The Legend of Jack Sparrow 

You will need to supply the eye patch, parrot and bottle of rum (a peg-leg is optional) as you live the life of a pirate.

It should come as no surprise that Pirates are a current popular topic in various branches of the entertainment industry.  I am not referring to those individuals who rip off other people's work and sell it on to others.  No, these Pirates are the buccaneers of old who sailed the seven seas as they preyed on any rich pickings that came their way.  Following the massive success of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean", with the charismatic Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) and his fellow stars Keira Knightly (Elizabeth Swann) and Orlando Bloom (will Turner), at the box office and in the eyes of many critics, we now have the pixelated version taking over our PS2 and Windows' screens.


Developed by Ubisoft, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Legend of Jack Sparrow" does not fall into the trap of attempting to fit the game into the straight-jacket of a film script.  Instead it opts to concentrate on Jack Sparrow and the development of his iconic status within the Caribbean area.  Elizabeth and Will have important roles to play in the game but this is essentially Jack's story.


I must admit that I had trouble initially getting this game to run.  The graphics element of two desktop machines proved to be inadequate to the task.  Fortunately my trusty Acer TravelMate 4650 laptop came to the rescue as a massive amount of hard disk space (4GB) was taken up by the installation.  Legend of Jack Sparrow allows you to play either as a single person or in co-op mode when two players can work together in tackling the various challenges of the game.


Following an introductory sequence involving a certain amount of banter and combat of the cut and slash variety, Jack and Will are betrayed and captured by the authorities.  Facing the prospect of execution, Jack does what he does best and starts telling stories of his own heroism.  This is the ideal opening for the various episodes that make up this game as Jack, in the company of either Elizabeth or Will, gets involved in a range of adventures and blood-letting as romanticism is cast aside. 


Switching between the two active characters is easy and often vital as the necessary skills of the individuals are brought to bear in order to complete some of the tasks.  Just remember that appearances can be deceptive and Elizabeth does have at least one unusual skill - but I will leave you to discover what it is.  Another important fact to remember is that death is not always permanent. 


Tackling the various adventures is certainly enhanced if a game pad is available as I found keyboard control to be rather cumbersome to say the least. Ubisoft has been pushing the fact that this game features the voice of Johnny Depp but this was a disappointing aspect of the game.  Often the dialogue was clipped with words disappearing completely while the software's attempts at lip-synching were decidedly laughable.  There were also occasions when characters appeared to be triple-jointed especially when handling weapons.


If you can put up with these problems then The Legend of Jack Sparrow is a fun romp that should help to fill a few hours and will probably raise a laugh or two along the way.  Personally I prefer to wait to see Depp, Knightly and Bloom strutting their stuff on the big screen.

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