Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo - Review
The Wallace and Gromit franchise is the claymation brainchild of Nick Park, who joined Aardman studios way back in 1986. It began with the short film ĎA Grand Day Outí, and later continued with ĎThe Wrong Trousersí and ĎA Close Shaveí (Aardman was also responsible for the film Chicken Run, which has the distinct Aardman look and feel about it). Those familiar with the series would know Feathers McGraw, the evil diamond-stealing penguin from ĎThe Wrong Trousersí, who so fiendishly disguised himself as a chicken. After being stuck behind bars, Feathers is back in town and has taken over the city zoo, leaving Wallace and Gromit to pick up the pieces.
|The graphics are nice.|
Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo plays out as a platformer, putting you in control of Gromit (for those that donít know; heís the dog, and the bald guy is Wallace). Being the klutz that he is, Wallace is incapable of doing much by himself, so itís up to Gromit to wander the levels collecting items and freeing animals as he goes along. This said however, Wallace isnít completely worthless, and he builds and repairs devices and contraptions along the way to help Gromit along. Of course being a Wallace and Gromit game, it is aimed at children rather than the older gamer, and the difficulty and gameplay is focused accordingly.
My main complaint with Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo would have to be the camera. Time after time we are still seeing platform games being released, where buggy cameras turn a good game into an annoying one. It isnít horribly painful here, but given the amount of platform-jumping the game contains, it really needs some more tweaking.
Graphically too, Project Zoo could also do with a little spit and polish. While the visuals stay true to the clay models and environments found in the movies, there are still too many jagged edges and slowdown isnít uncommon. That isnít to say that Project Zoo doesnít look drab though; the entire presentation of the game oozes Aardman style from every hole; everything from the game itself to the game menu and pause options looks like it was ripped straight from a Wallace and Gromit set. Cutscenes too look the part and share the same humor, which may be a little immature for some, but it fits in just perfectly with the overall feel of the game.
|Lost... or just having a break?|
There isnít much on offer in Project Zoo in the audio department, which is a shame given the superb scores in the Aardman films. The score is adequate, but has a habit of fading in and out at quite odd times during the game; as a result you sometimes think that some major event is about to happen, only to hear the music die down a short while later. The sound effects in-game have a humorous comical twist to them, but while the quality is high, the quantity is lacking (such as Wallaceís comments repeating after the first half hour or so).
|Talk to the hand!|
For the younger gamer, or a fan of the series like myself (the Wallace & Gromit DVD was the second one I ever bought!), youíll find Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo to be a fun outing in Gromitís shoes, er paws. Hopefully the short length of the game and its inadequacies will be suppressed by the feeling of being in a living, breathing Aardman adventure. More casual gamers who are after a lengthy, solid platformer would be better off seeing what else the PS2 has to offer. With fantastic titles like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Jak II coming out this Christmas season, youíd have to be very eager to choose Project Zoo instead. (Note: This game has been released at the lower RRP of $AU69.95 - Dave)
Review By: Chris Gobbett
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|GRAPHICS||Captures the Wallace and Gromit character perfectly.||76%|
|SOUND||The score is a little inconsistent, and Wallace soon gets annoying.||68%|
|GAMEPLAY||Platform fun for both young and old, but nothing overly special.||69%|
|VALUE||Collect all the coins and bonuses, but itíll soon be over.||65%|
|OVERALL||Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo is a fun romp in an Aardman adventure for fans of Wallace and Gromit. If youíre after a solid platformer however, the PS2 has many titles superior to this which you might want to check out.||71%|