Movie Games: Wallace and Gromit – The Curse of the Were Rabbit

Welcome to Movie Games a new series where I take a look at videogames that were released to promote new and upcoming movies of the past. In this edition I will be diving into a game I recently got sent in, the game in question is of course the Curse of the Were Rabbit a Wallace and Gromit title released to help promote the 2005 flick of the same name, the game was developed by Frontier Developments and published by Konami. What I will be trying to discover in this series is not only the quality of the title but also how accurate it is to the plot of the movie it is based on so without further ado a very quick and might I add spoiler heavy recap of the movie.

In the movie everyone’s favourite inventor and dog due Wallace and Gromit are running a rabbit catching vegetable protection agency, they watch over the neighbourhood and protect the local gardens from cabbage munching menaces in preparation for the annual vegetable growers competition.

After building up such a good reputation with the neighbourhood they are both called upon by Tottington Hall which is ran by the lovely Lady Tottington, the area is overran by rabbits and Wallace and Gromit humanely manage to capture them all. This is also where we meet the films villain Victor Quartermaine, he is the competitive love interest of Lady Tottington and he wants to shoot all the rabbits to help build his reputation as the towns best hunter.

During the sub plot of the film Wallace tries changing the brainwaves of the rabbits to dislike vegetables so that all of the rabbits they have captured can be released back into the wild without chance of veggie reoffending, however the test goes wrong and while one rabbit does become non interested in healthy foods Wallace gets his brain changed as well ultimately becoming the films main threat the Were Rabbit.

It doesn’t take long for Gromit the figure this one out as he tries his best to hide the secret from the neighbourhood but unfortunately for him and Wallace, Victor soon clocks on and sees an opportunity to become the town hero and take out his competitor of Lady Tottington at the same time making Wallace the next target for his shotgun.

In the films final act after the inevitable “break up scene” between Lady Tottington and Wallace we see Gromit chasing after the Were Rabbit through the festival while taking part in an airborne dog fight with Victors Pup and ultimately taking a bullet for Wallace, Wallace jumps after Gromit’s Plane protecting his beloved dog while also sacrificing himself and ultimately killing the Were Rabbit before returning to human form and waking up thanks to the smell of Stinking Bishop. Victor is defeated by being placed into a female Were Rabbit Suit and being beaten by the local community.

The film ends with Lady Tottington opening a rabbit sanctuary in her Estate for all of the previously captured bunnies including the humanoid Bunny Hutch who still has the personality of Wallace.

The film is very good and maybe one day I will give the movie a full on review and analysis but for now my main question is how did the videogame adaptation hold up?

So to begin I want to point out that’s the games plot is pretty accurate to the film with only a few exceptions to make it work as a videogame, the main difference is that the villain Victor has a more prominent role and actually steals Wallace’s technology to make other Were Creatures.

There are also multiple maps you can explore making the terrain and areas of the game more expansive than the movie and overall in my opinion more realistic to actual British town compared to what was only shown in the flick.

After the final battle Victors fate was left the same although they never opened the bunny sanctuary and the remaining rabbits just kinda live in Wallace and Gromits house.

So with the major differences out of the way lets discuss what this licenced movie game has to offer.

First of all the game is actually pretty good, it is a puzzle platformer where you need to swap between two characters (either Wallace and Gromit or Gromit and Hutch), during the day time the missions you complete are mainly based around gathering items and capturing the little animals that are overruling the local gardens.

At night the gameplay becomes more action based and the missions here need players to defeat the various Were creatures and help protect local residents as they travel between areas.

There are arenas in the game which is something I actually really disliked as they didn’t really feel like they needed to be there and didn’t provide much more than the regular gameplay since they maintained the same general goals of defeating enemies and catching the loose animals.

There are collectable cards to get, you get one for each mission you complete and some others can be found throughout the world maps by completing timed puzzles.

