NOTE: I do not want to put up with Family Guy hating trolls in here. If you hate the show, good for you. I really don't give a shit. This thread is about the game, not the show. Go somewhere else and post your pointless comments. Or better yet, chug some Drano.
Family Guy: The Game Review: 5.5/10
Generally when I pay only $29.99 for a brand new video game, I'm not going to expect the greatest experience of gaming this side of current gen, but rather something decent enough to warrant the purchase in the first place and to at least entertain me for a little while, and when it's based on Family Guy, one of my favorite shows ever, I'm expecting a pretty good laugh. However, one thing that Family Guy didn't have going for it was the fact that it's a video game based off of a TV show, which historically those games have been terrible. I had high hopes and thought this game would break the stigma of shitty games with televised source material. Unfortunately, Family Guy doesn't accomplish this.
STORY/CONCEPT: Family Guy is a single player game that follows Stewie, Brian, and Peter along their own seperate but interwoven stories. Stewie is at war with Bertrum (his evil sperm brother) and his journey leads him through Peter's body, through Bertram's fortress, and to the playground; Stewie's levels are that of a traditional platformer/shooter, and are actually pretty fun, though nothing to be lauded over. They are the easiest levels of the game, but probably the ones you'll enjoy the most. Brian is accused of impregnating Seabreeze, Carter Pewterschmidt's dog (again) and he needs to avoid detection while searching out the truth; ultimately, Brian's levels are like watered down Metal Gear levels, where you have to sneak past patrolling characters, and without a doubt these will cause you the most frustration. All of his are similiar, where you have to get through a room, undetected, otherwise you must start it over. Most rooms involve you having to collect a number of items before exiting them, and these reset also if you are caught. You don't have the benefit of vision cones, so you really need to memorize character patterns. Ultimately, Brian's levels will piss you off. Finally, Peter is trying to track down Mr. Belvedire because he thinks he's going to terrorize Peter's family; convoluted as that sounds, Lois offers an explanation for it towards the end of the game that makes sense and is kind of funny. Peter's levels are the equivalent to a sidescrolling brawler of old, like Final Fight. They can be fun, but marginally so.
Although there are three different styles of levels, they are arranged in a very similar fashion. Each 'level' is broken up in subsections, which are typically executed through new rooms and autosaves before/after boss fights or particular sections. And despite there being three types of levels, this game is very short. At the end of each level, or sometimes midway, you'll get the famous (or infamous, depending on who you are), non-sequitor scenes...the flashbacks if you will ("This reminds me of that time..."). These 'mini-games' are very mini; like, 5 seconds mini. Typically they involve pushing a button or combination of buttons at the right time. Success yields you some bonuses for the given character. These are replayable from the Option menu after reaching them, but don't expect to be blown away. However, there is one (the easiest one...you'll know when you get it) that is hilarious and is thrown in for a pretty good laugh. As much as these were advertised as a special feature for the game, they really don't add that much to the experience. What's worse is that almost half of them are cut directly from the show ("smoked meat log", "locks keys out of car", "waffle iron crazy idea", "firetruck vs. gazelle", "peter forgets how to sit down").
One thing that initially irked me about Family Guy: The Game is that a lot of the humor is recycled from existing episodes of the show. This pissed me off initially, but I did get over it because a) there is still a decent amount of fresh material to make you laugh and b) most of the recycled jokes are during the gameplay rather than the cutscenes. Of the new jokes, there is some funny stuff there. One that really made me laugh was an indirect slam at Tara Reid during one of Peter's levels. However, despite all the hilarity, there is no option to revisit these cutscenes, even after clearing the game, unless it's a hidden option unlockable via cheat code. I thought that was a major bummer. And with no chapter selection similar to what Conker's Bad Fur Day offers, you are left starting from scratch to revisit these funny scenes; unless you saved seperate files for each place, which if you have Autosave on you can forget that. Of the recycled humor, a good chunk of it is from episodes from the second half of last season, so the game is pretty up to date, which may explain it's short length.
GRAPHICS: Many people were turned off by the animation style from the cutscenes. Most thought that was indicative of the entire game, but actually the animation reflects the style of the show, and is NOT an indicator of gameplay animation, which itself is smooth. Gameplay-wise, despite the jagged edges, which also are really only apparent during cutscenes, this game captures the look of the show almost perfectly. All in all, there's nothing to sweat over here.
