You may recall that earlier this year I reviewed Animaniacs: Lights, Camera, Action
a craptacular DS game from Ignition and Warthog. That title had little
to no redeeming value (although its box makes a nice coaster), so I
expected the GameCube Animaniacs outing to be comparable to eating
shards of hot glass. After all, Edgar Hunt
is from the exact
same developers, how could it possibly be good? Well, back up that semi
full of humble pie, because I was caught completely off guard by this
game. Warthog managed to do the Animaniacs franchise right this time.
I’ll start by saying that there’s nothing spectacular about this game.
It is the kind of adventure-platformer we’ve lived with since Mario
made his 3D debut back in 1996. It is simply so refreshing to see such
a competent use of the medium, and all with respect paid to the subject
material. Warthog actually enlisted the voice talent from the show, and
the writing isn’t half bad either. Each of the three title characters,
Yakko, Wakko and Dot, are fully playable and retain their sardonic wit.
I found myself laughing on a number of occasions, recalling the show
from my sixth grade days. Now, if they’d only make a Freakazoid
The vocal aspect is well rounded and includes most of the original
cast, but the writing is a mixed bag. A good number of the jokes and
gags are humorous enough, but some of them fall flat. There was a nice
in-joke about Luigi’s Mansion in the haunted house, but times I had a
frozen smile on my face as I tried to choke down a particularly lame
The goofy, stock cartoon sound effects make up for the small
shortcomings of the dialogue. You’ve heard the same bonks, beeps and
ka-boings ever since you watched Bugs Bunny, but an Animaniacs game
would be hollow without the classic, beloved sounds. The music, on the
other hand, is a train wreck, and not the good cartoony kind. Warthog
could apparently afford to hire the cast, but the music license was out
of their budget.
As a result, the original theme has been butchered and is barely
recognizable; it’s the same bastardization from the puke-worthy DS
game. Even worse, it’s constantly playing at the overworld, and I
cringed every time I had to go back there. Music in the other areas
isn’t so bad, but it isn’t noteworthy either. It’s a good thing the
actual game plays well, or the music would’ve ruined it for me.
The gameplay is basically what you’ve come to expect from a platformer,
but just a notch above most other mediocre titles on the market. There
are some challenging, if unoriginal puzzles that require the skills of
the differing characters. A good deal of the interaction is context
sensitive, and I found that each character’s unique approach to solving
a problem was chuckle-worthy and reminiscent of the show. For example,
Dot is able to perform a limbo while wearing a special skirt, and
Wakko’s weapons of choice are oversized boxing gloves.
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