Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? (Nintendo DS) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 16.12.2006

Review for Scooby-Doo! Who

In the dog eat dog world of children's animated television Scooby Doo has always managed to do quite well. He's been around for longer than we care to remember and has solved hundreds of mysteries revolving around people pretending to be supernatural. Yet somehow he (nor his pal Shaggy) ever seems to wise up to the fact and manage to scare themselves (nearly) to death each episode. Aside from his career as a TV star Scooby and the gang have starred in numerous video games over the years, for today's review we will be looking at the latest installment... Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who?

You wouldn't be blamed for having missed most if not all of the previous Scooby Doo titles as they have never really managed to break the average mark on any system. This has largely been due to the fact that Scooby has always been stuffed into games with un-suited (and usually flawed) gameplay types. Anyone that has ever seen the show will know that episodes consist of Mystery Gang arriving at a new destination after hearing rumor of ghostly goings on.

After this the show throws out a series of suspicious characters, and a string of seemingly paranormal events for the gang to decipher using clues they have found. All the while Scooby and Shaggy will be running riot whilst the other characters look for clues. Hardly a good start for a platformer; or indeed any video game genre other than perhaps Phoenix Wright for example.

Screenshot for Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? on Nintendo DS

The premise of this game is simple, but well suited in order to be relevant to the TV show. The Mystery Gang are guest stars on a reality TV show where a regular cast of ghost hunters (including a robotic cat to challenge the might of Scooby!) go about their own ghost-hunting adventures. Although unhappy with the new found competition the group never actually get around to doing anything about it and just stand around each level spouting fairly useless information. The game is set out into five different levels, or episodes of the TV show, allowing for a faithful recreation of the actual TV show. You take control of Scooby and as you begin each level you are presented with your own group members, residents of whatever spooky building you are visiting and the rival group.

If you want some background on each of the characters you can walk around talking to them to get the gist of the mystery at hand. Each of the residential characters will act equally suspiciously but as is always the way with Scooby Doo, you will never actually be surprised by the final revelation.

Screenshot for Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? on Nintendo DS

And so, regardless of how talented you are at other video games you will still find making successful jumps an unnecessarily aggravating futile experience. As if to balance this out the rest of the game is exceedingly easy, in fact it's so easy that unfortunately it just isn't fun for the most part. Scooby has too 'attacks'; spin attack and dash attack at his disposal, both are pretty self explanatory really, and both are also very handy for dispatching enemies even if you're not actually in contact with them!

Yes, the 2D/3D issue returns again for collision detection, or should we say object 'non-collision-detection'! (Is there supposed to be a pun there?

Screenshot for Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? on Nintendo DS

The final redeeming feature of the game is the inclusion of brief racing levels. For these you take control of the Mystery Machine itself as you guide it around fairly barren landscapes avoiding fallen trees and looking for yet more clues. Controls are accessed via the D-Pad or the touch screen, but generally the D-Pad feels more accurate. Except for the extreme simplicity and brevity of these sections there isn't much to fault; they are fun and not nearly as irksome as other sections. If only the game had more sections like these we might have felt more wiling to give a higher score. Alas this was not the case and as those of you that braved the previous paragraphs of the review will know; the larger components of the game are unfortunately the more flawed.

Audibly and visually the game is pretty average all round. Whilst the 3D environments look quite nice, the inclusion of 2D character sprites totally soils the experience. The racing sections are a better example of the 3D graphics working well even if they do only last for a short time. In the sound department things look (or sound) slightly better but overall even this element is flawed. Tunes are largely forgettable but are at least well suited and for the most part sound effects are great. Classic snippets from Scooby and Shaggy really give the game characters but others sound completely out of place. For example some of Scooby's reactionary noises to being hurt sound absolutely nothing like the character and really stand out from the crowd in an entirely negative way.

Screenshot for Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


For a game that looked like it was going to finally give the much loved TV show its just desserts this feels very disappointing to come away from. The platforming sections that take up the bulk of the game are massively flawed and un-enjoyable whilst the few enjoyable sections are included so sparsely set out that they're hardly worth playing the rest for. A shame.






3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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