SOUND/MUSIC: Nothing terribly outstanding in terms of sound-bytes. Audio cues that are present are effective. The music of the cutscenes tend to match the show, but a couple of songs (namely, the piano from the Vaudeville duo and Peter's final battle) were stale and uninspired. I love the way the one guy plays his piano in those Vaudeville skits in the show, it's fast and utterly ridiculous. In the game, it's much slower in pace and quiet as well. For some of the levels, though, I thought I was watching an episode of Ren & Stimpy. Three of the tracks that I know of, including the fanfare that plays when you die, were used rampantly through Ren & Stimpy cartoons. It felt very out of place.
The area where this game shines in terms of audio though is the voice acting. Damn near everyone who is a regular in Family Guy episodes lend their voices, from Mila Kunis (Meg), Seth Green (Chris), Patrick Warburton (Joe), and even guest stars like Adam Carolla (Death) and Adam West ("nobody messes with Adam Wii"). They do spot-on jobs, especially the main man Seth McFarlane (Peter, Brian, Stewie, Quagmire, etc. NOTE: Like the show or not, you have to admit McFarlane is one talented voice actor). One notable exception is the Black Knight, who is in the game, but Will Farrell didn't record any lines. However, there's a cutscene where Peter addresses this directly, and it's hilarious. That's part of the humor I enjoy about this game, it's not afraid to poke fun at itself or others, and it does a damn solid job.
A gripe though is that if during gameplay a character starts to talk, and you trigger some sort of other event that causes another character to talk, the first person's dialog will stop, so you may miss some of the funny stuff. Minor quibble, but nonetheless it can get obnoxious.
CONTROLS: The game handles well for the most part, but you will have a myriad of hit detection issues with Peter as you advance. His animations change when his outfits change, and doing a simple punch/punch/punch move may cause you to miss foes in one getup but not another. Stewie's double jump takes a little getting used to, but isn't too complicated. Brian is pretty simple to control, since his levels aren't overly complex.
SUMMARY: All in all, you are due for a VERY linear experience, and a very short one as well. I completed this game in three days, playing maybe two or three hours each day. Stewie's levels will undoubtedly give you the most enjoyment out of the game. Though they are probably the easiest and least challenging, that may be due to the fact that relatively speaking you are enjoying them that much more. Peter's levels are decent, but they can get stale. His move set is initially limited, and until you start to unlock new techniques with him and discover what weaknesses each enemy has, using Peter initially can be a chore and sometimes pretty frustrating, especially with the hit detection issues he sometimes has. Brian's levels will only make you angry, or impatient. There is nothing more frustrating than getting 5 out of the 5 objects in a sublevel, and then right before you get to the door some asshole spots you and you have to start all over. This isn't to say this game is hard, it's actually very easy. Just that there are some frustrating parts where it's not always clear as to what you have to do (i.e. a part in the main game where sword fish and beer are falling from the sky, you can't let the beer hit the ground or you lose...I had no idea because the beer looked like a regular item you could grab during the levels). But once you figure them out it's a piece of cake.
Even if you are a fan of the show, I would give this a rent since you could easily beat it within a weekend. This game is not worth even $30.00, maybe $10 at most. The game certainly isn't awful, as I've seen much worse, and it does have funny moments, but it's very short and forgettable, and there is virtually no depth to it at all. Besides, eventually someone will take all the cutscene footage and merge it into one video on YouTube.
WHAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT BETTER: Instead of bitching about games when I review them, I at least like to point out what could have been done to make it better. And obviously things I didn't bring up in the review already, unless I feel like addressing it again.
Not to jump on my typical co-op bandwagon, this game could have benefited from co-op of some sort. Obviously this would require changes in stories & probably the gameplay entirely. I think teaming up Stewie and Bertrum would have been a neat idea, kind of like they did to get Stewie out of Peter's body in the first episode Bertrum was introduced. Team Peter up with Quagmire or Cleveland or Joe--actually, a four player action/adventure type game with all 4 of them would have been sweet, where you had to hilariously utilize special abilities for each--through the fighting levels, and actually a Brian/Stewie adventure would have made a shit-ton of sense, what with there being like three episodes where they go on some sort of adventure together. Making this more of a party game would have been friggin' sweet.
A way to replay cutscenes seemed to be an obvious inclusion, but alas they have been left out.
Also, I really wished the gameplay would have been mixed up among the characters. Rather than playing 1 game I felt like I was playing 3 long mini-games. Have a jumping adventure level with Peter, have Stewie sneak around, have Brian go through a brawler. The length of the game really isn't a big deal when the game itself can get boring due to repetition. If they would have done this, at least the game would have been a tad more tolerable, though still short.