Family Guy Review
A videogame based on a Fox animated series that was cancelled but found new life on Cartoon Network … that features an original storyline penned by the show’s writers … that lets you play as three of the show’s main characters and includes numerous references to episodes of the show … hmm … that reminds me of the time when I reviewed Futurama. It’s déjà vu all over again with the Family Guy game. Funny gags, favorite characters, and familiar settings just can’t quite make up for thoroughly uninspired gameplay.
|Just as in the show, Stewie is the most fun.|
The three characters each have their own unique style of play drawn from different video game genres. Stewie is the platformer, Peter the brawler, and Brian’s sequences are all stealth-based. Let’s go from decent to worst here.
Stewie’s levels are the most enjoyable. Sure you have your share of annoying jump sequences, but that’s par for the course with many platformers. Stewie is armed with his laser gun and mind-control helmet. The former is used to take out enemies and bust up the breakable objects scattered across the levels. The laser gun can be upgraded by collecting bolts found throughout the locations Stewie visits – some in plain sight and others that will require a bit of maneuvering to find. Each hundred bolts collected leads to a gun upgrade, so they’re worth picking up. Stewie’s mind-control helmet comes into play in solving some of the game’s puzzles as he can use it to force other characters to do his bidding. There’s a good variety to Stewie’s levels, platforming, arcade shooting, puzzle solving, and more, and if the game simply featured Stewie and a little more work was put into his levels then Family Guy might have been a good game. Unfortunately you have to spend time with Peter’s and Brian’s levels as well.
Peter is under the delusion that everyone is an agent of Mr. Belvedere and so he decides to go out and clobber everyone he sees. Peter has a basic punch and a basic kick, and these attacks can be strung into combo attacks. If you gobble up the snacks dropped by defeated enemies you’ll fill Peter’s snack meter. The snack meter is used to charge up special attacks which can be unleashed by holding a trigger and pressing the corresponding button. It all works about as well as you’d expect a basic fighting system to work in a basic platform game. It’s hard to line up Peter’s attacks when multiple enemies are involved, partly because of poor sightlines and partly due to skittish collision detection. It also doesn’t help matters that the controls are pretty sluggish. The game also makes things more tedious by making enemies only vulnerable to certain attacks. Some you have to kick, some you have to punch, and others require a combo strike. When you use the wrong attack an enemy flashes while the correct attack will make him or her flash red. All in all Peter’s levels aren’t that much fun.