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November 6, 2005
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
24/10/2005AtariFrontier Dev.1-2PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Graphics look somewhat improved.
Have you seen this movie yet? We highly recommend it, it's a blast and another fantastic production from Aardman Studios. The recent fire at their warehouse was an absolute tragedy, and we hope they can overcome it in due time. While Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit has been out in cinemas for some time now, a game tie-in has also been released through publishers Konami and developers Frontier (who developed the previous game, Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo. If your a younger gamer or a fan of Wallace and Gromit this game is likely to keep you quite entertained. The game follows the storyline of the movie fairly closely and is as follows...

Wallace & Gromit have been protecting the entrants in the annual Giant vegetable Competition with their latest 'Anti-Pesto' invention, which keeps rabbits away from the would-be winning veg. The cheese-loving Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit in a tale of giant vegetables, terrifying lupine beasts, and inventions gone awry.

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Fire that rabbit Gromit!
A huge veg-eating beast the 'Were-Rabbit' terrorizes the neighborhood and is destroying the prize exhibits. Wallace & Gromit are hired by Lady Tottington to save the day. The unscrupulous Victor Quartermaine also wants to hunt down the 'Were-Rabbit', and win the hand of his good Lady in the process. But what are his real intentions...

Adding to their troubles, though, the villain of the piece has seized control of Wallace's 'Mind- Manipulation-O-Matic' device to transform common garden pests into bigger, more dangerous Were-beasts, and only Wallace's Bungun – a device to suck up adversaries or anything that is lying around and then fires them at tremendous speed – can save the day. Wallace's skill with gadgets also ensures that further apparatus is available, with Electric Screwdrivers, Harvesters and Grapplers appearing throughout the game to bolster the inventor's arsenal and help bypass puzzle-based elements in the game.

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At times graphics are plain.
In Curse of the Were-Rabbit gamers guide Wallace, Gromit or their rabbit friend, Hutch, through four huge areas including the Town Centre, Tottington Hall, Grimsley and Wallersey. Essentially the game is broken up into a series of mini-games with many of those simply rounding up rabbits which appear in a variety of locations such as boxes, or from behind trees, or eating the vegetables you have to protect. To help you on your way there are a variety of objects which can help you including the airblast, screwdriver, bunny hopper and bolt cutters. There's so much more that you'll encounter as you progress, but they're all in the same wacky vein.

I guess when you look at a game like this you have to remember that it's made for children in mind and there’s little doubt that they'll lap this up. Fortunately adults will find plenty to enjoy despite the mini-games being overly simplistic with little puzzle solving required to complete the game. In fact, that’s one area which we would have liked to see the game beefed up a bit. Also occasionally infuriating was the jump mechanics, particularly the wall jumps which don't always seem to work as intended.

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Oh look, it's Wallace!
Graphically Curse of the Were-Rabbit retains the look of the movie with some wonderful animations on the characters, lively cut scenes and some amusing moments. We would have liked to see a bit more detail in the backgrounds, although some areas are quite gorgeous to look at. Even if the developers were aiming to maintain the look of the movie they have fallen a little short in spots especially in the area of polygon counts on some objects which look a little angular in places. Actually we were a little disappointed that cut scenes were all CG rather then clay animation as seen in the movie - although that would probably cost way too much to use in a game. The frame rate is fairly solid although some gamers will be saddened to heard that there is no support for 60Hz nor Widescreen TV's.

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You know there's evil there...
As you would expect the developers had full access to the voice talent in the movie including the gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Tottington and of course Peter Sallis as Wallace. There's quite a bit of speech in this game, much more then I was expecting. Throughout the levels Wallace will offer advice and assistance while the other characters can also be conversed with at times. The music is pretty good, but nothing you'll have stuck in your mind while the effects are probably the least impressive aspects in terms of audio. Sadly the game only includes stereo sound too which is disappointing these days.

Sure, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is aimed squarely at the younger market, but they developers don't treat them to a lesser product in any way. This is a game which fans of the movie, or indeed TV series, should find considerable enjoyment from.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSIt's not going to win any awards, but quite faithful to the movie.
SOUNDGreat voice work from Aardman Studios, good music and effects.
GAMEPLAYWhile it can become a little similar this is fun from start to end.
VALUEThis is actually a pretty lengthy game and well worth the money.
OVERALLWallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is aimed at the younger market and certainly succeeds in meeting their needs. Well worth considering for a younger audience.

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