XI
you are not logged in
Review

The Muppets Movie Adventures Review (PS Vita)

Lights, camera, muppets.

I loved The Muppets when I was a kid watching their TV show, and Muppet Treasure Island is among my most watched movies. I’m enjoying the recent renaissance that the series has experienced, and I suppose with the renewed interest we should have expected a game to come out of it. That duty has fallen to developer Virtual Toys, which was tasked with creating a platformer featuring some of the big names of the Muppets, each of whom is starring in their own movie that span five different genres.

The four muppets you’ll control in the game are Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal and Gonzo, with the frog getting two leading roles. In total there are five levels to play through, each of which is a scene from a fictional movies, including inspirations from pirates, sci-fi, horror, westerns, and fantasy. Every level is a platformer filled with enemies to hit, obstacles to jump across, and puzzles to solve to move forward. There are also collectibles in each level, including stars, musical notes, film reels and golden tickets to collect, but don’t expect to get them all in one run through.

To get a 100% completion rate you’ll have to play each of the stages at least twice, as after you finish a stage you’re given new equipment to reach areas that were previously unreachable. Even then you’ll have to go for the the most efficient path if you decide to go for 100%. The best way to do this is to complete all the levels, then after that do all the stages except for Miss Piggy’s as you need all the musical notes to get to all the areas in her scene. So, there is quite a lot of backtracking that feels like it is there to pad out what is otherwise a rather short game. Obviously the game is aimed at children, and Warner Bros stated it would take about 10 hours on average for a child to complete. For me the completion time for just completing the levels was around four hours.

In terms of how The Muppets Movie Adventure plays it is a pretty standard platformer, though it looks really good on the Vita. It has a bright, colourful palette, and the art style of each stage is very well done. Movement seems smooth most of the time but there were frame rate drops now and again which did slow down the action, which wasn’t great when committing a jump or facing an enemy.

Enemy attacks range between hitting you close up or throwing objects at you, though I sometimes took damage just by landing next to them from a jump, which could be a bit annoying since you can only take six hits before you die unless you find a heart to replenish health. To attack an enemy you just tap the square button, with each character having either a melee attack or a ranged attack. Animal’s meatball slingshot is particularly brilliant.

screenshot_04_1414597539

The Muppets Movie Adventures does take advantage of being a Vita exclusive by using the consoles various features, though some are more prominent than others. The most prominent is the touchscreen which you use to solve puzzles, pull levers, or in a certain boss fight, destroy incoming meatballs. The game does also use the back touchpad though very rarely and the gyroscope once. The latter is understandable because that particular moment wasn’t particularly accurate.

We have here a competent platformer then and there is some decent voice work too, from a narrator who sets out the tale of the movie, and a director who repeats a few lines if you die. The narrator’s voice work is good but the director’s can sound a bit annoying. While those voices are there the game is missing The Muppets’ tones, with all their narrative displayed via text. It detracts a little from the experience since it is missing that little bit of charm those voices could have added.

What’s Good:

  • Is an overall fun platformer.
  • Visually looks very good.
  • The Muppets’ humour remains intact.

What’s Bad:

  • Lots of backtracking.
  • Relatively short game.
  • Frame rate drops.

The Muppets Movie Adventures is a fun platformer that retains some of the charm of the Muppets. It will provide a bit of a challenge for a younger audience though more experience players will be able to breeze through it quite quickly. There are a few issues like the frame rate drops, some minor clipping, and hit detection that feels a bit off. While Movie Adventures is a good game it is just short of that that charm of the Muppets, making it feel a bit lifeless.

Score: 7/10

3 Comments
  1. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Kinda want this. *hides*

    Comment posted on 05/11/2014 at 10:47.
  2. lambchop
    Member
    Since: Aug 2013

    I think I will be getting this…..

    Comment posted on 05/11/2014 at 10:53.
  3. coruscant
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    Without the Muppet voices it seems like missing half the point of The Muppets…

    Comment posted on 05/11/2014 at 22:11.