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Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game

Score: 55%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: Longtail Studios
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

If you haven't noticed by my Grey's Anatomy reviews, I'm a huge Grey's fan. I watch it every week, never missing the action. So when I heard Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game was coming out soon, I was dying to get a hold of it.

The graphics are both good and bad in this game. The mini-pictures that show in the bottom corner of all the staff members are good. They're basically real images cartoonized. However, the characters themselves are very scary, especially George O'Malley. They remind me of characters from quite a few years ago when games were still trying to figure out how to make characters look too real and they just end up looking scary, much like the characters from American Idol: Karaoke Revolution for the 360. During the game, the pictures and level of detail was pretty well done. Granted, the body parts were very simplistic, but the x-rays where you have to find anomalies looked like real x-rays.

The background music is the Grey's Anatomy theme music from Season One. It'd be really nice if the characters from the show did the voices, but I'm guessing that would have cost more money than anyone spends on a game. So you don't get any voices, instead you read the text to get the full story unfolded.


Gameplay:

Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game is part story where you make choices to direct it and part mini-games that you have to get right to make those choices happen. The story play is linear. You can go back and replay any of your previous scenarios at any time, though. You start off playing as Meredith Grey, a resident at Seattle Grace Memorial Hospital. Meredith and her friends lead very interesting lives.

See, Meredith is dating Dr. Derek Shepherd, head of neurosurgery. She's best friends with Cristina Yang, another resident. One of the first things you have to deal with requires getting between Derek and Cristina, a position that you would never want to be in. Then there's Alex Karev, another resident. Alex is sleeping with Lexie Grey, Meredith's half-sister. He was also seeing a previous patient who returns for more surgery. You'll have to help Alex figure out how to deal with his women problems. The rest of your favorite Grey's cast is there too, including Izzie Stevens, George O'Malley, the infamous Miranda Bailey, and many more. The one real absence is Addison Montgomery, but that makes sense given that she's got her own show now.

While playing as all these characters, you'll have to make decisions that affect their lives. You'll also have to perform surgeries that take multiple steps to complete. Eventually, you'll get to a major crisis that you'll have to use all of the cast to get out of.


Difficulty:

Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game is, for the most part, insultingly easy to pass. It's not always so easy to do what you want, though. Every time you have to make a choice in the game, you have to perform an action to make the choice that you want. Some of those choices require you to unwrap a piece of paper or maybe choose the right puzzle pieces. While you can't really choose the wrong one, it's not necessarily easy to figure out which crumpled paper is the one you want or which body part belongs in the picture you want filled in.

The majority of the mini-games are very easy to play, easier than the Littlest Pet Shop game I just reviewed. Granted, they do get harder as you get further in the game, but other than one or two different types of mini-games, they are never hard. The only reason I say those few mini-games are hard is because they just don't give you the pieces quickly enough to solve the puzzles when the timer is full. But you don't get bonus for completing the puzzle when the timer is in the green; as long as you complete it before the time runs out, you get the same credit as if you completed it instantly. So even though these puzzles are a little harder, they still don't make the overall game any more difficult.


Game Mechanics:

The controls are very easy to use in Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game. Every action is performed through the touch screen. You tap on the message boxes to advance the story. You tap on the screen to play music notes. Some games require you to tap and then drag the stylus to move things around. Some of them require you to tap and hold. All of the games will more or less tell you what you need to do to solve the puzzles. If they don't, it's not too hard to figure it out.

The game will automatically save for you at the end of each scene, which is a good thing since I couldn't find any way to save it manually. Also, you might want to be careful about just closing the screen to pause the game quickly. I noticed that I would lose at least one heart every time I did that. You only get 5 hearts before you fail that scene.

I was excited to get Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game. Unfortunately, that excitement wore off very quickly. The characters are difficult to look at, the story drags very slowly, and the games are too simple to provide a challenge. The "new" story feels very much like a rehash of several episodes strung together. If you're just dying to play it, I recommend renting it. Otherwise just go buy the DVDs. You'll get a lot more entertainment out of them.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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