Xbox 360 Review: Night at the Museum 2

More like Nightmare at the Museum…

Museum guard-turned entrepreneur Larry Daley discovers that his favourite exhibits, and some of his best friends, from New York’s Natural History Museum are being shipped off to the archives at the Smithsonian. Larry gets a distress call from the miniature cowboy, Jedediah, reporting that Egyptian ruler Kahmunrah and a trio of heinous henchmen – namely Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Al Capone – are plotting to take over the museum, then the world. Speeding to the nation’s capitol, Larry is clearly in over his head. But with some impressive new pals, including the irrepressible Amelia Earhart, along with familiar friends Teddy Roosevelt and Octavius, Larry will stop at nothing to restore the Smithsonian before dawn.
Night at the Museum 2 is your typical movie tie-in game. It’s short, it offers nothing spectacular and is average at best. It’s not a terrible game by any means, it just lacks anything special. The game lets you play as Larry Daley, but gives you some control over some characters during the course of the game. There are plenty of collectables to be found, which unlocks the game’s achievements. If you make an effort to get them all, you can probably earn all 1000 points in a matter of hours, as the game is incredibly short.
The game has some good areas, although it does feel a bit “by the numbers” and incredibly manufactured. It lacks any charm besides the bits of dialogue with Ben Stiller, the only apparent cast member to reprise his role in-game. I wonder why the other actors didn’t do the same? On the plus side, the game has plenty of trivia questions, in game audio tours and factoids. For the younger gamer, Night at the Museum 2 seems to do enough to please…it’s just a shame that in 2009, standards still aren’t higher for these types of games.

As soon as I popped the game in, it’s pretty clear that it was a Wii game first and it’s been upgraded to HD. Besides that, the visuals aren’t impressive in any way. Load times are fairly short, making the game even shorter…but that’s a positive. It does seem to run the course and when it ends, you’ll think it’s enough…for all the wrong reasons.

The Verdict

Night at the Museum 2 is a very average game, but what did you expect from a game based on a film? Well, maybe it’s time standards were raised…but it won’t be happening with this one. A ok game for the younger gamers, but sadly doesn’t last enough to keep them playing.