Wallace And Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Episodes 2, 3, and 4 Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, Nov 16, 2009 06:19

Important Foreword: These episodes are more stable than episode 1 was, but I still encountered game-freezing bugs during my play-through. However, I seem to be in the minority of users having these problems. I am nonetheless going to have to recommend you not purchase the Xbox 360 versions of these episodes due to the troubles I had, and instead suggest you go with the PC releases.

Wallace & Gromit have proven themselves a fine fit for the adventure genre, where solving various logic puzzles, gathering items, and finding clues by exploring various areas makes perfect sense for their line of work. Telltale’s Grand Adventures series lets you take control of the trouble-prone inventor and his faithful canine companion, and it does a fine job of keeping to the flavor of this British classic. Each episode is charming, has excellent writing, plus good voices and music to go with it. And with each one likely lasting around three or four hours on your first run through, they would represent decent value for your money if not for how unstable they are.

Each episode starts and plays similarly; Wallace gets into trouble either due to one of his inventions going haywire or some kind of sitcom-esque misunderstanding taking place, and while he can sort out some of it on his own it often falls to Gromit to play the comedic straight-man and solve the rest of the problem. Like most adventure games, this involves gathering items, listening to clues, and talking to a diverse cast of characters to advance the story. It’s a fine formula, and it works great in the world of Wallace & Gromit.

The presentation and general game play are fine, with each episode doing a very good job of resembling the rural, claymation world they draw inspiration from. The music hits a variety of tones and is well suited to the story, while humorous voice acting brings the writing to life. The only real problem here is the graphics, which show regular frame-rate drops but never fall to the point of unplayability. Still, it’s odd to see such simple graphics stutter along every so often and I can’t help but wonder why it happens. Beyond this however, each episode looks, sounds, and feels like a Wallace & Gromit story so the developers deserve some credit.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Xbox 360 versions of these episodes for purchase. While they are more stable than the first episode in this series was, I nonetheless encountered serious bugs during my play-through including one ’hard lock’ situation; that is, I had to turn my Xbox 360 off in order to recover from the glitch. With this in mind, I cannot recommend the Xbox 360 versions for purchase. Instead, I would point you to the PC versions since they’re a little less expensive and generally run better.

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Our Rating for Wallace And Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Episodes 2, 3, and 4 Review (XBLA)
2.0 Replay
As point and click adventures, these are extremely linear games and one play-through ought to be plenty.
5.0 Graphics
The visuals do a fine job of portraying the claymation style world of Wallace & Gromit, but why does the frame-rate chug?
8.0 Sound
A good mix of music is joined by hilarious voice acting that brings the comedic writing front and center.
4.0 Gameplay
Excellent writing and decent puzzles are held back by just how unstable these games are.
0.1 Multiplayer/Online Content
N/A - This is a single-player game only.
4.5 Overall
While more stable than the first episode was, these episodes are still crash-prone; I recommend the PC versions instead.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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