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Family Guy: Video Game!

Score: 79%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: High Voltage Software
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Platformer (3D)/ Stealth

Graphics & Sound:

Holy freakin crap, its about time! 2K has teamed up with FOX to debut the Family Guy: Video Game! for all its fans. The show is now in its fifth season and has only just now hit the consoles (The Simpsons' games hit shelves midway through the second season). Developers tried hard to capture the look and feel of the TV series, just keep in mind that it is a Family Guy game, so don't pick it up looking to be blown away. The cel shaded animation gives that 2-D feel in a 3-D world, which keeps things simple; which is pretty much how the entire game feels.

Along with Seth MacFarlane, the rest of the cast from the show provide their voices for the game, along with many of the regulars including Adam West as Mayor Adam West and Adam Carrolla as Death (somehow he found the time to get away from his uber-popular talk show). The original music is also featured, giving that TV episode-ish feel to the game.


As stated before, the Family Guy: Video Game! is very simple. Each of the three playable characters - Peter, Brian and Stewie - each have a different type of level. Peter’s levels are strictly action and fighting, where he believes that TV’s Mr. Belvedere is behind some kind of global conspiracy, and its up to Peter to stop him by kicking the crap out of anything that moves: old women, children, giant clams, etc. Playing as Stewie is similar to most standard platformers, arming you with a ray-gun to seek out and destroy his unborn brother, Bertram. Lastly, Brian’s levels are stealth missions where you must use cover and disguises to sneak past anything on two legs.

The game’s storyline plays out like an extended episode of the TV show, featuring the same pop-culture ridden and often risqué humor the series exhibits. Sadly, a lot of the story’s elements are recycled from the show, sometimes even using the same jokes, word-for-word. When the game does deliver new jokes (of which there are still plenty to choose from), they are roll on the floor hilarious.

Regrettably, there is no multiplayer, which I believe would have been very beneficial to the game's replay value. Peter's missions definitely felt like there may have been a fighting game brewing around in there somewhere.


As easy as it may sound, the Family Guy: Video Game! can actually get pretty frustrating at times, because you will have to repeat levels over and over again. Brian’s missions are the most infuriating, because when you get caught, the game doesn’t always make it clear what or who caught you, which then puts you back at the beginning of the level with no new strategies to attempt. The levels shouldn't necessarily be easier, maybe just a bit more explained.

The levels where you destroy everyone as Peter are a bit easier, though some enemies are impervious to some attacks, which means you’ll spend more time memorizing what strikes to use on a character rather than learning new combos. The boss fights are simply guess-and-check. Weaknesses are never explained, and sometimes they can take two hits to eliminate, other times they can take up to thirty.

Stewie’s levels are the least rage-provoking, though due to the game’s 2-D look, it can sometimes be hard to judge depths, causing you to miss a jump from time to time. There are also levels which require Stewie to slide through blood and guts while shrunk down inside Peter's body. Because of the incredibly tight steering, turning around is near impossible, unless you bump into something, which spins you a complete 180 degrees.

Game Mechanics:

The Family Guy: Video Game! plays very much like its SNES Simpsons predecessors. Unless you're playing as Brian, most, if not all the levels involve you running around and destroying everything on screen. There are some side objectives, which keep things interesting and not so monotonous. Each character has items they can (and sometimes must) gather to enhance their skills. Stewie can collect ammo power ups for better weapons, Peter must eat random food items to keep his attack meter up, and Brian has to collect evidence before he can progress to the next level.

Each character's level is broken up into smaller sections, each one with a goal that must be completed before you can move on. You don’t interact with the other characters, so much as you just hear them say random things to you as you pass them by. The only exception is Stewie, who can command characters via his mind control device.

The game is very funny, but not as fun as it should be. The show’s famous non sequiter cutaways are converted into mini-games. Each one has a different set of rules (though not always fully explained) and usually involve pressing buttons in a certain sequence or moving your character towards or away from something.

Basically, if you like the show, you’ll like the game, because it is funny. On the other hand, the game has absolutely no replay value, so its $30 price tag feels a bit steep, but its definitely worth a rental if you're looking for a good laugh.

-Crazy Kangaroo, GameVortex Communications
AKA Josh Meeks

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