PAL region PS2 cover art
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
Scaler, also known as Scaler: The Shapeshifting Chameleon, is a video game released in 2004 by Take-Two Interactive and Global Star Software for the GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 video game consoles. Scaler follows the story of a lizard-loving 12-year-old boy named Bobby "Scaler" Jenkins who accidentately stumbles across an evil plot to dominate the world through use of mutated lizards.
The game begins with Bobby "Scaler" Jenkins constrained on a chain, tortured with a bolt of energy. The torturer is 'Bootcamp', a drill sergeant who makes TV appearances but the true leader is someone on the other side of a glass mirror. Bootcamp loses his temper due to Bobby cheekiness and push the machine to a level to high, opening a portal to resuck the dossier about Bobby, and begin to transform the latter. It also make the glass mirror disappear temporary, revealing four hideous humanoid lizards behind it. Bobby recognizes the monsters as 'Jazz', a female film director, 'Rhombus', a financial tycoon, 'Turbine', a construction worker (not much later is revealed but that these three had pestered their activities in the past by Bobby with his justified saving lizards campaigns, and due of this meddling he became the object of their utmost hate and suspect.) and his neighbor 'Looger, who's the leader of the group. They are torturing Bobby because they suspect that he is in fact aware of their master plan.Due to his stupidity, Bootcamp himself partly reveal much for the discouragement of Looger: drag the lizards into their dimension and transform them in super soldiers. Bobby makes Bootcamp lose his temper again, and this time he pushes the mechanism on its maximus ultimately transforming Bobby into a shape-shifting alter-ego, a vivid blue and yellow mutant chameleonic, electrostatic lizard with razor sharp claws, a long tongue, and the ability to shift into several other kinds of lizards, and creating another portal, this time more stable. With the portal being his only escape route, Bobby 'Scaler' Jenkins escapes from Looger through it, but his abductors immediately chase after him.
Projected in a strange world, Scaler initially thinks that he is simply dreaming. As he explores what he believes is only an ugly dream produced by over-eating, Scaler met a reptilian men named 'Leon', who found the dossier of Bobby and had become interested of him. Very disappointed to being discarded as a simple dream by the boy, Leon moves away, but not much later they meet again when Scaler stumbled across Leon's pet, a massive six-eyed, laser shooting, unexpectedly docile, and the ability of grant physical enhancements by disgorging a smelly gas if fed with Klookies, manta-like flying reptile, the 'Repadactyl' (or 'Reppy' as he calls her). Finally convinced that everything around him isn't a dream Bobby accepted the challenge from Leon to save a lizard egg, which turns out that although different in appearance it is a lizard egg from Earth. Leon claims that he wants only to bring it back home. Not trusting him, Scaler decides to tag along. So an uneasy alliance is forged between the two.
As they travel into this strange world of isolated and variegated islands filled with vicious (both humanoid and not) reptiles with the mysterious Leon, aboard of Reppy, Scaler discovers more of Looger plan: Looger controls the network of unstable portals that are the only connections between the different dimensions in the multiverse through the use of a mysterious device. Any being in control of these portals would have the ability to move freely between the different worlds, and even capture them. And it is exactly what Looger plan to do, by mutating and then clone en masse lizards in horrible mutants, in order to invade and conquer every plane of the multiverse. Is clear that Scaler must help Leon to rescue all the eggs and stop Looger or all of the universes will go into darkness.
Meanwhile, due to the time spent with Bobby, the long lost memories of Leon slowly began resurfacing and Scaler discovers that Leon is in fact his father. Years before he was a scientist and while performing an experiment with his invention, the portal compass, he was dragged accidentally by his device into Looger's dimension through a portal, and immediately imprisoned by Looger for years. The tortures inflicted on him by Looger in attempt to make him reveal more about his technology left Leon amnesiac, stripping him from most of his memories. Only recently he was able to escapes on the lonely island, where he had meet his son. So Leon never, as Bobby thought, abandoned him and his mother. Leon is overjoyed to not only finally remember who he is, but also seeing again his son, who has become a great hero, but Scaler struggles a little to accept the truth and accept a father who for so long time he have thought being "a loser freak" who forced his mother to take two jobs to scrape by. In the end however he forgives his father, as after all it wasn't his fault at all.
After defeating Jazz, Rhombus,Turbine, Bootcamp (who in truth is a giant fire-breathing sea serpent) and a few of the mutant monsters and rescued the 20 remaining lizard eggs, Scaler and Leon arrive to Looger's stronghold. After defeated him and reclaimed the portal compass they rushed to a last portal meant to bring them home but Leon, having returned behind to save an egg fallen from an hole in Scaler's sack, remains on the other side of the portal while Bobby cross it. Bobby is back in Looger basement, but his father didn't make in time, the portal close, leaving Bobby screaming in horror for having lost another time his father.
But, by unlocking the secret ending, an unexpected event takes place: as Leon said before altering the multiverse by any means can produce unpredictable effects, even the merging of different version of the history. So when Bobby scream in horror when his long lost father didn't reach the portal in time, he incredibly open the door behind him, in a human form, alarmed by his screaming. By defeating Looger, Bobby have in fact altered the time, and Leon never have been captured by the evil reptile so he never left his family, and now they are living as family in that same house in place of Looger. Bobby is overjoyed but soon discovered that he still have the chameleon tongue, and the reflex to eat flies, much to his own disgust. Lastly Leon return in the basement again not much later, revealing by speaking by himself and the player (voluntarily breaking the fourth wall), that he in fact maintained the memories of his journey with Bobby, despite pretending just before to not remember anything, and that he have kept the portal compass, expressing his nostalgia of Reppy and hoping that in future there will be more adventures.
The main attraction of Scaler is the ability to transform into five different types of mutant lizards, each one giving some sort of advantage depending on the environment(they are the Bakudan, a bomb-creating reptile, the Krock, a spiked rolling reptile, the Doozum, a large flying lizard, the Fruzard, a reptile with the ability to shoot several organic bullets, and the Swoom, a penguin-like lizard adapted to swim). As the character journeys to different areas of the world, he will occasionally be given a challenge to defeat a number of special foes, thus giving the ability to transform into them and use their unique abilities to his advantage. Only selected areas in which he journeys allows him to transform, and only one of this five forms. By feeding Reppy of the orange bubbles know as Klokkies, Reppy secrete a gaseous oozes that give Scaler some useful upgrades.
After its release in 2004, Scaler received mostly positive reviews. While receiving praise for its high production values and gameplay, some reviewers criticized it for having an unexciting plot and formulaic design. It currently bears a composite critic score of 70 out of 100 on Metacritic.
- "Scaler on Metacritic". Retrieved May 26, 2008.