Wii

North America

Where the Wild Things Are

by Neal Ronaghan - November 5, 2009, 5:46 pm PST
Total comments: 3

7.5

Stepping even farther away from the source material than the movie, Griptonite Games put together a fine 3D platformer.

The film version of Where the Wild Things Are has very little to do with the classic Maurice Sendak children's book. Furthermore, the Griptonite Games-developed video game based off of the movie has very little to do with both the book and the movie. This is probably for the best, especially since Where the Wild Things Are for Wii ended up turning out to be a fun 3D adventure platformer with an original story and an interesting world.

You star as Max, the little boy who finds himself on a boat on his way to the Land of the Wild Things. He is crowned king and after exploring with the Wild Things, he must help them deal with the dark amorphous creatures that are infesting their world.

You can jump and swing a scepter around with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as you follow the titular things through different linear levels. You maneuver through lush environments by jumping and using items to carry you through the air from platform to platform. For example, you can pick up feathers and use them to fly through the air.

You attack enemies, which are primarily different varieties of bees and blobs, with your scepter. Some of the bees are more powerful than others, including ones charged with electricity. The combat is basic, but not the focus of the game.

Aside from the platforming items, there are also offensive items. You can go to a pile of rocks and use the pointer to throw them at enemies, and some bees turn into bombs that can be used to destroy larger obstacles.

Even with the bee bombs, Max can't break some barriers by himself and he must work together with the Wild Things to get past certain objects. The most charming and prevalent example of this is how Max must begin attacking a large rock or tree to get the Wild Thing to take one swing at it and break it or knock it down.

While the graphics are quite poor, there is a certain allure to the world of the Wild Things. The music also accentuates this and it gives the whole game an otherworldly yet familiar feel. At the heart of this is the Wild Things' village, which you go to after the first level. Initially, you are limited to certain areas, but as the game progresses and you collect different items and learn new abilities, you can traverse all over the village and collect even more items.

For obsessive collectors, Wild Things offers a great deal. Each of the seven Wild Things has 60 of a certain item hidden throughout the hub world and the levels. As you collect them, you unlock cheats and areas in the hub world. For example, if you collect plants and seeds for Judith, you unlock gardens that can be used to create climbable plants, or if you collect geodes for Ira, he'll break different rocks for you in the hub world. Additionally, there are close to 100 stars to collect that also unlock even more stuff.

Where the Wild Things Are is a prime example of how to make a good licensed video game. It doesn't shoehorn gameplay into the license's plot. In fact, the gameplay is fun and varied. When it comes down to it, the only shortchanged part of the game is the graphics. Aside from that, the game is a solid 3D platformer.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4 8 8 8 6 7.5
Graphics
4

The only saving grace from these awful graphics is that the mood and style of the game are endearing. Still, the obscene amounts of clipping are distracting.

Sound
8

Aside from Max, the voice cast is made up of sound-alikes, but they all play their parts well. Additionally, the music and sound effects do a good job of setting the tone.

Control
8

There are no issues with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls. The gestures are limited to inconsequential roaring and dancing sequences, and the pointer is only used to throw rocks or dirt clods.

Gameplay
8

It's not groundbreaking, but Wild Things is a simple and solid 3D platformer with enough variety to keep it fresh over the quest.

Lastability
6

There's hundreds of collectables that gives completists a lot to do, but the rewards aren't anything more than access to more collectables and cheats that don't compel the player to play through the game again.

Final
7.5

Where the Wild Things Are is a high-quality movie-based game with enough gameplay diversity to keep the platforming fresh over the five-hour adventure. It has potential to appeal to more than fans of the property.

Summary

Pros
  • Fun 3D platformer
  • Gameplay variety
Cons
  • Graphics are pitiful
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Sounds like this could have been the next Little Nemo given the proper vision.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 06, 2009

Yes, I am surprised the game turned out to be pretty decent.

This was the kind of game that I was just waiting for it to either end prematurely or take a really bad turn. It didn't do either.

As I said in my review, the graphics are crap. Other than that, it's a fun 3D platformer.

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Genre
Developer Amaze Entertainment
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Where the Wild Things Are
Release Oct 13, 2009
PublisherWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
RatingEveryone 10+
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