|System: Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sand Grain Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 9, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Visually, Legendary Adventures is quite impressive. Some of the grey filters used to express an autumn haze can become a bit of a downer, but the texture work and water effects are often beautiful to behold. The game's presentation is more than what one might expect from a pseudo-budget hunting game, and it lends a lot to the overall experience. However, there isn't a ton of variety, and many of the areas you'll traverse look very much alike.
The framerate is steady but seems somewhat slow. Additionally, trees and other objects exhibit something of a blur when viewed from a distance. Rocky outcropping look great up close; leaves and foliage, not so much. On the whole, however, it's an aesthetically pleasing presentation, and hunting fans should get a kick out of what they see and experience.
Sound effects are ambient and realistic, taking center stage in the audio department. The only time you'll hear music is during cutscenes or when completing or failing challenges. The music is short but appropriate, and it's recorded in relatively high fidelity. There's also a narrator (cast as the main character's son) who tells Graham's story, and the narrator has a Sam Elliot-like vibrato that fits especially well with this package.
Legendary Adventures offers a full story mode, with a healthy number of locales to experience and big game to hunt; an "Adventure" mode, which allows you to go back and play through past events you've completed; challenges that offer a quick bit of target shooting; and a hot-seat mode for up to four players (locally, in which you compete in target-shooting events from the challenge mode). There's an area to view your trophies and stats (acquired through your main hunts), as well as an options menu for customizing various elements of the game.
It's a nice-sized package with plenty to do, but you'll be doing mostly the same things throughout. For diehard hunters, that's likely a good fit; for the average gamer, the game might grow old fast. Regardless of your taste in games, however, Legendary Adventures seems somewhat lacking. It's mostly slow-moving, as perhaps a hunting experience should be, but in the end, this is a video game. It's impossible to recreate the smells, feel, and overall aesthetic of being outdoors in the wild, and in the absence of all that, a video game still has to be entertaining. Legendary Adventures tries a little too hard to be an accurate take on the big-game, hunting experience, and in doing so, it feels a bit flat and the gameplay is often plodding. Still, considering its intended audience, Legendary Adventures offers a decent package with solid gameplay. It's also surprisingly engaging for the gamer who otherwise has little to no interest in hunting, and, at $40, it's not a terrible deal.
CCC Freelance Writer