The puzzles were some of the best parts of the journey as each character had different abilities, Wallace was the most diverse as he can use tools such as the Bolt Cutters and the screw driver (Hutch can also use these) Gromit on the other-hand felt a little lacking in his capabilities and didn’t seem to have much to make him stand out apart from the umbrella which allowed him to hover over distances.

Gromit did however have a side game where players could try and grow his marrow for the vegetable competition, you could buy items in the game to help the growth of your marrow as well as decorate the Green House. I really struggled to actually do any good at this side content so I never got to see it too completion.

The game looks pretty impressive for a low budget licensed game and the character designs do suit the Wallace and Gromit universe. That’s not say that the graphics are any special though considering that for a late PS2 game these are quite uninspiring and only really get a pass due to this not being a AAA title.

The game controls very well and I had very little issue with bugs or bad game design.

The games soundtrack really suits the nature of the franchise extremely well with its light hearted and non serious tones, these casual melodies make this feel like a real Aardman project and it wouldn’t surprise me if these were actually tunes from the Wallace and Gromit franchise.

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit the videogame left me in shock, I really didn’t think I would enjoy the game at all and while it isn’t phenomenal in any sense of the word, for a movie game this is actually one of the better ones, its more creative, expansive and fun than it ever needed to be and if you get the chance to pick this up cheap I highly recommend you give it a go as you may be left pleasantly surprised, it does get a little stale as its gameplay drags around the half way point but with the 2 player co-op the campaign becomes 10 times more bearable and is the best way to play.

6/10

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Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PC) (2002) Review

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A year and a half ago I reviewed a mediocre Philosophers Stone game for the PC, it was a fairly bare bones 3D platformer that was way too short and it skipped over many of the best moments from the film and the original novel, today we will be taking look at the PC video game of the second book in the series Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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You play the game as Harry Potter the boy who lived who is attending his second year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, just like the first game this is a 3D platformer where the objective of the game is too attend classes and beat challenge maps, a huge difference here is how you learn spells, in the first game learning magic was awkward because you needed to trace over shapes with your mouse and with such a limited amount of time performing this task became very difficult, thankfully the game designers have taken a different approach with the sequel as now instead of tracing we instead need to hit corresponding keys on the keyboard in a specified order in the style of a rhythm game.

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Quidditch matches have also been heavily modified and I don’t like the changes they have made here, instead of having complete control over your broom so you can fly freely the game controls the broom for the player and all you need to do is bump into the enemy seeker until you are close enough to catch the golden snitch, its boring, it has no challenge at all and the worst part of it is that it feels like the game designers were just being lazy and were trying to rush out the game.

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The graphics are impressive when compared to the first game, everything is smoother and less pixelated but for a game from 2002 they are still pretty bad, on the bright side the level designs are more detailed and are genuinely more interesting to explore, the best part of the game is finding all of the secrets around Hogwarts castle and the castle grounds, through out the game you will learn an array of spells which can be used to defeat enemies and open up secret passageways where you may find a famous witches and wizards card.

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The first game had only 25 cards to collect and for doing so all you would receive was a slightly extended ending, this game has a whopping 101 cards which is the staple for the majority of the Harry Potter games, the cards come in three categories, gold, silver and bronze, the bronze cards are common and for every 10 you collect you will gain an additional health bar, the silver cards are uncommon and for every ten of those you find you will come one step closer to accessing a bonus area which can only be accessed once the player finds all 40 of the silver cards, the bonus room is a platforming level, which is full of enemies and puzzles, the player has a set amount of time to try and find the 11 rare gold cards in the game, again I don’t think its worth going out of your way to collect these but honestly it was much more fun to do so here than it was before.

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You can buy cards from other students around Hogwarts by using Bertie Botts every flavoured beans which can be found throughout the game, this isn’t necessary since every card can be found hidden inside and around the school but it is helpful if you don’t want to back track later on, the best way to collect beans is by entering the bonus bean room which you can only access if your house has the most points during the segments of the game where Dumbledore tallies up the house scores.

