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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Game Play: Family Guy

I was originally dismissive of Family Guy as a licensed title which seemed like it was trying to cram too much into one package since all the press seemed to suggest just that.

In execution, it's far better than it sounds. Not great, but fun for a while. The "combination" of platforming, stealth and fighting comes from the division of Stewie's, Brian's, and Peter's levels respectively (or for those unfamiliar with the show - the genius baby, the talking dog and the moron dad). By "fighting", I mean Double Dragon style combat ... not Mortal Kombat style combat. Of these, Stewie's feels the most complete as it's not just a straight up jumping game - but actually manages to have a decent Robotron style action feel to it as well. The controls have something to be desired - Stewie can't switch weapons must have to hold fire to alternate through too many options for such a mechanic.

However, Stewie is the one that escapes the basic flaw of either Brian's sneaking or Peter's brawling ... repetition. This is especially true of Peter's since his only variations seem to be new combat moves which get increasingly less useful. Brian's levels add in new tricks and traps - but largely uses a watered down version of Metal Gear Solid style design.

A saving grace is easily the production value itself - the writing and voice acting is very true to the show. The cel shaded models portray the Family Guy world extremely well. It's not Simpson's Hit and Run ... but it's an admirable second place.

For a true Family Guy fan, this would make a great gift. Otherwise, it's probably at least a sure bet for a rental.

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