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Disney Pixar's Ratatouille

Score: 78%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer (3D)

Graphics & Sound:

Fresh off of the GameCube version of Ratatouille and on my way to the GBA version, we have the DS version. This is a very standard kid's game. Like its other siblings, this game does include the cooking element. Given the success of Cooking Mama on DS, they could have gotten away with just a cooking game. They made sure to cover all of their bases on this title, as there is a version of this game for just about every handheld device, phone, console and PC.

The look of the DS version is decidedly different than the GameCube or GBA. All of the menus and HUD icons are done in a very artistic, minimalistic cartoon fashion. They only use two or three muted colors to depict Remy, or any other character, for that matter. The actual in-game characters have plenty of color and look characteristically like rats. But, some of the background colors will wash the detail out quite often.

The music is decidedly less like a movie score, as well, giving way to repetitive tracks that can be a little distracting. Sound effects are not high up there either, as they fall into the canned and repetitive category as well.


Gameplay:

Ratatouille starts you off with a hard decision, right off the bat. Do you play the Story mode or do you play the cooking game? Let us begin with the Story mode. When you start a new game, you must decide if you are going to use the stylus or the D-pad in order to control the game. I am an over-trained original GameBoy player, so I chose to stick with the D-pad. In the stylus version, you move with stylus and use the D-pad to initiate jumps and other controls. If you are right-handed, you have to remember which direction does what with the D-pad. Yes, it confused me, so I am old school.

Once that is done, you are released into the training area. Your mission is to collect various foods. Take the time to read all of the signs, so that you can master the tricks necessary to guarantee success later. More roughly following the movie's ideas and less of a scene-by-scene railway line through the game, you will complete mission after mission searching for food and overcoming the obstacles.

Then, there's the pièce de résistance, the cooking game. Very much the look and feel of Cooking Mama, you will have to prepare your raw ingredients. You will then cook and then plate your masterpieces. It is an addictive little game of juggling all of your food as it cooks, while adding in ingredients as you go. A simple, yet effective waste of time.


Difficulty:

In the Story mode, there are a lot of jumps, wall-climbs and balancing acts to keep the average gamer on their toes. It is also simple enough to keep the younger or inexperienced gamer playing all of the way through the game. Some of the multiple combos for climbing and then jumping to another platform may become a little tricky at times, but it can be done by younger gamers.

In the cooking game, it can be quite challenging to keep all of your pots on the fire without burning, while continuously adding the necessary ingredients. Again, I could play an entire game dedicated to this aspect alone, as it was an amusing distraction.


Game Mechanics:

All of the jumps and balancing acts aside, Ratatouille has a very solid control system. The jump system could prove difficult for younger players, as the longer it is held, the further you jump. The touch sensor on the cooking game could have been just a little more forgiving, as well. Younger players who might not fully grasp all of the concepts of the cooking game itself will still have fun with the first part of just preparing all of the food to be cooked. It is just a little too particular about the line and not where the food is on the screen.

This is a good solid game for younger hands. I enjoyed the cooking and would have liked to see a little more to it, given that it was half of the entire package. I would recommend this as a pick up for kids, so go enjoy. Bon Appétit!


-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Nintendo DS Brain Buster Puzzle Pak Sony PlayStation 2 The Adventures of Darwin

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated