Family Guy: The Game PS2
I adore Futurama… I love South Park… I like The Simpsons (love the pre-season 8 stuff!) and I love Family Guy. All of these shows hold a fond place in my heart and as such I add them to my DVD collection whenever I can afford to pick up the latest season of each. Sadly, as much as I love all of these shows I have come to the realisation that whenever a game is made from any of them the best result we can hope for is something on the brighter side of crap. So with my expectations already set so low, rather unfortunately Family Guy: The Game comes in on the darker, undigested corn-encrusted end of the spectrum.
Family Guy: The Game offers gamers three main characters to play with: Peter, Brian, and Stewie. The three characters are tied together in a bare-bones plot to give them a reason for appearing in the game. Throughout this plot/random collection of events many in-joke are made that series fans should have a small chuckle at but mostly, just like me, they will be be moaning what a missed opportunity the game is as it is more of a chore to play through. All in all the game is full of bad gameplay decisions and terrible core mechanics that should have being ironed out in the first month of development and they are fighting you every step of the way as you play.
Each character has their own different style of levels to play though but instead of offering a nice collection of games they just boil three different types of genres down to their most basic elements and add some brainless scenarios and objectives. The best of the bad bunch are Stewie’s missions which are platformer-inspired and are fun in short bursts. However it is quickly evident that his sections included many pitfalls that have befallen other average platformers during the years, such as very tedious sections and awkward jumps which lead to many cheap deaths and will make even the most patient of gamers get extremely frustrated. Then it’s all downhill from there…
For Brian’s segments you are forced to play trial-and-error stealth levels… we all know by now that unless a stealth game is done right it can get extremely aggravating; and aggravating is exactly what this section has in spades. It is nigh on impossible to figure out what you have to do first time round so you have to keep experimenting and getting caught (thus letting anANNOYING cut-scene play) to know where to go next. Finally Peter’s levels mirror old school action beat-‘em-up games but they seem to have all the fun taken out of them… as a result the levels are just an exercise in button bashing to get to the next section. The game also includes a few mini-games that pop up every now and then, only a few of them are entertaining enough to warrant playing more than once.
It is undeniable that the best part of FG:TG are the graphics but that is only because the developer is drawing on the great source material we have all watched for the past few years. As you can see by the screenshots, the game uses cel-shading to achieve much the same look as the cartoon and as a result everything looks bright and vibrant and borders on being a treat to the eyes. However things being to fall apart as soon as you begin to move around the environment as the animation is terrible and al the characters on screen move very robot-like which ruins the illusion of taking part in a cartoon. More disappointments comes from the camera having a mind of its own and getting stuck in awkward places behind both the characters and parts of the environments as you advance through the game. Also, even though the game is hardly pushing the PS2 to its limits the game’s framerate gets very choppy as soon as any small bit of action happens on screen. One small plus point is that the voice acting in the game is top-notch thanks to using the original cast who are highly experience at studio recording and as a result they bring a small air of life to all the characters in the game. Sadly even with their great work they can’t dig the game out of the sub-standard quandary it has found itself in.
Whose leg do you have to hump to get a good game around here?