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March 30 2007
Family Guy - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
30/11/20062K GamesTake TwoHigh Voltage Software
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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Graphics remain true to the TV show.
After the massive success of shows like The Simpsons and Futurama, there has been a whole host of similarly themed animation shows that have come and gone. One of the more recent ones to enjoy some level of success is Family Guy. If you haven’t heard of the show before then you really have been out of it for a while! With a few seasons under its belt and a straight-to-DVD movie, it was only a matter of time until we saw a game being released. Well, that time has come. Is this Family Guy’s answer to The Simpsons: Hit and Run? Or is this just another game like the Futurama game? (Funny and true to the show, but not much fun at all)

Luckily, the script is one thing that has been done properly in this. Getting in a few of the show’s most frequent writer’s, the story is three-fold, surrounding the three playable characters – Peter, Brian and Stewie. Peter is convinced Mr. Belvadere is out to get him, and starts to think everyone he comes across is in on the scheme, fighting every person of every age, race, and gender. Brian on the other hand has been framed for impregnating Seabreeze, Carter Pewterschmidt’s dog. And of course, Stewie is trying to take over the world, fighting against Betram who is also out to achieve the same goal.

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Halt! Who goes there?
Like the plot, gameplay is also split up into 3 separate level-types. At times you will play as Peter, with a very done-to-death action-based approach to the levels, fighting enemies with a very limited number of combos. However, these are a dream to play when compared to Brian’s very scripted and predictable old-school style stealth levels. By old school, I mean that enemies walk in a distinct pattern, and you can just wait for the right moment to advance/attack – don’t expect MGS stealth here. Finally, Stewie’s levels (easily the best) are half platform/puzzle-solving and half shooter levels – but neither aspects of the gameplay are done particularly well.

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"Unused Game Assets $1" - Classic.
In theory, the ideas behind each level type are sound enough, but in reality they come off as quite, dare I say it, generic. This accompanied by the fact that each character’s levels have major flaws in them makes for quite a disappointing play. Peter doesn’t have nearly enough combos, and the ones he does have only work on certain enemies. He also feels very sluggish and slow, though given the character, it does actually fit in context. Nonetheless, it is frustrating. While Brian’s levels aren’t particularly frustrating, they hold very little challenge for any seasoned gamer due to the patterned nature of enemies.

Stewie’s levels aren’t anywhere as near as bad as the other two, but again aren’t all that much of a challenge. The puzzles rarely require too much thought, and while the few platforming sections can be frustrating, it’s nothing to write home about. In a few cases you will also be able to use Stewie’s mind-control ray and control other characters, but these sections aren’t implemented all that well.

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Errm, ok, this is a tunnel.
There is one other element to Family Guy’s gameplay that is equally disappointing as the main levels, and these are the minigames. The sections of the show that would normally be short non-sensical and altogether random segments have now been turned into short forgettable mini-games. Unfortunately, they are far too simple and short-lived to even bother mentioning.

As far as the game looks, fans of the show will be happy to find that it mirrors the style of the show almost perfectly, and to this end looks quite nice. Obviously, being a fairly simple style of animation it’s not going to blow your mind, but it does add a certain degree of authenticity to the game that so many licensed releases lack. There’s not really much to say here other than that – it looks exactly how you would expect a Family Guy game to look.

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More platform action.
If there is one place where the Family Guy game has made up for at least some of the frustration and boredom of the gameplay, it’s the audio, or at least the voices. Characters are voiced to the same quality as the show and make cut-scenes a welcome break from the generic levels. Humour is delivered very nicely thanks to the voices, and the music isn’t half bad too.

If you’ve played some of the other games based around similar shows, such as the Futurama game, or some of the earlier Simpsons titles, you would probably have been keeping away from this one. The basic thing I have to say to you is "continue doing so". Family Guy is a title that delivers very little to interest newcomers to the series, and holds only a few hours amusement for fans of the series. A wholly disappointing release.

Review By: Michael Hutchesson

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GRAPHICSTaking into account the source material, the game looks good
SOUNDThe strongest point – excellent voice acting.
GAMEPLAYMundane, boring, generic, unchallenging... need I go on?
VALUELess than 6 hours to complete and no reason to replay.
OVERALLLook at those scores... an odd mix. For die-hard fans of the series only.

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