Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Ep. 2: Last Resort Review: Hittin’ The Beach
“The Last Resort” is next episode in Wallace & Gromit’s episodic “Grand Adventures” series. Telltale Games once again throws the claymation duo into the insanity known as West Wallaby Street, and it’s up to us to help out these two characters with whatever obstacles they encounter. Unlike many of the other Telltale games, you don’t need to have played previous episodes to understand what is going on; everything here is fresh, and easy to pick it up.
Our plot begins when we see the inventor’s dog, Gromit, ready to go on vacation with his absented minded master. However, as soon as the wooden door swings open, the canine is introduced to some nasty weather that extinguishes any chance to going outside. This change of plans hits Gromit pretty hard and Wallace comes up with a brilliant idea: turn their flooded basement into an indoor beach.
There is a little bit more to the plot line than what I just stated, but that’s the main concept for the episode. Much like the previous Telltale produced game, you will explore the same areas, use the same controls, and, as I mentioned in my “Fright of the Bumblebees” review, find three items in order to move forward (in fact, that’s the first thing you do!). There are no new changes, but that isn’t to be expected, considering it was well done concept already, despite its few flaws.
While the formula is intact and consistent, the puzzles and writing are not. Compared to the previous episode, “The Last Resort” is a let down. The first and biggest problem are the puzzles themselves. It seems Telltale was extremely desperate to make any mundane task a puzzle in this game, because they just aren’t challenging. There is no clever thinking, or great writing behind them, and sometimes the solutions involve unintentionally hilarity. For example, at one point you need to get the high powered spotlight from Mr Paneer, and he says he’ll let you borrow it, only if you can prove the weather will be extremely bad for the next few days. So what do you? Go to the newspaper stand, grab the Weather magazine, and show it to him. That’s it.
The first two chapters in this episode have puzzles very similar to that example. They are straight forward, and solutions are very obvious. It isn’t until the third chapter where things get a little bit more interesting, but not enough. The third chapter also reveals yet another flaw with this episode: the writing.
In “Fright of the Bumblebees,” the game mostly revolved around Wallace’s inventions, which makes sense, considering this is a game based on a series about a wacky inventor. However, “The Last Resort” is a much more character oriented episode where the inventions play only as a back drop. There is nothing wrong with a bit of change, however, in order for change to be acceptable, it has to be well executed. The “Last Resort” doesn’t do this. Unlike other Telltale games, there is no dialog tree; you simply click on someone, they spew their lines, and that’s it. On top of that, most of the characters simply aren’t interesting to begin with; Mr Paneer (who might as well be a British Apu), and Mr McBiscuit (a Scottish bully) come to mind immediately. There were a few other notable characters, such as Newspaper lady, but they are overshadowed by the mediocre characters that you won’t care about, and will groan at the fact that you have to interact with them.
Unlike “Fright of the Bumblebees,” I couldn’t recommend “Last Resort” to both Adventure fans, or fans of the Wallace & Gromit series. The puzzles are too easy, the writing is mediocre, and the plot betrays its own license. If you are going to license a game based on an inventor and his dog, we would expect a focus on the inventions, not the people who happen to live nearby the protagonists house. If you want to be introduced adventure games or Wallace and Gromit, start with “Fright of the Bumblebees” instead.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Ep. 2: Last Resort was released on May 5th for PC, and TBD for Xbox Live Arcade. The version reviewed was the PC version.