Crayon Shin-Chan

All hail the return of the bonkers buttock-baring brat. No really, all hail...

Japan Import: Having played the truly dire Crayon Shin-Chan on Wii, it was with a heavy heart that we faced the tumour-faced sprog once more, his hands on his belt preparing to waggle his arse in our face again. But waggle he may; with this superior DS outing he's earned the right.

Clambering through storybook levels, Shin dons costumes imbuing him with farcical powers. Eggplant Shin sheepishly dangles from vines by his leafy tendrils, slug Shin slurps up cliffs and kangaroo Shin powers up a mighty path-clearing uppercut.

Nabbing moves from PS2 Okami's box of ink-splattered tricks, players can also open a metaphysical box of crayons and scribble on certain items to solve puzzles. Changing traffic lights, rebuilding bouncy spider webs, sealing the hull of a sinking boat - no cerebral poundings by any length, but innovative nonetheless.

The verve with which it captures the pacing and unfolding of a cartoon episode is pretty remarkable. One second you're frying crabs with the electro-shock fish costume, then you're helping the tortoise outrun the hare by booting his be-shelled behind along the racetrack before liberating a cherub trapped inside a bamboo cane. Barmy brilliance. In fact, the only disappointment is not being unable to understand a single word. Please translate.

The verdict

We were worried about this one, but it's been a big surprise. It's not going to change the face of platforming as we know it, but this is a lot of fun.

Nintendo DS
Mini Games