I think I can safely say without exaggeration that Crystal Cove Online is truly the best Scooby-Doo game ever made so far. Not to offend anyone, but if you think about it, a lot of the other Scooby games are quite simple as they are meant to be easy enough for children to play. However, this game really goes above and beyond to make it interesting for both the young and adult player. How you ask? Even having to abide by the rules of the episode (as the game was meant to mirror each episode that aired that week), the game creators still did a great job making the game their own - a fun, challenging companion to Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
In my opinion, though the entire game was fun, some of the side-villains were ingenious creations.
I still don't know what this thing is (I've always just called them "Boxing Zombies" lol), but whatever it is has a really awesome design. For those who don't remember or haven't played the game, these were the side-villains you had to defeat in the Que Horrifico mystery. Most of the other side-villains were somehow related to the monster (i.e. The Man-Crab had crabs, The Gator People had toy gators, etc.) but this one I thought was truly created. I'll admit, when the game first came out I did wonder why the game creators didn't just use the zombified children. But when you think about it, I'm sure it would be pretty scandalous for Cartoon Network to say "Hey, you want to play our new Scooby game? Yeah, you have to beat up children in it!" Well I'm sure they wouldn't say that, but hopefully you get the point that some parents would probably strongly disapprove of a game where you had to beat up vulnerable kids.
This one is pretty creative too if you think about it. The evil roses went with the Aphrodite mystery (which I suppose makes sense with the Valentine's Day theme), but you've got to wonder what was going on in the writers' minds when they thought up a mutated, walking rose that wants to kill you. The concept is just both interesting and amusing to me. But that aside, the design (particularly the mangled feet) is quite intriguing.
I apologize for that picture being kind of blurry, but it was the best screenshot I could get as the shrunken head was trying to kill me lol! This side-villain I find both interesting and creepy. If you think about it, a decapitated head trying to whip you to death with its chain is pretty unsettling! I also was surprised the Cartoon Network censor let that one through. It's just such a creepy design (even creepier than in the episode!) and beating up a shrunken head just doesn't sound like something you'd put in a kids game.
I suppose I'll talk about these two together as they were put together in the game. These side-villains (and yes, the chair is a side-villain that attempts to bonk you over the head until you're knocked out lol), particularly the bear rug, I always found really cool. The one thing I do wish though is that the bear rug would actually make a bear noise in the game, instead of just being silent! Either way, the chair trying to bonk you over the head will always be both memorable and humorous to me.
This punky monkey will always be my favorite side-villain ever in this game. This is another one of those "how did the writers come up with this?" type villains. Though I profess that I'm not a super creative person when it comes to coming up with designs, I do wonder how someone thought of putting spikey hair on a monkey and having it slap you to death with its drumsticks. It's just such an abstract concept! The one complaint I do have about this particular mystery is that only Thorn appeared, and Luna and Dusk were absent from the game. However, what one fellow Scooby fan called "The Evil Robot Drummer Monkey of Doom!" [if said person is reading this, you know who you are! :) ] makes up for Dusk and Luna's absence!
This side-villain was less amusing or abstract, but just plain creepy! If you don't recognize the design, this is the shadow of the Freak, which the main boss villain (The Freak of Crystal Cove himself) is able to summon at will. What makes this mystery particularly tough to complete is that you have to defeat the Freak twice rather than one time (well actually, you have to defeat him three times if you count the Bonus Mystery!) and the Freak can summon shadows to fight you, so essentially you have to beat both him and whatever shadows he summons. He also can summon shadows of you to turn against you, which is super cool! The one amusing part about the Freak mystery is that during the second boss fight, The Freak does this odd jumping thing that looks almost like a leap of joy! lol
I suppose that's it for the side-villains, other than the Fish Freaks which, instead of looking creepy as they did in the episode, they actually look kind of cute! (don't ask me why, they just do!)
The game was removed unfortunately from the Cartoon Network website, however I did find another website (that's completely safe) that you can play it on! You can play the game here. I should warn you though that there are a few glitches from when they were on the CN site, some of them which severely affect gameplay. Firstly, the biggest glitch is that during the Man Crab boss fight, occasionally a second Man-Crab will appear making the challenge nearly impossible. Unfortunately (though I somehow was able to defeat both of them once), generally the best thing for you to do is to just let them both pinch you to death and retry the boss fight. Secondly, in the "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" mystery, when you enter the school gym, sometimes no one will be there despite the fact the game tells you that you are suppose to talk to the gang in the gym. I was able to fix this glitch by continuously going into the gym door at different angles. Lastly, sometimes during the Freak boss fight, the Freak will appear after he has dimmed the lights. If he appears, you be completely unable to touch him and he becomes immortal. Though I wish I knew a way to fix this, if this happens you're essentially screwed because there's no way you can defeat him, yet he is able to defeat you. Although there are those three glitches, the game is generally very reliable and I don't know of any other major glitches that affect gameplay besides those three.
In light of finding the game again, I've been working on a Crystal Cove Online page which is now completed and gives in-depth info on the game. I'm admittedly quite excited about completing this page for two reasons. Firstly, because of course because I love the way it turned out and I think it gives some really good info about the game. However, secondly I'm excited about doing this because this marks the end of my site update list, which I've had since the site first went live. This doesn't mean that I'm completely done with working on the site in anyway, in fact someday I plan to add lots more to the site as new content in the franchise comes out and I think of more cool things I'd like to have on here. But, for now, I feel the site is up-to-date and how I want it to be, which is a really cool feeling.
I do realize that it is impossible to have every single thing Scooby-related on the site, because quite frankly it would take a lifetime to document everything Scooby that's ever made. Since I've reached the end of the things I want to add to the site, I'd like to open the invitation (well, actually the invitation's always open, I just wanted to verbalize it again) for suggestions. If you feel there's something that is not on the site that you feel should be on the site, I'm definitely open to suggestions, so just let me know in the comments or shoot me an email and I'll be happy to discuss!