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Wallace & Gromitís Grand Adventures: The Last Resort (PC) artwork

Wallace & Gromitís Grand Adventures: The Last Resort (PC) review


"There's a slightly uncomfortable predictability about The Last Resort, this second instalment of Telltale Games' Wallace & Gromit adaptation. The first episode, Fright of the Bumblebees, impressed with its faithful aesthetic and witty dialogue, but the mundanity of its first half left a little to be desired. In The Last Resort, you'll spend the first hour collecting things, and the second hour on customer service duty. Hmm."



There's a slightly uncomfortable predictability about The Last Resort, this second instalment of Telltale Games' Wallace & Gromit adaptation. The first episode, Fright of the Bumblebees, impressed with its faithful aesthetic and witty dialogue, but the mundanity of its first half left a little to be desired. In The Last Resort, you'll spend the first hour collecting things, and the second hour on customer service duty. Hmm.

The second hour sort of works, with its dismissal of the twisted logic that occasionally held the previous episode back. Replacing it is a rather clever set of puzzles, involving careful social interaction and common-sense resolutions. Regularly, The Last Resort demands you apply real-life thinking to this oddball situation, which is a refreshing shift for the genre. But still. It's a little dull.

It's just not quite zany enough. Wallace & Gromit has always succeeded through its presentation of utterly barmy situations and charasmatic villains. Here, it's all a little bit lightweight. Cancelling their trip to the good old British seaside due to a downpour, the pair decide to bring the beach to their home, setting up their own holiday resort and inviting the locals to stay.

Of course, everything goes pear-shaped when the customers are less than happy with their stay. Primarily controlling Wallace, you'll spend a good while ensuring their needs are met, as you can't afford to be dishing out refunds. And then... well, by then you're already half way through the game, before anything remotely interesting happens.

It's occasionally quite witty. More frequently, it's disappointingly bland, sporting little of the quaint English humour of either the first episode or the television show. The supporting cast remains mostly identical to before, albeit with a couple of minor additions, but the repetition of jokes begins to wear thin. It's all perfectly pleasant, but completely pedestrian. Nothing lifts it into excellence.

The presentation is still brilliant and still entirely recognisable, and Telltale must be commended for that. But we've already seen this, already applauded it. Recognising the need for a more immediate storyline and more of the delicious jokes will be essential in determining the series' success, and these problems should have been rectified for the second outing. Instead, it's flatlined.

Telltale can do better. It's by no means an awful adventure game - in fact, considered in isolation, it's rock solid. But there's no spark to it, and certainly nothing to elevate it above its fun-but-flawed predecessor. It's suddenly a little stagnant. It also seems to be adorned with odd technical problems, with voice clips stuttering or triggering on top of one another, and the occasional graphical glitch. Number three could well seal the series' fate. They really need to pull something cracking out of the bag next time around.

Cracking. Do you get it? Like crackers. Oh, forget it.

Rating: 6/10

Lewis's avatar
Freelance review by Lewis Denby (May 08, 2009)

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honestgamer posted May 08, 2009:

Of course, everything goes pair-shaped when the customers are less than happy with their stay.

Did you mean 'pear-shaped' there? I rather think you did.

I won't go off on a huge rant here (hopefully), but I disagree rather strongly with the idea that one episode in a 'season' of a game needs to improve over its predecessor to warrant the same rating. All of the episodes are produced from the start--separate muffins from the same tin, so to speak--so if something is good enough to get a 3 one time, it shouldn't get a 2 the next time for not being a muffin of superior quality.

I was glad to see that you delved into the technical flaws that this one had (and its predecessor apparently didn't), but I wished that you would have spent more time considering this episode on its own merits and maybe more time discussing the pacing of the plot. When you went briefly into that sort of stuff in your text, that was when your review was at its finest, so I was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't more of that and less of the discussion about how this should have been better than the first episode and how the next one needs to be better, as well.

It was all still a well-written review, mind, but it was almost even better.
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Lewis posted May 09, 2009:

Good typo-hunting. Eradicate it for me, would you? Cheers.

I made that the focus because I gave Ep1 the benefit of the doubt for being the first in the series. As it got better as it went along, I'd hoped the follow-up would keep that pace and excitement, but it doesn't. It flops back to zero again, and never really picks up as much as the first one. It's certainly nowhere near as amusing as Ep1.

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