Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Review / Preview for Xbox (XB)

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Review / Preview for Xbox (XB)

I have to admit that I like Wallace & Gromit but I also have to admit that I totally forgot about them for a couple of years until just recently when I heard they would be featured in a videogame based on an upcoming movie. They’re like a couple of friendly guys you meet in a bar when you’re out of town on a weekend that you have a lot of laughs with but lose contact immediately after closing time.

Wallace & Gromit have a very identifiable animation style that is reminiscent of stop-motion claymation. It’s done digitally but the effect is very full and three dimensional looking. The other fascinating quality is the personalities of the characters. Both Wallace and Gromit are likeable losers that have a realistic, down-to-earth quality that makes them more human than most humans. It almost borders on “cute” and if it were any closer, I would be mad for having to suffer through it.

Overrun with rabbits, Wallace & Gromit are saddled with the task of rounding the varmints up – in a professional and humane manner. Wallace is an inventor and goes about creating a variety of gadgets to aid in the objective. One of the most useful of the devices is the Bungun which sucks them up and temporarily stores them in a bunny pen – until they are slaughtered with an axe and eaten in a bloody frenzy. Just kidding! I couldn’t resist. Other devices include an electric screwdriver, an airblaster and a female bunny decoy. There is also a bunny hop device that allows your character to make some incredibly large jumps to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time – kind of like a rabbit.

Along with Wallace and Gromit (a dog in case you didn’t know), is another playable character named, Hutch. He’s a rabbit and also has unique moves that you will have to put to use throughout the levels. All of the characters can be switched on the fly and you’ll need these different abilities to complete certain objectives. Hey, it adds variety. Who’s gonna’ complain?

Along with platforming elements there are also puzzles to solve and items to unlock. A day and night cycle offer different objectives during each time of day. The rabbits turn into monsters during the night which makes them a little harder to catch – not to mention dangerous. Using various manholes scattered throughout the map you can quickly change from day to night and vice versa. Hey, it adds control. Who’s gonna’ complain?

Plenty of cutscenes ensure that you’ll keep abreast of the story but more than anything they provide pure entertainment. The animation quality is fantastic, even rivaling the movie. The voiceacting, sound effects and soundtrack are all top shelf. Some of the quality does slip when it returns to the playable version of the game but that’s nothing unusual.

Compared to most movie-inspired games, this one is certainly in with the best of the bunch. It may not be the most compelling or memorable game but if you want to hang out with a few old friends for a couple of days I can’t think of a better game to do it with. The lack of a multi-player mode and the general lack of replay value forces me to recommend renting this.

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