There are times when I can't say enough about the deep gameplay and this won't be one of those times. I understand that American Dragon Jake Long
isn't Sherlock Holmes, but is he really about nothing more than beating people up? Even if we're all about the beatings, can't we find some sidebar competition like skating or flying a dragon through rings (sorry, Spyro
...) or anything but the constant punching and kicking? Apparently not.
The game involves fighting through multiple levels and battling a series of baddies and bosses to reach the Huntsman. If it sounds easy, you didn't read the fine print that says you have to max out Jake's abilities before you can battle the Huntsman. As the manual puts it, "you may need to play through twice or more to get to the final battle." The translation for you n00bs out there is that your friendly neighborhood developers introduced an arbitrary roadblock for you so you don't beat the final boss in your first hour or two and start looking for the store receipt. Sure you can upgrade Jake's abilities, but the non-upgraded Jake is perfectly capable of kicking butt from the beginning of the game. Your upgrades buy you more time in the game, and little else.
Fighting through each level would be a complete loss without the ability to transform into dragon form. Some power-ups that actually help make the game more enjoyable are those that help you "dragon up" sooner. The dragon rocks. Your friends also rock and can be pulled in periodically to help fight off the waves of bad guys. The boss battles are not much more than larger versions of all the other battles, so there isn't even a huge challenge to look forward to at the end of each level.