Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events PlayStation 2
Developed by Amaze Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
I'm sorry to say that the review you have in front of you is extremely unpleasant. It's a review about a game that includes three unlucky children, the Baudelaire siblings who lead lives filled with misery and woe. There's nothing stopping you from hitting the back button on your browser and selecting another, more friendly, review or other reading matter if you prefer that sort of thing. Only joking folks. :) What we have here is the review of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the game based on the film that was based, albeit very loosely, on the books.
Welcome to the game that allows you to be the Baudelaire orphans. They are orphans because as you all know their parents were killed in a fire. Now of course they live with their horrible relation, Count Olaf. Olaf isn't concerned with the orphans well being though and is only concerned with getting their family fortune and will stop at nothing in order to get his hands on it. Throughout the game you'll get to control Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Violet is the inventor and creates all kinds of things which prove helpful (even if they are a little fantastical), Klaus deals with the nasty enemies and, for matters that aren't suited to these two, there's Sunny a baby with a really nasty bite who can do things such as slide down slopes on her bottom and chomp through metal pipes with her strong teeth. There's 17 different missions for you to play through and throughout the game control will switch between the three orphans as the need arises. For the most part the game follows the events of the film rather than the books. The only real disappointment with the game is that it doesn't last that long if you're a seasoned gamer and whilst it is aimed at younger children most of them are good gamers.
A Series of Unfortunate Events looks fine and the characters all look like their movie counterparts. The whole game has a creepy look about it, a school child's kind of creepy though and it's not too frightening for younger gamers. The character animations have been kept quite simple but what's here looks good enough. As per usual the camera is controlled with the right analogue stick and again as per usual for the most part it causes no problems. The frame rate is stable for most of the time but during moments when there's a lot going on it can slowdown to a certain degree. This is never a real problem though and it doesn't spoil the game.
You'll be pleased to learn the game is subtitled. For the most part the subtitles are word for word with the speech but there are times when the subtitles are different but for the most part the text delivers the same information that the speech does. It's great to see subtitles in what is sure to be a popular game but I do wish the developers had colour coded the subtitles. The characters conversation is often interspersed by Tim Curry's excellent narration but the text for both sets of speech is in white and you might initially be a little disorientated as to who is saying what. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it isn't, but if the text had been colour coded it would have made everything clear. Sometimes when doing a task you'll fail and hearing gamers will hear Tim Curry asking them to try again. There's no visual representation of this but as the task simply begins again there is no real problem here. Objectives are given in text and if you forget what to do you can press the start button and select 'What Now?' from the menu which will tell you what you need to do or collect.
It's been a good year for games based on movies and A Series of Unfortunate Events can definitely go on the list of good games based on movies. It's gets the difficulty level just right for it's target audience and is an interesting game whether you've seen the movie or not. Of course if you have seen the movie it's going to make it all the more interesting but I'm pleased to say that it's not a requirement. As an action game it's probably not the best one you've come across but it is enjoyable and even if it had nothing to do with a movie, it would still be an appealing game which says a lot.
Game Rating: 8.0/10
Very enjoyable and will please fans of the movie. Some will feel that it's far too short though but better short and sweet than long and boring.
The game is subtitled. It's not always word for word with the speech but at least you can enjoy the games story.