Under The Skin (PS2) :
When a child turns 3 years old on Planet Mischief, they must travel to another planet and hone their skills in the art of mischief making. If successful in inducing mass panic on that planet, they will be awarded with praise and be ready for their lives as adults. However, the star of this game, Cosmi, will have his work cut out as he is being sent to Earth...a planet that no other alien has ever managed to conquer! If he manages to make mischief here, he'll become a hero!
On his way to Earth however, Cosmi crashes into a TV station satellite, and ditches his craft near Coco Town! Thankfully, Earth's Mischief Master, Master Itazura, finds him before the earthlings and whisks him off to the Dojo to train for survival...
After learning a few of the tricks of the game in the Dojo tutorial, you're unleashed upon Coco Town as Cosmi, where you'll be competing with another alien to collect the most coins. Or sometimes you'll work together to collect as much money as possible! All this is done by playing pranks on the inhabitants of whatever level you happen to be on. First however, you'll need to use your hoover gun to capture a human that you can disguise yourself as!
After nabbing your human, head to one of the flying saucers dotted around the level, and you'll be able to disguise yourself as that person. Once disguised, you can use that humans items to prank your victims. There's loads of items to use, such as bowling balls to knock people over, microphones that you'll use to sing Karaoke and assault peoples eardrums and cannons to fire yourself from and splat people with!
Be careful though as one hit from an enemy will see you running about in your undies and arousing suspicion from the townsfolk, and another will make you lose the disguise and a load of coins and have you rushing back to the nearest UFO! Just remember to have sucked up another human too, or you won't be able to change into someone else!
Whoever has the most coins at the end of the timed level wins, and progresses to the next area. There are 8 areas in total, and each has a different theme. Frontiersville is a wild-west themed town for instance, whereas High Stakes Hills has a Casino theme. As a nice surprise there's also a level based around Raccoon City from Resident Evil, where you have to steal coins from RE3's Nemesis and you can disguise yourself as Jill Valentine!
At a certain point in the levels, Panic Time happens, where things get even more crazy for a while...like rush hour in Coco Town or Death being unleashed to claim souls in Pranksylvania! You'll need to work extra hard during these periods to hang on to your coins, as the panic is hard to avoid!
There's a versus mode so that you can compete split-screen with a friend and a co-op mode that can be unlocked so you can both attack a level together, so it's worth finding someone to play along with! Some of the levels can be a bit tricky, and the camera is one of the games biggest flaws, as often your view will get totally obscured by the masses of people you've just pissed off by flattening them with a giant cheeseburger....
But these are minor niggles and it's all massive fun, and has that insane feel that only the Japanese developers can seem to get right! Released in October 2004, the game has just turned 12, and it's a shame that it's never quite had the following it deserves....so it's the perfect time to seek it out and give it some love!