Wallace & Gromit Episode 2 – The Last Resort

November 12, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under PC, Reviews, Xbox Live Arcade

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Overview

Title: Wallace & Gromit Episode 2 – The Last Resort

Release Date: 04/11/2009 (XBLA), 05/05/2009 (PC)

Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games

Genre: Family, Puzzle & Trivia

Platform[s]: XBox Live Arcade, PC

Storyline

After ridding West Wallaby Street of the Giant Bee menace in the relatively successful Fright of the Bumblebees, Wallace & Gromit are all set to embark on a well-deserved holiday – but a freak thunderstorm and a burst water main in the basement force the plasticine duo to stay at home. A brutish Scotsman and dastardly plot threaten to ruin things further, but as usual W&G set out to save the day in their own bumbling, innocent fashion.

Gameplay

For anyone who played Fright of the Bumblebees, you’ll be pleased to know that the control system remains exactly the same (a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), giving an overall feel of consistency to return players. Newcomers will find things easy to grips with however, using LS to control your onscreen character, the left and right bumpers to cycle through the onscreen objects and X to call up your inventory.

Your job is to guide the title characters through a series of charming puzzles, using a combination of items and NPC’s in order to make it through each one. For instance, the first major hurdle you’ll come across is ridding Felicity Flitt (your neighbour and possible love interest) of an amorous Scotsman attempting to take her to the beach for the day. Felicity refuses to budge due to the weather, but the Scotsman will not leave her doorstep until he’s convinced a thunderstorm is on the way. Using Wallace’s love of cheese and a conversation elsewhere, you receive a delivery of Stilton that causes his stomach to rumble, dampening the Scotsman’s advances on poor Felicity and sending him on his way.

Things rarely get more complicated than this, and despite a few random solutions, answers are generally handed to you on a plate – but then W&G is primarily a family franchise, so it’s the sort of thing you can see the kids sticking on with Mum and Dad after a Sunday lunch, suiting the core demographic quite nicely.

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Graphics

Consistency runs throughout The Last Resort, with it clearly using the same graphics engine from Episode 1. We believe Telltale have given the gameworld a bit of a spit shine too, with everything looking crisper than before – the small dimples and imperfections in the plastecine characters are there, and in certain situations you can still easily forget you’re playing a game and are watching an interactive version of the show. Despite the small odd graphical glitch and dodgy bit of lip-synching, we really can’t fault TLR’s graphical flair.

Audio

The Last Resort excels sonically as well, with the guy standing in for Peter Sallis making another star turn out as Wallace. All the characters from …Bumblebees return, along with Duncan McBiscuit, the rampant Scotsman and this episode’s bad egg. Each of the characters are still voiced impeccably and don’t sound out of place in the W&G universe, but certain sections of the dialogue do feel a bit hackneyed and are, in some cases, actually quite cringe worthy.

Overall Score & Replayability

Wallace & Gromit fans will love The Last Resort, and anyone who played and enjoyed Flight of the Bumblebees will too. Its instantly accessible interface and big, bold style overall will entice kids and (dare we say it) casual gamers in for a quick bash, and in some ways it’s a funnier, better looking  and more enjoyable jaunt through the W&G universe. However, it really is just more of the same and those looking for a more cerebral challenge or who found nothing attractive about Episode 1 will have no need to download this. We would, however, recommend this over and above …Bumblebees for anyone looking for a few hours respite from the upcoming onslaught of Modern Warfare 2.

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