Review

Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures: Episode 4 -- "The Bogey Man" (PC)

More of a Double Bogey, Actually

by Coop



Of all of Telltale's series, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures has likely been the weakest. Sam & Max was consistently strong throughout both of its seasons, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode started somewhat weak, but ended with a massive improvement, and Tales of Monkey Island has pushed out two impressive episodes since it launched last month. That said, Telltale has surprised before, and I made sure to go into the episode with a clear mind, ready for plenty of silly antics involving the cheese-obsessed duo. Optimistic, I set off to see if Telltale was able to save to end the Grand Adventures well, hoping for a fitting conclusion to Aardman Animations' creation.

For the first time in the series, the concept of continuity was added beyond tiny references to previous chapters. This was to be expected after Episode 3's ending, which left Wallace down on one knee in front of Felicity Flitt, in an act that was mistaken for a marriage proposal. It's very Wallace & Gromit, and the tie to Muzzled serves as a reminder that Telltale's greatest mistake in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures was to treat each episode as an independent story. Even the Sam & Max titles, which attempted to tell a new tale with each episode, had ties between them, helping Telltale establish enough of an ongoing narrative to bring the season to an epic conclusion.  

And an epic conclusion The Bogey Man is not. In actuality, it might be the least epic of the episodes, revolving around Wallace's quest to find a way to break up his proposal to Flitt. Of course, since Wallace is a bit shy, the route he takes to go about it is roundabout to say the least, involving joining the Prickly Thicket golf club. Even this is more complicated than it should be, since Flitt's mother joins the game's cast, serving as the only new character in the episode. Locations, too, are lacking, and it feels as though the world of Wallace & Gromit has actually gotten smaller as the series has progressed.

Occasional jokes and clever puzzles make the actual gameplay as good as any other episode in the season, though it lacks a certain oomph to take it to the next level. The Wallace & Gromit charm is intact - it takes more than slow story progression to change that - though it doesn't carry the episode as far as could be hoped. This is the season finale, it's supposed to make people want more, and leave gamers clamoring for a second season. In the end, there will likely be little outcry for Telltale to skip Sam & Max or Tales of Monkey Island for another season of Grand Adventures.

A lot of things were necessary to make the last episode in this season stand out. It needed to call back to all of the previous episodes, it needed to tie everything together nicely, and it needed to be a bit faster paced than previous installments. None of these occurred. It might be worth picking up for anyone who has already invested time in the first few episodes, though it's such a lackluster conclusion it might be best to just cling on to any good memories from previous episodes and leave it at that. Telltale has always done a good job of improving their episodes as their seasons progress. This time around, however, this wasn't the case, and while it's not a bad episode by any means it definitely doesn't feel like the ending Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures needed to end a success. A grand adventure this was not.

Images
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Comments
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  • krashdown
    krashdown

    wow this looks a lot like the show, nice wallpaper textures.

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