Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures Episode 2: The Last Resort
First posted on 05 May 2009. Last updated on 11 August 2009.
|Gromit befriends a new companion, even if it is inflatable.|
|West Wallaby Street Water World is open for business.|
|Wallace tries out the Deduct-o-Matic.|
|Wallace finds himself in a squabble.|
Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures
The season is comprised of 4 episodes:
- Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees
- Episode 2: The Last Resort
- Episode 3: Muzzled!
- Episode 4: The Bogey Man
A smart dog, Gromit, and his somewhat smarter (or not) master, Wallace, have returned for another cracking adventure and are once again trying to cash in on a few crazy inventions. Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures Episode 2: The Last Resort (also known as Wallace & Gromit in The Last Resort) is the second episode of the series bearing the same name from Telltale Games.
This time, the weather is the main problem. Summer is getting closer, but the temperature is getting colder. Gromit is keen on having a beach holiday, though the pouring rain outside has ruined Gromit's plan. Instead, when the home basement gets flooded with water from the rain, Wallace has yet another bright idea. Why not bring the seaside inside to his basement? Not only can he cheer Gromit up, he can also earn some pennies by selling a pass to his indoor beach park to other guests.
Of course, there is a problem. First of all, Wallace needs more than just water—he needs sand, a beach parasol, and an artificial sun! Even then, when the guests start arriving, they are not at all satisfied, and many of them are demanding a refund. Since Wallace has already sunken so much in getting all the supplies, he is not very keen on giving his customers back their money; instead, Wallace tries to make their stay more comfortable, for better or worse.
Just as when Wallace finally manages to keep all his hard-earned money, a crime occurs. A guest is attacked, and Officer Dibbons is determined to solve the case. He is not very bright and does not have a clue, so Wallace decides to help him with another invention: the Deduct-o-Matic. Supposedly, the machine can tap into any unused brain power (assuming there is any) to solve mysteries. As usual, Wallace is very proud of his invention, which is only a prototype, though it does not really work at all. Luckily, Gromit appears to be more intelligent than any of the humans around. While Wallace takes the credit for cracking the case, Gromit does the real work of finding out who the perpetrator is.
Except for the narrative, this episode is pretty much the same as the last episode. Some of the rooms have been redecorated quite a bit, but otherwise the scenes are the same as before. Most of the contents are also recycled, albeit a few new characters are introduced. This seems to be the trend in how Telltale Games choses to develop these episodic games, but it is more obvious in this episode than in others. Even though it is not a major missed opportunity, it may have been more interesting to see other parts of the town. Still, the familiar setting works fine here, as much of the charm of the series come from the few returning characters and locations.
The episode is divided into 4 chapters, some notably shorter than others. Each chapter has its own separate goals to complete, so each can be considered as a separate mini episode. As these chapters have to be played in order, the overall game is rather linear, even though within each chapter it is more open to free exploration.
The interface, which is clearly designed for consoles and for playing with a gamepad, works reasonably well on the PC. Some adjustments will be welcomed in future episodes, such as the option to control the characters using a mouse rather than a keyboard (using only the arrow keys). In some scenes, it is confusing that the movements are being made relative to the camera instead of the character.
The Tab key activates a nifty feature: it highlights all the objects of interest in any given scene. Even though there are just few, if any, small hidden items, this is a tremendously timesaving feature, as it negates the need for random searching for objects that are not interactive. The adjustable hint system is also useful, even though the game is not really that difficult to mandate its use. Since there are only few locations, getting stuck is not a big issue in this game.
The artists from Telltale Games deserve great credit for making Wallace and Gromit look like digital clay models rather than cartoonish renders. Together with a talented British voice cast, playing this game really feels like being part of an interactive animated short. It is clear that Aardman Animations and Telltale Games have been able to form a productive collaboration to expand the universe of Wallace & Gromit, offering a memorable experience to both fans and non-fans of this British pop culture icon.
As a standalone game, this episode is undoubtedly more entertaining than the first. The third chapter (solving the crime) is particularly fun to play, and it makes for the best gaming moment so far in the series. With a third and a fourth episode still to come, I look forward to seeing more Wallace's harebrained inventions and Gromit's daring rescues in their next grand adventures.