Review by SSJ6Gohan
Not the best, but surprisingly a very amusing journey.
I must admit I was skeptical about cartoon games after having tried "Taz Wanted," so when my mother gave this game to me as a birthday present, I was not holding high expectations. However, as the game unfolded I was pleasantly surprised. I found that this underrated game pulled it off quite well, but unfortunately with no big bang at the finish line, or any extras to give the game any life after the fact.
Gameplay - What do you do?
The ultimate goal in this game is to locate the 45 Edgar award statues that have been scattered across the Warner Brothers film lot, after a failed attempt by C.C. Deville to steal them all. The search for them stretches across 5 movie studios (ranging from the jungles and caves of "King O'Sullivan's Mines" to the Egyptian and Roman mesh of "The Epic") as well as the central lot, which serves as a hub to the other worlds. The movie studios each come with a slew of unique scenarios (such as filling Cleopatra's bath with donkey's milk, or fighting a boss) as well as some common tasks: find 300 collectibles, locate chicken boo, and pick up a missing script page. Each task awards you an Edgar statue, which brings you one step closer to the final boss battle that ends the game. Some tasks are rather simple minded, but others can become quite interesting, requiring the player to think intelligently or pay a good dose of observation to arrive at a solution. This leads me to say that gameplay is the best factor of the game, which is a good thing indeed.
Length - How long does the main game last?
The length depends on the determination of the player. The bare minimum amount of Edgar statues needed to beat the game is 36 - this unlocks the final battle against Cyril Coupe Deville, which leads to the end, after which the player cannot save. This would take a modest amount of time. However, the length increases greatly on the search for all 45 statues, which would then include all those collectibles to be found - it is not as bad as it sounds once you realize that the collectibles counter only appears when collectibles are in the current section; a sort of radar. It is actually fun if you are into the adventure side of games.
Control - How do you do it?
At first I thought: Oh great, this is one of THOSE games, where everything in the control scheme depends on the camera instead of the other way around, and at the worst times you get smacked with a camera icon with a giant red X on it telling you that the camera cannot be moved. Fortunately it did not turn out to be too much of a problem. Even if you die, you do not lose too much time in most cases. There are quite a bit of moves to learn, and some might appear frivolous, but they all have their uses. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot all control similarly except their "special moves" that are among the abilities you unlock. Yakko throws bombs, Wakko, digs, and Dot does the limbo to get in tight spaces. Other abilities acquired with certain items include swimming underwater, searching in dark caves, and scaling especially marked walls. The triple jump is quite addictive and I completely abused it while playing the game.
By the way, in case you get the game: Watch what happens when pressing the attack button while hanging from a ledge! I really appreciate when small hidden touches like this are added.
Graphics - How does it look?
There are both great and not so great things to behold in this category. The Warner brothers and sister look good, especially Yakko, and their animations are humorously fluid (such as the pull-up animation). Most of the baddies look good too, but just about every other character looks rather blocky (the pinky and the brain for example). The environments look beautifully (and actually are) vast (something I missed from the classic Tomb Raiders) but are joined with some ugly flat objects (some of the trees in the jungle areas for instance). Overall it is a good effort, but not quite there.
Audio - How does it sound?
The sound effects are rather goofy, which suits the game well. A great factor is the use of original voices, both for main characters and some secondary ones. The music is pretty good, but the altered version of the Animaniacs theme bugs me somewhat...why did they have to change up the melody anyway? Nothing else irritating about the audio except maybe the times when the voice clips are too soft to hear.
Drive - What story or purpose drives you to finish the game?
Not much to say here. There are no extras to unlock, and there is no reward at all for finishing the game 100%. All the drive lies in the adventure itself, which in this case is alright but not nearly satisfying, nor is the brief ending. Actually, the consistent humor throughout the game might also encourage you to get to the end.
Life - How much will you want to replay it?
Unfortunately there is no multiplayer mode here. There are no side games, and the adventure is long enough that it seems such a chore to try for it a second time around. This is a one-shot kind of game.
Title - Does the game fulfill expectations set by the title or series?
It is simple in this case, you expect to see the Warner Brothers (and sister) to search for Edgars on a lengthy quest, and it does not follow up a previous game in a series, so yes, all reasonable expectations are filled.
I expected this kind of total. It is a good game, but not without its problems, and once you finish you will probably leave it on a shelf to collect dust. I recommend this game as long as you enjoy adventuring, and do not spend too much money on it.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Animaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt (US, 09/18/05)
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