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Disney Pixar's Ratatouille

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Helixe
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer (2D)/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

I am finally on the final leg of my run through three of the four Nintendo versions of Ratatouille. Yes, they are indeed still making new games for the Game Boy Advance. Now, admittedly the games that come out for this system tend to be juvenile at best, and there is a good reason for that. Who has all of these GBAs? Well, more than likely it is the younger siblings of DS owners. Yes, I know there are also those who held onto their's or didn't make the technology jump with the DS. So, with all of this being said, it feels like the GBA owners might be getting the afterthoughts of game design.

I was really surprised to see so much effort put into the subtleties of the animation for the game. Now the overall look still looked like any other 2D sidescroller ever made for the GBA. The environments are equally simplistic and far less attention was paid to them as the animations. The cut scenes are stills of the movie followed by some text. Not very inspiring, but it is enough to remind you that this is a movie game.

Not expecting much from the music, I was surprised that it was as complex as it was. The only problem is you will be hearing it for most of the game. Sound effects are canned and again, just not very interesting.


All of the Ratatouille versions I have covered, and I assume all platform versions period, have two different versions of the game to play. There is the basic aforementioned 2D sidescroller and top down standard game and the cooking game.

In the 2D game, you take on the role of Remy. You traverse levels looking for the ingredients you need to exit the level. There is an interesting addition to the static 2D sidescroller play with the use of a top down view you can utilize when you enter mouse holes in the environment. You have a time limit in which you have to complete each level. Instead of losing health, you lose time. Hitting traps and falling will cost you time. Rest assured though, there are little stop watches you can collect to get more time.

The cooking game, much like the Game Cube version I covered, involves juggling varying temperature burners while adding ingredients. The different burners have different temperatures, so make sure not to burn your dishes while you add ingredients. This time you're going to be forced to do the cooking game early on; in fact, it is your second mission. In order to play further locked versions of the cooking game, you will have to unlock them by beating the actual levels in the 2D portion first.


Ratatouille is by no means difficult, even for much younger players. You can pretty much skip most of the levels, as long as you make sure to find your ingredient. The hardest part about the game is when you discover that after you have completed the level, you have to write down or remember an obscure code. I thought that we had gotten out of this type of memory system after the original NES. I wasn't aware we were regressing. Especially when every indicator about this game was moving toward the younger player, who in my house, had trouble keeping track of all of the codes.

The cooking game, on the other hand, actually can have some fun and challenging play later on in the higher levels. Too bad you have to beat the 2D levels first to unlock them.

Game Mechanics:

The simple mechanics of this 2D game leave little to discuss. Jump, swing, float and crawl your way through each level and find the ingredient. There just isn't much to it. The juggle of the cooking game is well done. Even compared to the more interactive versions such as the DS and Wii, it is interesting and challenging. But, to force it on the player when no other version does, it may pose a change in game pace for younger players that have grasped the elements of run and find things, with the subtleties of patience and awareness involved in the cooking.

The cooking game mechanics of adding ingredients while paying attention to the different temperatures, plating and then garnishing is one of those simple yet easy gameplay mechanics that become dynamic gameplay.

When everything is said and done with Ratatouille, it leaves an average taste in my mouth. Between the overly simple levels and the out of nowhere code system, adding in the bonus features that aren't really actual bonuses, and you have a lackluster award system. The only saving grace is the cooking game. Too bad I am forced to play through the 2D version to be able to fully enjoy the cooking.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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