Movie Games: ELF (2003)

Welcome the second edition of Movie Games a series where we look at a film and then its video game counterparts to not only discuss a games quality but how accurate of an adaptation it is.

In this Christmas episode I will be deep diving into the the 2003 comedy film ELF starring Will Ferrell, this movie only had one videogame adaptation releasing on the Nintendo Gameboy Advance the same year as the film.

First a Recap of the movie and I wont be shy on spoilers so be wary!

On Christmas Eve a baby from an orphanage crawls into Santa’s Sack and is taken to the North Pole, an older Elf agrees to raise the baby and 30 years later the now adult and much taller Buddy is struggling to fit in with the elves, he finds out he is a human and decides to travel to New York City to find his real father Walter Hobbs.

Buddy passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Upon arrival in New York Buddy is searching everywhere for his Father, causing havoc along the way, eating discarded gum, running around evolving doors and jumping across zebra crossings.

He finds his father in the Empire state building but is soon thrown out after Security is called by Walter Hobbs himself, the security sarcastically suggests Buddy goes back to Gimbels.

Taking the request literally Buddy goes into the department store and is mistaken for an employee of Santa’s Village here he meets the friendly but unenthusiastic Jovie, Buddy is so excited for Santa coming to visit the store that he stays behind over night to decorate the store. The next morning Santa comes to the store but its an imposter, Buddy rips off his beard and a fight ensues, Buddy is arrested but bailed out by Walter Hobbs who takes him to a doctor for a DNA test which proves a positive match!

Walter reluctantly takes his Son home to meet his wife Emily and his other son Michael, Walter doesn’t warm up to Buddy as quickly as Emily does and wants to throw him out onto the streets but Emily insists that Buddy stays with them until he recovers from his fantasies.

Buddy soon becomes a friend of Michael after he defeats his school bullies in an epic snowball fight, the two mess around the Gimbles department store and bump into Jovie, Michael encourages Buddy to ask her out and she says yes, after the date goes really well Buddy runs to his dads works to tell him that he is in love not knowing that world renowned author Miles Finch is there.

Finch who is short in stature is mistaken for an Elf by Buddy and his extremely offended walking out on his deal with Walter, Walter in a rage tells buddy to stay out of his life, buddy leaves and writes a goodbye letter to his family, while making his way back through New York City he spots Santa’s Sleigh crashed at Central Park, the Sleigh runs on Christmas Spirit but it had finally ran out and Santa asks Buddy to help him get it back.

Meanwhile Walter is now in another meeting with the CEO of the company after he finds Miles Finches notebook which is full of ideas, Michael bursts in and emotionally convinces Walter to choose family over work losing his job in the process, Walter and Michael find buddy in Central Park, the two makeup and help Buddy with his mission, Walter dresses as Santa to try and divert the Park Rangers while Michael takes Santa’s list and reads it on live TV convincing viewers of Santa’s existence.

Jovie remembers when Buddy told her “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” and begins singing Santa Claus is coming to town, the New Yorkers all join in and even Walter gets in on the action finally giving the sleigh enough power to fly again. In the finale we see Buddy spending Christmas with his family and the following year visiting his Papa Elf in the North Pole along with his Wife Jovie and their baby Susie, a truly happy ending.

The GBA videogame is a 2D platformer and for the most part it controls fine but the game is really bare bones when it comes to its gameplay, this is as generic as 2D platformers can get.

I will give some props to the game for adding various goals into some stages such as collecting all of Christmas Lights and the letters to spell NEWYORK.

Other stages are designed as either top down platformers or minigames, the worst of these stages is easily jumping across the Icebergs, this stage had really bad issues with landing, in most cases you would hit the water when you had definitely landed on the iceberg but because it wasn’t centred the game took that as a miss, the stage is very long and at some points the platforms you need land on are moving which makes it even worse.

Jumping is very floaty in the game in all platforming levels, the iceberg was definitely the worst offender but some other simple platforming such as jumping over the polar bears also proved to be needlessly difficult at times.

The minigame stages are all fine but very generic and extremely easy, examples of what to expect are the usual repeat the button presses, link up the pipes and hit the targets, minigame staples that we see in almost any game.

I’m not going to criticise the game on being generic as that’s almost expected from this, what I will criticise however is how lazy this adaptation actually is they use screenshots from the movie with no dialogue text to give players any idea on what is going on and to top this off the levels are not even accurate to movie.

Small errors such as the snowball fight including elves instead of school bullies,a lack of Walter Hobbs and his family (minus one screenshot at the end of the game) levels with plots including collecting Christmas lights, helping Santa deliver presents and a very small number of movie screenshots which no context make me wonder if this was released either before the movie or developed by a team who had no idea of the plot, needless to say its a pretty lame game and an even worse movie adaptation.

The soundtrack is awful we are only given some very simple audio loops or really bad chiptunes of Christmas songs just another another way to rush development and give the game even less originality.

This Christmas watch the movie but do yourself a favour and skip the GBA game!

2.7/10

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Let’s take a look at the Mario Tennis Aces online Tournament

Wow I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I done one of these

After missing out on the Splatoon 2, Arms and Kirby demo I didnt really want to not try Nintendo’s latest Mario Tennis game before it’s release on June 22nd.

Before diving into what is on offer in this demo I want to address why I was previously afraid for this game, I’ve never played many of the Mario sports titles but the tennis games have always stood out to me, I remember my first introduction being the GameCube title which was a great game.

Not to mention the game boy and game boy advance games that were both RPGs and again fantastic games, so you can imagine now and everyone else disappointment when Mario Tennis Ultra Smash came out for the Wii U and it lacked all the specials moves, interesting court themes and charm of the prevous games, it quickly became one of the most hated games of the last generation which caused me anxiety when Mario Tennis Aces was announced.

The event given through the demo is an all weekend tennis tournament with two modes available a standard tennis mode and a mode with all the powers and abilities.

I only played the game type that had powers on but compared to the last game in the series so far this one is brilliant and the content available through the demo is really good, having almost full access to multiplayer for an entire weekend is really great considering its a free download, my general performance was ok but I still have lots to learn about how to play the game, atleast I will have plenty of time to do that when the full game is released on June 22nd

Thankyou for reading my views on the Mario tennis aces online Tournament
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

Lets take a look at Splatoon Global Test Fire

With Nintendo’s new IP Splatoon getting released in only 20 days Nintendo decided to allow all Wii U players to test out the game today by downloading the demo and joining three different hour long mulitplayer games split over three different time slots, also please note that I am not going to discuss graphics and audio since I am doing a review of the full game at the beginning of June just after the game release.

Title Screen

This Demo allows players to try their luck at Turf War where two teams go up against each other and battle to see which team can cover the most land with their ink by the end of the match.

I am so pleased that we were given the opportunity to try out the game before its release and I am even more pleased that I wasn’t at all disappointed with it.

Spraying Ink

 

As I previously mentioned the objective to Turf War and the basic gameplay element of Splatoon is very different to that of an ordinary FPS which was a risky move but ultimately it works extremely well.

I had a blast playing the Demo and I was surprised when I realised that I was actually quite good at it which is something I cannot say about most FPS’s.

When you start the Demo the first thing you are told too do is to create your Inkling by choosing your gender, skin tone and finally eye colour, there wasn’t much choice here but I am sure there will be in the final product.

game mode

 

Next you are taken through the tutorial level where you learn the basic game play mechanics such as shooting, travelling in squid mode and throwing bombs.

splatroller

Finally you have to choose your weapons for battle before you join a multi-player game

There are four weapons to choose from.

you have two machine gun type weapons which can fire rapid shots of Ink at a fast rate, the bigger gun can shoot further but not as fast and the JR version can shoot faster but not as far.

You have a sniper rifle type weapon which can shoot enemies from far away with some very powerful shots, I didn’t like this weapon personally as I felt it slowed me down and left me at quite a disadvantage compared to the other players who mostly used weapons which sprayed a lot of ink.

Finally you get the Splat Roller which as you may have guessed is a weapon that you roll all over the battle arena leaving a lot of Ink behind, you can attack enemies with this weapon but the attack is extremely low range and is a physical attack unlike the other weapons which can all fire bullets.

turf wars

Turf wars is a lot of fun I really enjoyed running around and just shooting everything to spread my ink and I was pleased to learn that I could actually defeat enemy players when I dealt them enough damage, turf wars takes a lot of strategy  to win as you have to shoot every thing but at the same time you need to turn into a squid and swim through your own Ink to refill on ammunition and its a lot harder than it sounds.

Getting into matches was very quick and very easy, I never had to wait more than two minutes to get into a game and while I was waiting I got play a pleasant little mini game where I had to bounce a squid onto different platforms.

Pros

  • Fun game play
  • Quick tutorial
  • Quick joining matches
  • Mini game on the loading screen

Cons

  • Only two maps available
  • Cant skip tutorial
  • Wish we had access to at least one more game mode.

Splatoon Global Test fire was a lot of fun and if you would like to give it shot, you can download it on the Wii U E-shop and you can join the match tonight at 8.00pm until 9.00pm

I hope you enjoyed my look at Splatoon Global Tesfire

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