Scooby Doo: Classic Creep Capers


Review by Nathan Dunsmore



Graphics: 6

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


After waves of spin-offs, knock-offs, and only two games on his dog tag (Mystery and Maze Chase), THQ looks to give the Scooby Doo license the full video game treatment fans have been howling for. Kicking off the new millennium and the closing months of the N64’s life cycle, THQ’s first effort sniffs up more Scooby Don’ts than Scooby Doos.

scoobydooccc1n64.jpg (26683 bytes)Classic Creep Capers (CCC) is a trip down memory lane and a semi-rebirth of the Where Are You? series. The first three levels are based on The Scooby Gang’s most memorable mysteries, which weave together and lead up to one new original mystery.

The goal of the game follows the cartoon paw print for paw print. To crack these cases players slip into the psychedelic role of Shaggy. Accompanied by Scooby, players embark on a hunt for clues and trap pieces (although the whodunit is always obvious). Once all the clues and trap pieces have been secured, Fred conducts a plan where you must lure the villain into the result of all that collecting.

The player’s end of the bargain isn’t so raw as most of the required items are out in the open and highlighted; making them stand out among the dim backgrounds. Some of the items can be used for outwitting frightful foes with a Scooby brand of humor. Fred, Daphne, and Velma have strong involvement in the story despite their lack of assistance in the search.

Graphics are a good showcase to the animation of the cartoon, hosting sleek shades of colors and textures. With only a handful of items to search for, many of the areas are moderately bare, leaving a feeling of empty exploration. A secondary gripe is that the character faces are slopped on. Cut scenes, however, are presented in a groovy wide screen fashion that helps move the story along so well it looks like you’re playing the cartoon.

The music and sound effects earn a Scooby snack for remaining faithful to the cartoon, restlessly zipping in and out of springy and eerie. Shaggy and Scooby are disappointingly the only two who have any lines of spoken dialogue, most of which consists of excessively repeated “zoinks!” and “rhaggy’s”.

CCC’s gameplay scheme draws heavily from already well-established survival horror franchises. Shaggy displays a clever courage meter proving cartoon characters don’t die, they just get scared and run away leaving players to start at the beginning of the area.

scoobydooccc2n64.jpg (23785 bytes)With no line of defense against the hoards of ghoulies, the only way to keep Shaggy’s fear under wraps is by finding Scooby Snacks and a kitchen mini game where you get to make your own sandwich. The biggest annoyance players will encounter isn’t a villain, but a mutt named Scooby Doo who has an obsessive habit of getting in your way of entering doors and outrunning adversaries.

The rest of the survival horror elements go to the dogs. The camera shifts in still angles, and remains locked in that angle until players leave the radius. This limits the perception on what is taking place around you. The reverse controls (meaning down is forward and up is backward) that are typically more suitable for darker games such as Resident Evil do not belong in a game targeted toward children. While adjusting to this meddling control format is doable and makes the game far from unplayable, younger players may still find themselves left in the doghouse.

CCC is hard evidence that THQ was heading in the right direction and got riddled along the way. It looks and sounds’ inviting for both fans and non-fans alike but underneath lies a bare bone search and find mission. The real mystery is why THQ felt the gameplay had to be leashed to a survival horror engine. It does nothing to catch its players. THQ has since eschewed this gameplay style in future releases and with their continuing streak of quality titles, Scooby is bound to have his day, just not on the N64.


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Last updated: Friday, August 25, 2006 09:28 PM