Wallace&Gromit’s Grand Adventures - Season 1 Review (PC)
Posted by Jim Cook, Aug 14, 2009 23:28
Package Deal: You save a few dollars if you buy this as the $34.99 (USD) package deal rather than buying each episode seperately (only a few dollars, but savings is savings). Because of this, Wallace & Gromit’s first four episodic games are reviewed as a bundle.
When I was assigned to review the first episode of this series a few months ago, I had no idea who Wallace and Gromit were, probably because I’m an uncultured American barbarian. But when I discovered these were a set of Telltale-published episodic adventures based on the claymation series, I was eager to give it a try. These short episodic games feature the same sort of play and pacing of Telltale’s other releases like Sam & Max and Strong Bad, and they are competent games but do hit a few snags.
The basic premise of each episode has you alternating between playing as Wallace the kindly but bumbling inventor, and his canine companion Gromit, who plays the ’straight man’ to Wallace’s antics. Like most adventure games, the flow of play basically involves a problem disrupting their daily lives and then you have to talk to people, gather items, and solve various logic puzzles. It’s simple enough, but the game is as always a vessel for the story and comedy. What makes Wallace & Gromit different from other Telltale titles is the brand of comedy used here, as it’s a much softer, ’cleaner’ and family friendly lot. Imagine mixing British comedy (no surprise, given the series’ origins) with Bill Cosby’s performances and you have the basic idea as to what tone the humor here has.
While I’m not very familiar with their non-game roles, it’s obvious some effort went in to accurately presenting the world of Wallace and Gromit. The graphics do a decent job of passing themselves off as claymation, the voice acting is convincingly rural British in style, and the music is light but inspiring. What little I know of the series suggested Telltale has done a great job keeping the tone and feel intact, so they earn points here.
Each episode will last you about two to five hours, depending on how quickly you catch on to the game’s various clues. That’s not too bad since each of the four episodes is about $9 US on its own, or $35 as a package deal (which gives you a dollar or two savings, I suppose). This is a decent amount of play time for your money, and almost on par with most of the other episodic games Telltale has released. It doesn’t hurt that the first three episodes are genuinely competent adventures, too.
That said, I am going to come down hard on Episode 4, "The Bogey Man." While its premise and writing are fine, it looks like it was rushed out the door. There are interface errors all over, such as a remote control may offer options relating to items you used in a previous act and no longer have, and virtually everything has its action as "Use" even when you clearly won’t use it if clicked. This is on top of having a few confusing puzzles, and very bad graphics; for some reason in Episode 4 you can clearly see ’seams’ in the character models, and Wallace is missing animations in a few puzzle solutions. It looks cheap, and while it is playable to the end it was hardly a fitting way to conclude this season.
Episode 4 being a little underwhelming doesn’t break this deal, however. The other three episodes are genuinely good, and the fourth is acceptable if you’re a fan of the series or the adventure genre. This leaves Wallace & Gromit’s first season as a competent adventure package, and it is worth considering.
Rating: 0.0, votes: 0