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Going On Holiday

If you aren’t familiar with Wallace and Gromit, then I suggest you consult your local Wikipedia and read up on the bumbling inventor and his loyal hound.  I grew up with original cartoons, the Wrong Trousers being my favorite, so I was excited to get my hands on the 2nd Episode in the game series.  This adventure finds the pair gearing up for holiday (that’s a vacation for you non-British chaps).  As they leave for the beach, the weather decides to play a cruel joke and it becomes too stormy to go out.  Wallace then decides to turn his flooded basement into an indoor beach and invite all his neighbors to come stay.  What takes place is a child-friendly version of a murder mystery and its up to Wallace and Gromit to stumble through the clues to solve the case.

The game is, at its core, a point and click adventure game.  It’s not quite as classic as the first two Monkey Island games, but it can hold its own against the newer generation of adventures (see: Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People).  Like the first game in the series, Fright of the Bumblebees, Last Resort is simple enough for the younger kids and challenging enough for the veterans. The game seems to try and bring in new fans by avoiding too many in-jokes that only seasoned fans of the series would get- leaving only a few references in the background. 

The animation is top notch; it feels more like I’m playing an interactive version of one of the movies.  The voice acting is perfect and the music is ambient enough to not be a bother at all.  What really hurts the game is some programming issues.  Certain scenes are unskippable. In an adventure game, you are constantly picking up items and using them with other items to get results.  When that doesn’t work, I don’t want to have to sit and listen to the same 5 minute conversation over and over again.  Especially when I know that most scenes are skippable.  There is a decent amount of lag, not enough to bog down the game as a whole, but enough to make it annoying.  The control is stiff and awkward. It feels like the game was designed for PC’s, to be played with arrow keys and a mouse.  Targeting is a nightmare; the slightest fidget of the control stick makes you target random objects instead of what you wanted. It gets annoying, but none of this really draws away from the fact that the game is still fun.  And in the end that’s what matters.

Wallace and Gromit’s second adventure is a success in my book. It was a short book though, only taking a few hours to complete…which is ok because it only makes the player want to check out the other episodes.

Not As Good As: Monkey Island Series (Multi)

Also Try: Strong Bad’s Cool Games for Attractive People (Wii)

Wait For It: The next Tim Schafer adventure game


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