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Opinion of the series now it is finished

posted by Chris1 on - last edited - Viewed by 1K users
Having now played through the final episode, I thought it was worth looking at what I said the last time I mouthed off, and seeing how the last episode compared.

The controls
While I don't want to try and say they're more natural than point and click, I get the feeling that the controls in The Bogey Man are about as good as you're going to get with a gamepad.
Compare them to Monkey Island Special Edition, where LucasArts have been faced with exactly the same problem, and I think the solution that Telltale have come up with is a little better.
Apart from a couple of times when I was trying to walk off-camera, I never felt like I was fighting the controls. And I wish Telltale would implement selecting objects with the right analogue stick in Tales of Monkey Island for those of us who are using gamepads.

Length and difficulty
Difficulty is something that has been really hurting the series. Telltale games usually aren't the most taxing in the world, but Wallace and Gromit is easier than normal. I can only assume that they are aiming it at a younger age-group.
Another issue in the early games in the series is that Telltale seemed to have designed the difficulty to ramp up from "ridiculously easy" through to "moderate". Presumably this is to make the first puzzles something that anyone can do, so that young children are not immediately put off. For more seasoned adventure gamers the "ramp" was annoying, because it meant about half of the game was wasted.
Telltale have already made the ramp a bit shorter in Muzzled, and I feel it made a big improvement in the episode. In The Bogey Man, the ramp is still short. Plus (and I thought this was a clever touch) rather than waste your time with arbitrary fetch-puzzles, what you do actually sets up the story of the episode. Solving puzzles that help advance the plot really helps add to the immersion.

The characters
A few of us on the forums have complained that a some of the characters were too cliched. It does seem that Telltale have listened and adjusted ther script somewhat in The Bogey Man. Or possibly I'm just used to them by now?

When I look back on the series as a whole, I think it's important to remember that there have been more highs than lows here. Much like with the first season of Sam and Max, most of the lows are early on in the series, and most of the highs are later on in the series.
Do the first two episodes of Wallace & Gromit stand on their own as good games? Not quite.
But is the series, when taken as a whole, stand as a good series? I think yes.

I'm wondering what the odds of another season are. The forums have not been as active as Monkey Island or Sam and Max, and I'm guessing that right now Telltale must be swamped with other offers, so it's probably not certain.
It would be a shame if not though, because after a slightly shakey start I can tell that Wallace & Gromit is slowly and steadily getting better.
23 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • All in all it was quite an enjoyable season. I agree with others and think Eps 3 and 4 were definitely the strongest.

    The graphics are superb, and although I was a little iffy on the keyboard/mouse control scheme to begin with, I got used to it pretty quickly and found WASD much easier to use in ToMI than the click-and-drag alternate method.

    Voice acting in W&G is also great, and the music is wonderful.

    I think possibly the biggest let down was in the humour - but that's the nature of the story, I guess. With sections of the games (including most of Ep 3) being in the control of Gromit it means no dialogue from the player character, and quite a lot of the dialogue from all the secondary characters wasn't jokes as such - only Wallace came up with amusing puns. So with fewer quips in the dialogue, most of the comedy came from the absurd situations (which are only funny once) and from the queerness of the characters - but even then, most of the characters were established in the first and second episodes so they failed to be further amusing for the latter half of the series.

    Because of this, I think I enjoy Sam and Max and Monkey Island more, but they can also get away with more adult humour (double entendres, sarcasm, dry wit) whereas W&G has to have humour that's accessible to young children, and so groanworthy puns are probably a good limit :)

    W&G will indeed be loved by a younger audience (playing with their parents/older siblings) especially those who are fans of the W&G shorts and movie.
  • I haven't found the time to play The Bogey Man yet but i got asked how long the TTG downloads are by a friend who is interested in the games. As i didn't knew it on my own and was curious, i looked up the sizes and threw them into Excel (xaxis=episodes, yaxis=MB, the names sign the end of the series).
  • GOOD :)

    Visuals. Some of the best I've ever seen in a computer game. The characters all looked superb.
    Music. Absolutely perfect, captures the mood and style of W&G.
    Characters. Apart from Mr. Gabberly, I enjoyed meeting every single character, moreover I wanted to know what they had to say. Many characters in adventure games can bore you to tears, but not this lot!
    Locations. Looks like an old town in Lancashire to me. Spot on.
    Episodes. Each episode was entertaining to play, but "The Last Resort" was particularly outstanding.

    BAD :(

    Wallace. Although Ben Whitehead sounds a lot like Peter Sallis, at times he sounded a bit stressed out, even when Wallace wasn't.
    Gromit. He didn't seem to be as emotive as he is in the films. It was hard to see what he was thinking at times, unlike in the films.
    Mitsakes ;). A few Americanisms ("quilting bee", "kidney pie") crept in, along with the odd Amglish spelling oversight.
    Tea bags with string? What do you think a tea pot is for!

    Aardman should have sent someone to work with Telltale to spot these things, so I blame them for the bad bits.

    Overall, as a Wallace and Gromit fan, I have to say I enjoyed these adventures immensely, and can only hope that a second series will follow.

    Well done Telltale!
  • Angel Summoner;175686 said:
    Tea bags with string? What do you think a tea pot is for!
    Health and safety execs seem to be going out of their way to ban both kettles and tea pots.
    Even in England, if you work in a serviced office then teabags on a string is going to be all you ever see.
  • Also loved the series. The only criticism I have is that some of the dialogues where a tad long for me, especially as some characters speak very slowly. But wholeheartedly enjoyed all 4 games...
  • I was going to open a similar thread, but of course, getting my paws on the game a week late, I was beaten to it :) So I'll just add my thoughts to this thread.

