Yet overall, it's kind of like Emily's Reasons Why Not, ho-hum and so-so. At least, that show has a star, Heather Graham. There are no pros in True Swing Golf, no big names like Tiger or Vijay. There's no create-a-golfer, either. You choose from eight male and female characters with the option to make their personalities 'cool' or 'wild' (of which I'm neither). In other words, the golfers are a bit like those in the well-known Hot Shots Golf from Sony, cute in an anime-inspired way. There's wi-fi play, but I have to wonder how many people want to play video game golf head to head.

Nicktoons Unite!
Publisher: Thq
Developer: Thq

No monkeying around in Ape Escape 3
image: Courtesy of Sony
No monkeying around in Ape Escape 3


Ape Escape 3
Publisher: Sony
Developer: Sony
For: PS2

Ape Escape Academy
Publisher: Sony
Developer: Sony
For: PSP

NICKTOONS UNITE! gets many of the Nickelodeon characters together for a sci-fi battle of good versus evil (ho-hum and so-so) with the nastiest criminals in the Nicktoons universe. It's a variation on the popular console version of the game starring SpongeBob, Jimmy Neutron, and Danny Phantom as forces for good. Professor Calamitus and Vlad Plasmius sneer and pout as the baddies. SpongeBob can use his pants as a parachute and blow bubbles so he can fly through the air.

But one of the things that bothers me here is that you don't hear the strange, humorous albeit sometimes grating voices of the characters. Instead, you have to read their comments as text. I'm certainly not against reading even if it's The Devil Wears Prada, but the sounds of the characters' voices are so familiar and funny, they would have added some joy to the game. Still, I have to like some of the minor baddies here, like the Half-Finished Robots (which you can get by if you watch the patterns they make and move accordingly). Then there are the semi-cute Anti-Fairies who float toward you kind of sweetly (like some of the people you meet at Fat Baby). But if they get you, they place you at the beginning of a level. So watch out.

There should be something really unique about these games beyond using a stylus to hit a ball or a cartoon character saving the world from evil. I mean, evil is so old, so 2001-Bush-speaking-about-the-evildoers, don't you think? How about next time, they're good and evil at the same time . . . with a real golf club?

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