Flushed Away PlayStation 2
Published by D3Publisher
Developed by Monkey Bar Games
Release Date: Out Now
Usually when I review a game based on a movie you’ll have me commenting on the fact that I haven’t see the movie the game is based on, as I spend most of my time either welded to the keyboard I’m now typing on or some console controller playing a game I have to review. This time though I have seen the movie and I thought Flushed Away was actually quite good. In fact it actually made me hope the game would stick to the same plot as the movie and be an as enjoyable experience. Sadly I was disappointed on both accounts.
The main character in the Flushed Away movie is of course Roddy St. James (otherwise known as Millicent Bystander) and in Flushed Away the game you’ll get to play as Roddy, Rita, the co-star of the movie, and her boat the Jammy Dodger as you battle the evil Toad and his henchmen. Flushed Away offers some platform and action game elements to give you a typical game based on a movie experience. Neither the action nor platform elements are particularly entertaining. At times the platform elements can be frustrating because the game camera has a knack of positioning itself as awkwardly as possible causing you to fall. Fortunately the game doesn’t make you backtrack too far, should you come a cropper. As for the action elements in the game, they just feel so basic and flat. The Jammy Dodger levels are more entertaining but on the whole the game is nowhere near as entertaining as it should be.
Those hoping for the game to capture the feel of the movie will be disappointed. You’ll start the game controlling Roddy and assisted by his two assistants you’ll have to guide him round a bizarre obstacle course. The two assistants and the obstacle course aren’t in the film and it sets the tone for the whole game. Yes you’ll see some characters from the movie and some locations are vaguely the same but it’s about as far removed as it could possibly be without breaking all connections with the movie.
When it comes to the graphics Flushed Away manages to disappoint yet again. The game looks very basic, with bland locations and character models not doing anything to add to the game’s already limited appeal. The plasticine nature of the Aardman characters doesn’t come through at all in the main game graphics and that’s a shame. The animations aren’t much better as they feel stiff and look artificial. You’ll have to make a lot of jumps during your time with Flushed Away and you can’t help but notice jumping feels rather strange. It all feels rather spongy. You can sometimes see your character apparently floating in mid-air when they aren’t quite on the platform they are supposed to be standing on.
Flushed Away does offer subtitles but they are disabled by default, so you’ll have to pop into the options menu before starting a game. Even with the subtitles enabled there is some dialogue that’s not subtitled. The tutorial messages are all shown in text. Objectives are shown in text too. Most of the dialogue in the game is subtitled. However, between the missions you have these still images that are shown and some dialogue that helps tie the missions together as well as bringing in some of the movie’s storyline. The dialogue that is delivered whilst these still images are being shown is not subtitled. This is disappointing because it’s only here that you get a feel for the storyline and deaf gamers are going to miss out on it.
In all honesty Flushed Away is a disappointment. Having seen the movie and enjoyed it, I had hoped for a game that would bear some resemblance to it. However, whilst there are some elements of the movie here (although you won’t always be able to pick up on them with most of those elements not being subtitled) the game is at times frustrating and at others tedious. If it didn’t have the name of the movie splashed over the cover most wouldn’t give it a second look. In short it’s a below average action/platform game that doesn’t do itself justice and just doesn’t capture the fun or sense of adventure that the film has.
Flushed Away is disappointing because it fails to capture the fun and sense of adventure that made the movie enjoyable. It's also a shame that deaf gamers miss out on story elements that were taken from the movie.