|a game by||Artificial Mind & Movement|
|Platforms:||GameBoy Color, PC, Playstation|
|Editor Rating:||5.5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||7.0/10 - 2 votes|
|Rate this game:|
"It isn't easy being green," sang Kermit the Frog, and how right he was. The Grinch may have come from the wrong side of the swamp, but things certainly don't run smoothly when you've got kids to scare, snowmen to smash and a Whoville Christmas to ruin.
You play the green one on his quest through a Dr Seuss-inspired world to disrupt the festive celebrations of the far too cute Whoville and collect the missing blueprints for the Grinch gadgets. Unfortunately, you can't do a lot of serious maiming with weapons like the Rotten Egg Launcher and Slime Shooter. Well, what did you expect? Along the way you have to indulge in all kinds of child-friendly naughtiness, such as squashing presents, sabotaging posters and, heavens no, shuffling the mail.
Movie tie-in games have a reputation for being fairly half-hearted at best and cat litter at worst. Lumped in with the whole merchandising shebang alongside talking dolls and plastic lunchboxes, those poor pixels never really stand much of a chance. But the Grinch is worth a quick second look simply because once in a while, when everything stops rhyming, it's quite good fun.
The game doesn't break any new ground, either visually or in terms of gameplay. It runs relatively smoothly, the puzzles are fairly tricky and the graphics and sound are certainly passable. Moreover, it's almost refreshing not to have to worry about being blown to pieces and know that the most dangerous thing around the next corner is likely to be an over-enthusiastic child.
If you're prepared to make some serious concessions to your inner child, then you and the Grinch might form a beautiful friendship. If, however, you're more of a blood-and-gore type of a gamer, you might find yourself thinking 'Yes, this is all very pretty, but where's the light anti-tank gun?'
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Games based on movie licenses usually meet headfirst with disaster. A few exceptions include Toy Story 2 and most of the Bond games, but not The Grinch. This is a very plain exploration/mission-based game that's not whimsically evil (like the book or movie on which it's based)--it's just boring. No longer is The Grinch's mission a Christmas Eve-only event. He waltzes through Whoville and the surrounding areas in broad daylight, mostly undetected, messing up the holiday in plain view. I guess merely stealing Christmas isn't enough for The Grinch in this game. You jump on and "pop" wrapped gifts instead of stealing or collecting them. The Mean One hates Christmas and the Who's celebration, but shows it by shoving beehives down their chimneys, launching rotten eggs into their windows, and defacing a statue of their mayor...does that steal their Christmas? No. Gameplay is very tedious-you do the same kinds of things over and over ad nauseum. After collecting all the blueprints to an invention, you have to endure piecing them together (repeated a half-dozen or so times). Graphics leave a lot to be desired too--they're very flat with a healthy dose of texture pop-in. Music is uninspired, dull and repetitive, with cinemas that are completely devoid of music. A few minigames can't salvage what is a below-average game. Universal--stop yourself before you turn all your good movies into poor games.
I'll give the Grinch the kudos it deserves up front: Fine voice-acting on the part of the Grinch and the Dr. Seuss-ish narrator. OK, I'm done. What follows is a joyless movie tie-in, licensing and marketing debacle that fails to offer anything worth playing. Sorry fellas, but going through a patronizing series of "pull the switch, let the dog walk through the hole to get the key to the one door in the room" sub-Spyro exercises found in the training level pretty much gives you the gist of this game. Too bad this is a title that unwitting parents will buy for children who want more Grinch until the movie comes home on video. The Grinch who stole Christmas indeed.
Yikes. Well, one thing's for sure, that whole joke about movie-to-game conversions certainly conies into play here. This game sucks. Badly. The game-play isn't horrible but I can't help but feel I've played this basic premise a few times before (Spyro or Crash anyone?), and they all did the scavenger hunt thingy about a billion times better. And then there's the graphics. To say this game has first-generation visuals would be too kind: Pop-up and other glitches run rampant for no obvious reason. Grinch is the perfect example of a bad movie tie-in, and should be avoided completely unless you're too young to care. Hell, it should be avoided even then.