|a game by||Ubisoft|
|Platforms:||PC, Playstation 2, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||3/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.3/10 - 8 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Action Adventure Games|
There are quite a few games based of movies over the years. If you have been playing games for years, you are more than likely aware that these don’t always turn out to be the best. One genre that seems like it will always spawn a game based on it is the animated film genre. So, when Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation announced that Open Season was in development in 2004, it didn’t surprise anyone that a video game based off of it was announced shortly after. Can Open Season turn the tide and show that an animated movie-based video game can be fun?
A Woman and Her Bear
The story of Open Season the game very closely matches the movie itself. Speaking of the movie, it was released around the same time of the game. It starred Martin Lawrence (Boog), Ashton Kutcher (Elliot), and Debra Messing (Beth). Although the critics weren’t too fond of it, audiences really enjoyed it and the movie was considered a success.
In both the game and movie, the main character is Boog. He is a bear that has been raised in captivity, although it’s much more comfortable than the normal bear you may see in a zoo. Boog has been spoiled by a park ranger named Beth. Together, they have a show that both entertains and educates those who attend.
Shortly into us meeting Boog, he runs into a wild buck named Elliot who is tied to a hunter named Shaw’s truck. Boog sets him free from the truck so Elliot can run free. To reward Boog for helping him, he takes Boog out of his home for a stroll on the town to have fun. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well and due to his love for sweets, Boog is caught by the police raiding a convenience store, so he’s taken back to Beth’s home. Since the town can’t have a bear roaming around causing trouble, Beth decides to make the tough decision to send Boog to the wild to be free.
When he’s finally free, Boog’s only thought is to get back to Beth. Thus, starts the journey of Boog and Elliot as they make their way back to Beth. Of course, along the way, they’ll have to survive open season while Shaw and other hunters are on the hunt.
Hunters and Deer and Bears, Oh My!
At its core, Open Season is a platformer game that mixes fetch quests, some mini-games, and platforming. You’ll find yourself in a new area for each stage with a new animal to save. This usually starts with you collecting items for the animal before backtracking to give it to them.
Your biggest (and really the only) obstacle is the hunters taking part in open season in the forest. You’ll be facing them all game, so be prepared. To combat these hunters as Boog, you’re given a disguise and the ability to hide, roar, and throw fellow animals such as skunks or rabbits. You can use these abilities to sneak by or scare away hunters, which isn’t too difficult. In fact, it’s more tedious than difficult. When playing as Elliot the buck, you can lay traps and lure hunters in, sneak more easily, and jump high in the air. That’s right… jump. It’s odd that Boog can’t jump as well, but I’m guessing they needed to make the two main playable characters different. This means that you’ll be scaring and throwing in Boog’s levels and sneaking and platforming in Elliot’s.
By far the best part of Open Season is the mini games that are scattered throughout the entire playthrough. I loved these! Not because they were some original new game, but because they were very much needed pallet cleansers after the usual boring stages. The repetitiveness of most stages makes you incredibly excited to arrive at the next mini game, only if to try something new. These mini games include races, falling down a mountain as a snowball, riding a mine cart, and racing down a river in an outhouse.
Hey, That Isn’t Ashton Kutcher!
Another big gripe I had was that the original voice actors aren’t used in the game. The voice actors do a fine job, but I knew something was off when Elliot started speaking. It certainly wasn’t Ashton Kutcher. It’s not the biggest deal. As I sad, the replacements do a fine job and I appreciated their effort.
As the music, you’ll be hearing the same ordinary tunes pretty consistently. Although at some points in the game, the music will completely cut out there’s a bit of awkward silence. There’s nothing worse than playing a boring game in utter silence.
While the overall graphics are your very run-of-the-mills, the animations for Open Season are above average. Boog and Elliot move just as you’d expect them to after watching the movie. On the downside, there aren’t many animations, so you’ll be seeing the same ones over and over again. It’s still great to see that the team put effort into the main characters.
While Open Season is meant to be a game for children, there’s isn’t much joy coming from this game. It looked outdated on release and feels like the team rushed a product out to meet the release date of the movie. If you’re a major fan of the film and are simply curious how the movie was translated into a game, feel free to give it a try if only to say you did. If you have no interest at all in the film, you’re safe to pass on this one.
- Above average animations of the characters from the movies
- A few simple, fun mini games
- Too many fetch quests
- Poor music throughout, with none in some parts
- Little variation to the normal gameplay outside of the mini-games
- No original voice actors