The Hedge may not be killin' 'em at the box office
anymore, but the game is better than you'd expect.
by Cole Smith
30, 2006 - It
may be my imagination but it seems that movie-inspired
games are actually getting better. For years a good
movie-based game was the exception, not the rule as
many of these games were rushed out to capitalize
on a movie's popularity, particularly ones aimed at
kids that the developers erroneously assumed wouldn't
know any better. I don't know what they are thinking,
because who knows games better than pre-teens?
the Hedge is a wacky movie, and it makes a darn good
game. The game is good enough to stand on its own,
even if the movie didn't exist. It's rife with action,
adventure, platforming, puzzles, stealth, interesting
characters and an engaging storyline that assimilates
itself into the gameplay formula like it was made
the Hedge for the DS is an entirely different game
than the next-gen console versions of the same name.
While it features the main characters and situations
from the movie, the gameplay has been created to take
advantage of the DS's touch screen and processing
capabilities. This is a really great looking game,
with excellent 3D environments and smooth character
animation. The control system is unique and implements
both the dual screen and the touch control system.
the racoon, Vern the turtle and Hammy the squirrel
are the three main stars of the movie - and of this
game. They all possess different abilities and must
be used like interchangeable tools throughout the
game. You can choose any of the three characters by
simply selecting their icon on the screen. It only
takes a split second to change them and there are
times when you will have to alternate between two
of them rather quickly. Not only is there a good variety
of gameplay variation but there's a lot of thinking
involved which is a refreshing change from a mindless
shooter. There is nothing too complicated in this
game which makes it perfect for gamers of all skill
what's your motivation, you ask? As a poor woodland
creature, you are faced with the prospect of having
your habitat overhauled and turned into a swimming
pool. In order to delay the developers, and even put
an end to the construction, the three characters will
have to perform a variety of side missions in the
form of fetch-quests that will arm certain animals
with the tools they need to help save their land.
Many of these items will be found in the civilized
world of the humans. The diminutive trio will have
to navigate their way through streets and homes by
climbing on vantage points such as cars, chairs, counters
and other obstacles. Here they can scout out the situations
and locate potential threats such as humans and the
domesticated but dangerous cats and dogs that are
hard-wired to attack wild animals. Other threats include
sprinklers, lawn dart-throwing garden gnomes and various
other traps. Figuring out how to thwart them is where
you imagination comes in handy.
top screen gives you the standard third-person view
while the bottom screen gives you an isometric, (or
top down) view. With the isometric perspective you
can see enemies that aren't in your line of sight
on the top screen. The bottom screen will also display
the enemies' line of sight, as a cone-shaped radar.
As long as you remain out of the cone, you will be
safely out of sight. You can also access weapons and
items that you need to complete puzzles by selecting
them from the bottom screen. Once you are within range
of using the item it will glow green indicating that
it can be used. The mix of stealth, puzzle-solving
and platforming are well integrated and feel organic
rather than just a bunch of disparate elements thrown
together simply for the sake of gameplay variety.
All of the missions are within reach of virtually
all players' skill levels both physical and mental,
which will have you anticipating the next challenge.
the game is solid. The characters respond instantly
to commands and they animate smoothly. The camera
angles always seem to afford you the best possible
view, allowing you to further tweak it when you're
doing recon or performing stealth. The two separate
perspectives on each of the dual screen is a great
addition but the animals are angled in such a way
that they are always looking up. It's almost impossible
to look down regardless of how high up you are.
the game is great. It begins with some excellent,
fully animated and fully voiced cutscenes that set
up the premise, but sadly don't set the tone for the
rest of the game as it reverts back to lower quality
in-game graphics with text-based dialog. The story
is no less interesting and the characters' charm still
permeates the dry-looking text.
if you haven't seen the movie, give Over the Hedge
a chance. It's not just for kids. It's loaded with
variety and will engage your mind, not just your reflexes.
At the very least give it a rent.
Players Experience The Camaraderie And Wacky Adventures
Of Three Woodland Creatures As They Take Over Suburbia
Using the unique personalities and
skills of RJ, Verne and Hammy, gamers conquer a
neighborhood filled with foes such as Nugent the
dog, Vincent the bear, the Taxidermist and Gladys
Sharp, the animal-hating president of the homeowner''s
The Hedge For the Nintendo DS Takes Players Beyond
The Film After the first few missions
have told the story of the movie, gamers play as
three of their favorite characters in a quest to
save their woodland home from being over-run by
a housing development project.
are challenged with 20 unique, heist-oriented missions
in some of the most visually exciting 3D platforming
gameplay ever seen on the NDS. The game is shown
on both screens and players can use the NDS microphone
to distract and surprise enemies. Gamers can play
with a friend in the wireless mini-game with a single
Over the Hedge NDS cartridge.