After last year's photo-fiddling app Faceez, Neko Entertainment has returned with a sequel of sorts, with a new twist. The question is, is this series worth revisiting?
You wouldn't expect this to be anything but a short, fun experience for 200 Points, and thankfully it turns out to be just that, making great use of the DSi camera in the process. The simple premise is as follows: after taking a photo of your face, it will take the form of a jiggling, multi-limbed avatar, at which point your mug can be customised in any number of ways.
Taking the initial snapshot is an easy process. You're guided through it in order to create the best-looking final product possible (before you stick all the Monster stuff on, anyway), and after this, you can get straight into playing about with your photo.
Mix Mode will allow you to swap parts around with other photos, if you want a more realistic mess of facial features. This allows for endless possibilities, and should you get bored of the various "disguises" available, taking photos of other things, human or otherwise, and mixing them with your photos will provide a laugh. The key part of the game, however, lies in its disguise and animate functions.
Disguise will allow you to place various cartoon features on your new avatar. These are all derived from the horror theme, so ghosts, mummies and Frankenstein monsters are the order of the day. As the selection is somewhat small, the lifespan lies in the number of combinations and looks available. This is buoyed by the animate feature, which allows you to contort your creepy character's face along with a list of options for animating the body.
The facial expressions are excellent, and most will find this part of the game hilarious. Seeing your face wander around like a horrific zombie egg is a good laugh, and there are a few dances and moves for your Faceez to pull once this is completed. After this, your completed Faceez can be put into a screenshot together and moved around and resized to your preferences. The background can also be changed; you have a number of horror-themed backgrounds available, but they can be swapped for another photo if necessary. The resulting image will go to your DSi album, offering you the chance to upload your creations onto Facebook and others. Good enough, but your friends will probably wonder where your body's gone since you last uploaded a photograph.
After this, what will keep you coming back is simply the silly fun. Faceez was one to be marked "better with friends," and Monsters! is no different. This is a brilliant little app to exchange silly photos with your pals, made easier by how simple it is to upload them to the internet. It would, of course, have been better had Faceez acquired this feature in-game for the sequel, but it's a minor inconvenience; you'll still have to do this from the regular DSi Camera application. If you are friendless, or are playing Faceez: Monsters! by yourself for a quick laugh, it's still fun but on a limited scale.
With the DSi rapidly coming to the end of its lifespan, DSiWare may be looking a little ragged. It's fun apps like this, then, that prop the handheld up. While it may appear a little limited, and the music may get a little grating, this is purely one to be experienced with others. One obvious issue that arises is that there is little improvement over the original. The game is the same – however, if you haven't played Faceez before, or want some more themes for your crazy creations, then this is worth a shot at 200 Points.
Faceez: Monsters! is a fun little app that's definitely best with others. This is the sort of program that you may keep coming back to, rather than play through once and leave – and 200 Points for that is a good bet. However, if you already have the original, it may still be worth it for the additional animations and disguises on offer. If you don't, it's a matter of preference. View this as a party game and you can ignore its limitedness and have a good laugh.