    I was very excited when I read that Telltale will tackle Wallace & Gromit, and I was also very curious how these superb claymation characters can be adopted into a video game - especially an adventure game, as the episodes tend to have a lot of high adrenaline action. In general, I think I can say Telltale was very successful in their attempts - here's the breakdown:

    Atmosphere is one aspect where the series really shines. The creators of the games obviously invested a lot of effort into recreating the Wallace & Gromit universe on the PC (and on the Xbox), paying attention to the miriad of tiny details which makes the Aardman's flicks so adorable. The result almost measures up to the original films - sometimes I had the feeling I was playing through a Wallace & Gromit short.
    Immersion can be mentioned here, also. The first episode didn't really excel here, but in the other three, it worked really well. Can't put a finger on exactly why, though.

    The stories were very well written, I believe a lot of consulting was done with Aardman on those, to excellent results. I had one issue here, I really missed a larger-than-life antagonists in episodes 1,2 and 4 - just the kind Monty Muzzle was in episode 3. But apart from that, the stories held up really well, they kept me interested throughout the games, and all the threads were very nicely sewn up in the final episode.

    It's obvious that Wallace & Gromit are the best Telltale series graphically. Telltale staff were hinting that a lot of work went into updating the engine, and it shows, too - the games look fabulous, and while they don't have (over)hyped effects like ambient occlusion or motion blur, I don't find them less appealing than many of the games that feature these effects and bring high end video cards to their knees.
    At some places, I would have preferred more complex models and higher resolution textures, but I guess the games would end up around 2GB that way, so it would have made it difficult to make the distribution download only.

    Sound and music: both were OK, I didn't really find anything outstanding. This also made me a bit disappointed - while the music fit the games very well, I somehow expected more from Jared. With the Sam & Max games, I sometimes start one episode to stroll around and listen to the music - I don't see I'll do this with Wallace & Gromit. There were bits of excellence (most prominently, the chase music from Ep1 comes to mind), but more more more would be very welcome.

    The controls were the subject of much debate, but to be honest, I think most people overreacted. I'd have preferred a point-and-click game myself, but the control scheme was all-in-all very intuitive and easy to get used to, so I found nothing significant to complain about in the end.

    Finally, puzzle design and difficulty. Difficulty was a rollercoaster affair in the series - Fright of the Bumblebees was way too easy, then The Last Resort was a step more difficult. The puzzles was still quite evident, but there was some thinking necessary during the game, and it had a good rhythm. Then Muzzled! was again quite easy, and finally, The Bogey Man had some quite headscratching puzzles, and it was more or less the right difficulty for me.
    Puzzle design was excellent throughout the whole series, obviously with great focus on breaking linearity, and good subtle hints.

    To sum it up, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures was an excellent series, the games provided excellent entertainment, and each one is worth at least one replay. It may not be very probable, but I hope for a second season!
  • It seemed like I spent more time watching these games than playing them. If you do a second season please cut down on the number and length of cut scenes.
  • Fooey;176858 said:
    It seemed like I spent more time watching these games than playing them. If you do a second season please cut down on the number and length of cut scenes.
    Well, it's not an arcade style game where you're in control all the time. I think the balance was fine. I like the cutscenes because it's like watching a Wallace and Gromit short film. An interactive one.

    I think they looked at the source material and what it is - and stayed true to the essence of Wallace and Gromit - it's to be watched and enjoyed as much as the real claymation series is as well as being an interactive game.
  • This series, more than any other Telltale game, took the longest to hook me. I played through half of Fright of the Bumblebees the day it came out, and then kind of lost interest. The secondary characters were all too unfamiliar, the puzzles felt a little too easy, the environments were a little overwhelming in scope, and I wasn't sold on the new controls. Then, a month ago, Tales of Monkey Island came out. I devoured it in a day and instantly craved more Telltale adventuring, so I dusted it back off and played through to completion. Then I played the next part, then the next, and today I finished The Bogey Man.

    Now I wish there was another one coming in another month. The more I played, the more I started to appreciate the subtle puzzling. This isn't a game that kicks you repeatedly with "Try using everything on everything else until something works" puzzles. There was only one part in the whole series where I felt stuck enough to be compelled to try the old trial and error technique, and that was at the very end of the series. Just about every puzzle can be worked out very naturally, and every puzzle is seemlessly worked into the universe. Everything is where you would expect to find it, and every puzzle only requires you to be resourceful enough to know where to look.

    If anything were to be done differently, I think Last Resort should have been the opening game. I think the undefinable "The first one wasn't as good as the rest" I keep hearing comes from the unfamiliarity with the characters and the layout of W&G's house. These aren't broad characatures like you'd find in Sam and Max. The characters, while quirky, are all very real, and as such, it takes longer to get to know them. Starting with a story like the one in Last Resort would have introduced us to the secondary cast in a natural way, and since most of it takes place in W&G's house, it's a good introduction to the layout. I felt very lost in the first game, and the second game cleared it right up. Now I see that the first game wasn't bad, it was just in the wrong place. If I'd known the characters a little better, and didn't feel quite as lost as I did, I think Fright of the Bumblebees would have been better the first time.

    Everything after that was just perfect, and the games do a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the shorts and the movie. Thank you, Telltale, for scratching my adventure game itch once more.

    So... How about a season 2?
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