Family Guy

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Platform reviewed: PSP

Licensed games, especially those based on TV shows, are a crapshoot. You either get fantastic stuff, like The Simpsons: Hit & Run, or you get a UMD of Much Boredeom, which is what the Family Guy game is. Here’s a title that does little but stick a slight bit of comedy, and I do mean slight, into a simplistic platformer/shooter/stealth title.

Yes, you read that right, The Family Guy aims to be everything to everyone when it comes to gameplay. When you start the game as baby uber-genius Stewie, you’re stuck running around the house doing plenty of platforming to collect bolts to upgrade you zapper gun. From there on, you know how the Stewie levels will go. Lots of roaming around small levels looking for specific items, firing the grappling hook and generally stifling an onslaught of yawns. Sure the world inside the game is peppered with lots of inside jokes for fans, and some raunch and general silliness, but that’ll only keep even the most hardcore fan happy for an hour or two. Even the mini-games, which are pretty minimalist, provide little reason to keep playing.

Other levels have you playing as Peter and Brian, who handle action and stealth respectively. While the switching of characters aims to alleviate the monotony, the fun only lasts for so long before the repetitive nature of the gameplay sets in, and you’re looking to put the game away. Peter’s job is to beat up anyone and everyone, it’s like Bad Dudes meets Family Guy, but Bad Dudes is probably 100% more enjoyable, and the Bad Dudes never delivered a beat down to old women. Not that I’m trying to be politically correct, it’s just that this attempt at cool humor falls flat after the 2nd or 3rd smackdown. Brian’s “stealth” levels just don’t deserve many words. Don’t expect to do much more than memorize patrol patterns and keep trying until you get a round right.

For fans of the TV series, the game retains all the character of the show. It’s got some raunch, some silliness, the exact art style and the voice acting. The voice acting, however, gets old fast, with each character limited to repeating the same handful of lines during play.

Family Guy is the kind of game that only a die-hard fan would love, and probably for only a half-dozen hours. Everyone else will tire of its basic nature quickly, and the sheer repetitiveness will have you rushing this game to the trade-in counter.

Overall: 5
Bland and boring, just another abuse of a popular license.

- Craig Falstaff