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This sequel continues the monkey-catching gameplay introduced in 1999's Ape Escape on the original PlayStation, the first game to require the Dual Shock Analog Controller. Players once again guide a young redhead named Jake who must travel throughout different time periods to round up as many rambunctious simians as he can. Levels are selected from the safe confines of the Time Station, a base of operations where players can learn more about their intended targets and unlock various bonuses.
Both analog sticks are used to control movement and one of the 11 gadgets, up from eight in the original, ranging from a butterfly net and stun baton to monkey radar and a slingshot. Players use stealth and some strategy to corner the apes, as each creature wears a light-equipped helmet whose color indicates the animal's level of alertness. Startle a monkey by simply running up to it and the helmet will change from blue to red, causing the monkey to attack or to scamper away.
If a monkey hears a noise but cannot see Jake, the helmet will switch to yellow and the simian will investigate. If players avoid contact for a certain amount of time, the light will revert back to blue. Levels range in theme from prehistoric lands to Egyptian, Venetian, and Japanese locales. Also new to the game is a monkey companion to help solve puzzles. The three mini-games let players swing from a series of ropes, participate in a rhythm-based dance contest, and compete in a five-on-five soccer game. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide