Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
N Amer - 06/26/2007
Coming in late July, here is the score so far for movie tie-in games.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End - Average review score 5.8
Shrek the Third - Average review score 5.7
Spiderman 3 - Average review score 6.3
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Average review score 4.7
Transformers - Average review score 5.5
In case you are scoring at home, these scores are not all that great. In fact, many in the reviewing industry almost cringe when we hear about another video game with a movie tie-in. It's practically a given that the game will disappoint. In fact, the only game based on a movie I can remember being any good was the Chronicles OF Riddick - Escape from Butcher Bay and uh, uh, well, that's the only one that comes to mind. And technically, that wasn't even a game based on a movie, but based on characters appearing in another movie.
"Crap! Oh, I mean Crab!"
OK, so in Ratatouille, you play as Remy, a rat with taste, so to speak. It seems Remy has an affinity for fine cuisine and being that he is a rat, that doesn't fly in the fine French restaurants he wishes to eat in. In the movie, he teams up with a garbage boy Linguini to help thwart the dastardly plan of Skinner, a French chef who wants to turn the late great Gusteau's legacy into some cheaply produced frozen cuisine.
So now it comes down to this, the game does take some scenarios from the movie and expand on them a bit but Ratatouille is a platformer through and through. Jumping around various locales, Remy collects cheese, avoids hazards and generally appeals to young children. Every once in a while the game kicks into a different direction and a mini-game opens up. Most notably are the cooking sequences that reminded me of the game "Cooking Mama". Still, the game, while predictable and easy for adults, isn't made for adults. It can and does provide adequate challenges for seven year olds everywhere, adults may see some mild humor in it initially, but trust me when I say anyone over 16 will more then likely tire of the game and its simple gameplay after say, 30 minutes.
Jumping on to ledges, double jumps and such are all controlled very easily. This is the type of game where you can't fail miserably, the game won't allow it. The controls are designed in a very kid-friendly way so as to make the gaming experience as enjoyable as possible. My six-year old and my four-year old, all got to have tons of fun playing this because of it's ease of control. The chase sequences are reminiscent of Crash Bandicoot scenarios with you not being able to see what's coming next as a large enemy bears down on you. Sliding down sequences are a bit tougher, as you can fall off of the edge of whatever you are sliding down, but again, we are borrowing from better platform games.
Being that this is the Gamecube version of the game, and that it has slid so far down the grade curve in terms of graphic producing power, you can imagine what I am going to say about the look of the game. It does a fair job of producing visuals so you know what is going on, but the game really does lack in most visual areas. The whole game has a smoky grainy look going for it and while there are brief smidgens of sunshine, the game merely appears average. Some of the level designs are quite large and there is some creativity thrown into the mix when playing through the game. Heck, you would be hard pressed not to smile at least once while playing or watching someone play it. There is a bit of charm in the game.
Now miraculously, the developers managed to get some of the voice actors from the movie to provide some voice work. And while this does bring a certain amount of gravitas to the game, I am sad to report none of the witty dialogue is present in the game. Otherwise the sound effects and music are again, average.
Surprisingly the game offers up more multiplayer action then I would have thought. Split screen action opens up to provide races, a king of the mountain competition, cook offs, scavenger hunts and others. I was surprised at the amount of competition the game provided for the multiplayer section. And not only that, the games were actually enjoyable to play against someone.
Review Scoring Details for Ratatouille
It is not very challenging and very easy to control, too easy.
While levels appear large, they are grainy and bland. The levels do mix it up though and provide some surprises.
Patton Oswald is a terrific Remy, the rest of the game's sounds are forgettable.
Difficulty: Easy for
adults, Medium for children
You will look like a hero to your child when they ask you to get past a tough area for them and you do it in one try.
A game based on a movie, hmmmmmm. Actually, they managed to put just enough variation in the game to keep children entertained.
Easily the games strongest selling point. Plenty of multiplayer games to keep the kids occupied for (hopefully) days.
Well, I had hopes that this would be the breakout game based on a movie this year, it didn't happen. But it does do a better then average job of creating some entertainment for its core audience.
A movie tie in game that actually provides some entertainment.
Reviewer: Mike David
Review Date: 07/26/2007