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Opinion of the series so far

posted by Chris1 on - last edited - Viewed by 299 users

I did want to post my opinions about each episode in turn, but I've been a bit busy and never got around to that.
Instead I think I'll write my thoughts as a spiel about the series so far.

The controls
I think Telltale have made what (given the reaction) turned out to be an incredibly brave move here.
Certainly I can see points on both sides. Point-and-Click is definitely a superior method of control to using WASD or a Gamepad for adventure games. However using the Gamepad-style controls gives more freedom with camera angles, and helps ports to consoles.

To be honest, I don't think Telltale deserve the 12-page rage threads that they've been getting over the control system. It has flaws, but after sticking with the series and comparing #1 against #2 and #3, I can tell that they've slowly been working on them.
For example, the occasional camera angle bugs that popped up in #1 are not present in #3, or Telltale have tweaked their key-layout (e.g. moving the select button from the Y button to the triggers). All of this helps.

It will be interesting to see what Tales of Monkey Island will be like in this respect. As much as I want Wallace and Gromit to succeed, I wonder if Telltale were using it as a kind of sacrificial lamb to test their new control layout.

Length and difficulty
Wallace and Gromit is definitely more "for kids" than any other game Telltale have made so far. Unfortunately this rather does show in most of the puzzles; most feel like just going through the motions with no thought needed.

Interestingly in #2 and #3 Telltale started making the puzzles steadily more clever as the games progressed. This had an interesting effect, where initially I go from being put off by the game (with the fact that I've paid money for the thing being my only motivation for playing on) to suddenly getting into it. It's probably a good idea to keep the initial puzzle simple to give people a warm-up, but I feel the step up needs to happen sooner into the Episodes.

The characters

I feel that the characters are a bit hit and miss.

Telltale have captured Gromit almost perfectly.

Wallace seems a bit off... he's a lot more penny-pinching than he is in the films. His character seems to have been a little skewed to allow for all of the puzzles.

Major Crum is way too clichéd, and also suffers from having to acting in various arbitrary ways to suit puzzles. Also, is was he in the Army or the RAF? It's not usual to have been in both, so make your mind up which, Telltale!
Constable Dibbins is pretty much just as clichéd as Crum is. Both Crum and Dibbins strikes me as a real missed opportunity, as someone with some knowledge of the British armed forces or the police could have written us very interesting and more realistic characters. I guess there are worse offenders for things like this out there though. (Shadow Hearts, anyone?)

Having said all of that above, Telltale then go and make up for it by including Mrs Gabberly and Mr. Pannear. Both are wannabe-English clichés in their own way, but they aren't actually very clichéd as these types of character are not included very often.

Overall, unless the last in the series does something extremely spectacular I don't think Wallace and Gromit is going to be remembered quite as fondly as the Sam and Max or the Strongbad series will be.
Which is a shame in a way, because when you cast a technical eye at the game there are a lot of things here (the environments, the cut-scenes...) which are really impressive.

9 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Regarding cliched characters, isn´t this the way generally the Wallace and Grommit cartoons handle the human characters?
    Ok given it has been quite a while (exactly four months) that I have seen the last cartoon, but the human sidecharacters pretty much were as clichéed as as they are in the game, given once they start talking.

    I want to remember the baker serial killer which reminds me a lot on the female neighbour of Wallace in the game.

  • @Chris1 said: Major Crum is way too clichéd, and also suffers from having to acting in various arbitrary ways to suit puzzles. Also, is was he in the Army or the RAF? It's not usual to have been in both, so make your mind up which, Telltale!

    I think the whole joke is that Major Crum is a bit nutty, and he probably hasn't done any of the stuff that he talks about.

  • @Guybrush Threepwood said: I think the whole joke is that Major Crum is a bit nutty, and he probably hasn't done any of the stuff that he talks about.

    Actually this guy reminds me a lot on the major of Fawlty Towers...

  • @Chris1 said:
    Interestingly in #2 and #3 Telltale started making the puzzles steadily more clever as the games progressed. This had an interesting effect, where initially I go from being put off by the game (with the fact that I've paid money for the thing being my only motivation for playing on) to suddenly getting into it. It's probably a good idea to keep the initial puzzle simple to give people a warm-up, but I feel the step up needs to happen sooner into the Episodes.

    I felt exactly the same way. Bumblebees disappointed me, but The Last Resort was a huge turning point for the series, and Muzzled! is simply briliant. I believe it's not only a matter of puzzles, though: gameplay in the first episode was significantly flatter. And those bugs really ought to be fixed!
    However, I can't say that I agree with you: characters are clichéd, without a doubt, but they don't lack a certain degree of distinctiveness which was developed from episode to episode; and I personally found voice acting outstanding (but, I have to admit it, as a foreigner I'm a sucker for English accents ^^). I still prefer ol' Rabbit Dog/Bunnyman and SBCG4P, but that doesn't mean I won't have fond memories of this cheerful summer with W&G.
    Oh, yeah, and - honestly - Mr. Paneer rules.

  • I just felt that Mr. Paneer was a good character because Telltale had hit the nail on the head - there are actually a lot of people out there quite like him, yet they seldom appear in videogames. Same for Mrs Gabberly really.

    That's the reason that I wasn't overly impressed by Crum or Dibbins was that they'd been a lot better if they'd been even remotely realistic.
    Every time they open their mouths and start talking they completely shatter my suspension of disbelief. I stop thinking that the characters I am seeing are real and realise I'm watching characters who are just reading lines from a script.
    They'd have both been funnier and more believable if someone had looked into how those sorts of people actually act.

  • The most clichéd character in TT's W&G games is Felicity Flitts -- the hoity-toity artsy-fartsy head-in-the-clouds fashion victim snob, she is simply annoying. McBiscuit is nearly just as cliched, but at least he is funny. I like Winnie Gabberly a lot, and I wished that her character is better developed.

    As for Major Crum... he makes me wonder why some total wildcard characters are funny and adorable while others, well, wear you down. Compare Max (of Sam and Max) and Crum. Lots of people said they want to be Max, but I wonder how many would say they'd rather be Crum? Not many, I suppose.

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    bubbledncr Telltale Staff

    @werpu said: Actually this guy reminds me a lot on the major of Fawlty Towers...

    That was, in fact, who I used as reference when animating most of his gestures. Gold Star for you!

  • @Randulf said:

    As for Major Crum... he makes me wonder why some total wildcard characters are funny and adorable while others, well, wear you down. Compare Max (of Sam and Max) and Crum. Lots of people said they want to be Max, but I wonder how many would say they'd rather be Crum? Not many, I suppose.

    Actually I really like major Crum, especially the scenes where he directly interacts with Grommit as his private and grommit plays along, brilliant!
    As for your quote, guess what the one is a sadistic "cool" rabbit, the other one an old fat guy probably having become either lunatic of age or in WWII ;-)
    As for Paneer he is ok in my opinion, same goes for Winnie Gabberly, I cannot stand Wallaces neighbour though, while the Scottish guy is simply brilliant especially in episode 2.

  • The controls:
    They were great in the first 2 episodes but on the fair I got stuck a lot behind some of the objects without even knowing where Gromit was or how he is moving since I could not see him.

    Length and difficulty
    The Episodes have all been 3 hours each for me until now. That is a little bit short but still okay. I got 9 hours of playtime out of this game until now. That is about what a full price adventure would have. And there still is another episode.
    The puzzles are all easy. I never felt the need to grab a walkthrough until now.

    The Story
    I really love the stories of the episodes but they do not connect. How was the problem at the end of Episode 1 solved? We will never know. I would really have loved to find a solution to that with Gromit.

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