Video Game Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Players: 1
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Activision
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: A-
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: B-
  • Replay: B
  • Fun Factor: A-
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: B+


With the movie coming out soon, what's the video game like?

By James Stevenson     November 11, 2004

© Activision

Activision is headed at us with yet another licensed all ages title, and once again, delivers solidly. While this might not be the best game for hardcore or veteran gamers, anyone who enjoys the books or world of Lemony Snicket will enjoy this romp through the world based on the film (which is based on the first three books).

The game puts gamers into the role of the three children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Their parents are dead and Count Olaf (voiced by Jim Carrey) takes them in to try and get his hands on their inheritance. The game begins as the children move into the house.

Finding the pieces of inventions and making them is one of the tenets of the game, and works pretty well. The first level is a good example of this. Count Olaf tells the children to take care of the rat problem in the house. You quickly run around the house to find the pieces necessary including a spring and a boxing glove.

Getting each piece isn't really hard, there is nothing really new to the gameplay. That doesn't make Lemony Snicket bad though, I was laughing my ass off as Sunny slid down the insides of the house narrowly dodging obstacles. There are a lot of cool areas and elements to the game, and a lot of the fun is just sitting back and experiencing it.

There is no better example of this than a level later in the game where a big storm is blowing into the town and about to destroy the house where the children are. You must navigate through this house that is over a cliff as it is being destroyed and ripped away from underneath you. Seeing all of the objects in the house flying around, the waves crashing below, and the platforms swaying in the wind was a moment of pure gaming bliss, regardless of the difficulty level.

That's the big thing this title has going for it. It's fun to experience this amazing world, and if there was something focused on during the game design it was making sure that the world was a good place to go play in.

This isn't challenging, this isn't new in any way. The gameplay is all stuff you've seen before, but that's not really why you're here. This is a continuation of the experience, and to be honest, I had a lot of fun playing this game. It was simple, it was easy, but it was a good time.

I said it before and I'll say it again, the graphics in this game are quite pretty. While some areas look rather bland, many levels are quite detailed and just look phenomenal. It's nice that so much emphasis was put on the production values, because it really helps show what went into the game. The character models and animation are quite good.

The music is solid as well, Tim Curry narrates and you also have Jim Carrey's voice talents. All of that combines for a game that is pleasure to your ears and stereo system.

All in all, A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS isn't hard, it's not ingenious, but it's fun. It's an experience that fans of the movie or books will enjoy, as will the younger gamer or someone who just wants to relax. If you fall into that category, you'd be UNFORTUNATE not to play it.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.


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