Tokyo Jungle Review

Mankind is extinct leaving only the animal kingdom behind. In "Tokyo Jungle" you take the role of various animals and try to survive the post apocalyptic world. You'll have to hunt, mate and raise a pack for survival. Is the new PSN game from Japan Studio a win? Or should the animals head back to the zoo?

Story -  Some time in the twenty-first century, mankind left Earth, leaving animals to fend for themselves. The once busy streets of Tokyo are now home to lions, tigers, chickens, and various other animals. All of them are now fighting for survival. That is the overview of the game's plot. In story mode you take the role of various animals such as the Pomeranian Dogs, Sika Deer, Beagle, Lions and more. By unlocking archives in the survival mode allows you to uncover what happen to mankind. The story from the animals perspective is very fun to play through, especially the more vulnerable animals like the Sika Deer and Pomeranian Dogs. Watching the weaker animals trying to survive a  jungle filled with Lions, Tigers and Bears makes you intense to ensure they survive. The story and concept for "Tokyo Jungle" is a blast.

Gameplay - "Tokyo Jungle" can be played with two modes "Survival" and "Story." In "Survival" mode you can choose from any animal of your choice that is available. Your mission is simple to survive the jungle as long as possible. In order to survive you will have to eat, stay healthy from diseases other animals may carry and learn how to fight off predators. The key to survival varies depending on the animal, for example the Sika Deer is a herbivore, this means that they will be hunted by most of the animals in the game. As the Sika Deer you will have to depend on stealth of the environment to get around and stay safe. The game does a wonderful job of staying true to the animals strengths and weakness. Don't expect that a simple house dog can take down a lion in one blow. Japan Studio made sure that the attributes of the animals are realistic as possible. The attributes works well because it brings more of a strategic element to the game. Are you playing as a house cat and trying to take down a Zebra? Well you might want to build up a pack in order to take down the big animal.

In addition to the great attributes "Tokyo Jungle" brings to the table the ability to mate. This mating system will ensure that your animal leaves his future generations with your attributes. You're giving three categories of females to mate with, the desperate female (not making this up) who will mate with anybody, the average female who will only mate if your level is veteran, and the best female who will only mate with you if your a boss. It's great to include the mating aspect, but it becomes frustrating sometimes when the desperate female starts following you and you can't rid of her, unless you manage to get into a fight with a pack of animals and they kill her off, otherwise you will just have to mate with her. Regardless of this annoying flaw it is nice to bring your offspring's along and teach them how to hunt, and have them gain levels and attributes. In order to mate you'll have conquer territory by leaving a mark on certain places that are indicated in the game.  For the most part the places are easy to conquer and it would've been nice to be able to defend the territory but you can't.

"Survival" mode is challenging and fun to play but there are some flaws with it. One of the most annoying things in the game is having a entire area with no animals at all. You can level your animal up to a high level and because there is no food or water in the area that you're in, your animal will die of starvation, forcing you  to start all over. There really is no save feature unless that one time your mating. It would be nice to turn the game off and come back to where you left off but you can't. Another flaw in the game is the random appearances of certain strong animals. Dinosaurs can appear in the area and it will be almost impossible to kill them if you're a house cat or a smaller animal. It can get frustrating building your animal up and just seen them killed because you step into the wrong area, however that brings the nature of realism of the animal world.

Overall the gameplay is solid. It has a interesting concept that will keep you engaged for hours. The additions of completing challenges and collecting clothes for your animals will help you survive and level up. The multiplayer is offline only, which is a tad disappointing. I believe that an online mode would do wonders for this game and add more replay value to it.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The graphics is pretty good not great, but for a PSN game it's good. Japan Studio did a good job of giving us a Tokyo that has been destroyed. Some parts feel a little out of place when it comes to the tall grass placement, but for the most part the environments, designs and framerate hold up very well.

Sound - The music is very lighthearted and contains mostly easy to listen tracks, expect for when you're in actual combat. The sounds of all the animals are one point. The pig sounds like a pig, the dog sounds like a dog.

Replay Value - Tokyo Jungle has over 50 animals to play with, each with their own attributes, styles to survive and family to raise. With the addition of challenges and trophy requires like trying to survive for 60 years, the game offers up enough challenge to keep you playing.

Final Grade B+/8.5 - Tokyo Jungle is very original and a breath of fresh air. It offers a different type of world which requires strategy. The concept is great, the gameplay is solid and it has enough replay value to keep going. Check it out.