The music in the game is what can be expected from a cash grab title that was made to help push DVD sales but its fun to listen too and not once is it annoying nor does it take away from the game play experience.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC is a fun little game that is worth picking up if you manage to find it really cheap but if you cant your really not missing out on much, I can quite happily say that this is a good game but its far from a great Harry Potter gaming experience 6.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (PC) (2001) Review

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I remember playing Harry Potter video games when I was a child, I used to own the Philosophers Stone on the Ps1 and both the Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban games on the PS2.

There are many Philosophers Stone games and the most rare of them all is the second generation version (Ps2, Xbox and GameCube) due to the price of this game being rather ridiculous I refused to buy it until I could find it for cheap in a flee market or a charity shop so when I saw the PC version being sold for penny’s in my local charity shop I quickly snapped it up expecting to be playing the rare second generation version only to be surprised that this particular game was very unique in itself and actually provided a completely new experience I didn’t expect.

The only question now is was that experience good?

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You play the game as the Young wizard Harry Potter who has just started his first year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you spend the majority of the game attending classes such as Defense against the Dark Arts, Broomstick flying and Charms.

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When you attend a class you are almost immediately told to trace over a shape using your mouse, you will need to hit a certain percentage of the shape in order to proceed to next difficulty of the spell learning minigame, you are required to pass level 1 which will award you five points for Gryffindor and after you succeed you will be taken to the next level, the more levels you pass the more points you will earn for Gryffindor but you are only required to finish level 1 in order too continue with the main game.

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The only time that attending a class is any different is when you take part in a flying lesson because instead of tracing shapes this time you will need to fly through many different rings, this section works surprisingly well using the keyboards controls considering that for most of the lesson you will be using the speed up key which makes your broom stick fly much faster than usual.

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After you finish the tracing mini game you are always then told to complete a bunch of challenges which mostly rely on you using that new spell, you will often be taken into a number of rooms to perform these challenges, you will also have the opportunity to collect the challenge stars which depending on how many you can find will award you with different amounts of points for Gryffindor once the challenge is complete, these stars are really easy to find so you should almost always be awarded maximum points for completing these challenges.

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When playing through the main game you will also have the opportunity to collect other items, one of these items is the Bertie Botts every flavor beans which are only needed for you to give to Fred and George Weasley  as they need it for a top secret practical joke they are planning on Slytherin.

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The other collectible items are the famous Witches and Wizards cards which are hidden in secret areas all throughout Hogwarts, some of the cards you can get from Fred and George but the Majority you will need to find yourself, collecting all 25 cards only gives you a slightly expanded ending to the game so its not really worth the effort unless you really want to get 100 percent.

The general gameplay is mostly 3D platforming which works extremely well using the keyboard and mouse, the game runs smoothly providing you play on an XP operating system  otherwise you will have serious lag and slowdown due to the game being so old.

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You will play levels based on many of the famous scenes in the movie by far the most memorable part of the game for me was avoiding Filch and Mrs Norris in the forbidden section of the Library.

There are a few boss fights in the game but they are not that difficult as most of time just casting spells blindlessly will defeat them, the only boss I even had the slightest trouble with was the final boss and even he wasn’t that difficult.

The music is very memorable of the film which is a nice addition to the game, not all the music is from the movie but the original tracks are also very fun to listen too so its difficult to complain about

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone for the PC is a decent title in the Harry Potter game franchise, this particular version is a lot of fun but it is way too short as it can be finished with just a few hours, the game also feels very bare as most scenes from the film are missing which really is a shame, on the bright side there is a level based on a section which was only in the book which is a nice touch, it has tight controls, fun music and ok game play.

Unfortunately as much as I enjoy this game it is not one of the best Harry Potter games I have ever played but it is a lot of fun for what it is so I am going to rate this game slightly better than an average score 5.5/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone for the PC

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer