see hidden items and action items. However, as the tablet and magical glyphs are recovered, it gives him magical abilities like controlling animals, fixing broken items, activating machinery and a lightning spell.
Using magical items in this game sounds like a great concept. Unfortunately, the game does not allow you to utilize them as much as you like. Anytime the flashlight is used to locate items or tasks it will automatically set itself to the spell you need. You feel like the game is guiding you every step of the way, taking away most of the challenges you will face. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is designed with younger gamers in mind. However, when games are too easy they can become boring.
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Although the Night at the Museum 2 game helps you out quite a bit, there are a puzzles and tasks to help keep it interesting. A small amount of thinking is involved to figure them out. All of them involve the use of the magical glyph’s spells which result in some cool effects.
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What fails in this game is the inconsistency of the Xbox 360 game controls. In certain tasks, the controls are so temperamental that it may result in dying over and over several times until you succeed. There is also a delay when you switch from using the flashlight to the keychain. Larry move slower when any of these tools are activated, causing a bit of frustration.
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Graphics and Sound
The scenery in Night at the Museum 2 is colorful but many areas have repetitive generic detail. Characters in the game are animated with a cartoonish quality. Music soundtrack appears to be directly from the film. Ben Stiller lends his voice to his Larry Daley character with comedic quips and jokey comments throughout the game.
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Play or Pass?
Fans of Ben Stiller and the Night at the Museum movies will get a short ride from the Battle of the Smithsonian console game. While you get to use a bit of magic and solve puzzles, this Xbox 360 game gives away all its secrets by providing you with too much help along the way. Check it out as a rental, but don’t spend the money to add it to your game collection.
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Related Night at the Museum Game Articles
DS Game Review - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Nintendo Wii Review - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian