The Muppets Movie Adventure: PS Vita, Review

When you make use of a strong license to draw people and money to a product, you need to do a few things. First of all, you need to choose a license that has relevance to your target market. Secondly, you need to stay true to the license. Third, you need to deliver the fan service that using the license will reward users with… that is, after all, probably the biggest attractor to licensed products.

The Muppets Movie Adventures fails at all three. Right off the bat, a game with dynamics so clearly aimed at youngsters needs a license that is a little more current. The Muppets are awesome, sure, but when last did anything really significant happen with the franchise? It’s been quite a while.

The next two points are failed more or less together. And that happens because The Muppets Movie Adventures is, when you dig down to it, a pretty average platformer that, aside from character skins, has nothing to do with the Muppets.

The premise of the game is that Muppet characters are acting in films. There are five of these, each representing a level within the game. Each takes around 45 minutes to complete, which, if you do the mental arithmetic, adds up too not enough overall play time, yet far too much time spent per level. And this time per level seems even longer, because the game doesn’t really go beyond even the most basic of platformer activities and premises.

Replayability is built into the levels by including several collectibles, some of which can only be accessed once the level is complete. But in order for that kind of system to really work, the collectibles need to carry some kind of incentive, lest they become litter in the levels that no-one really wants to get. In The Muppets Movie Adventures, the latter is the case there is absolutely no reason to go back and get the collectibles. Combined with long, repetitive levels, the replayability factor pretty much flies out of the window. While young kids may enjoy the action, it has very little to engage the player beyond a few moments.

Perhaps most disturbing in this game is the lack of voice acting. Aside from a narrator introducing things and the odd yell from the director in-level, the Muppet characters never speak. And that’s a shame, because aside from distinctive, personality defining voices, the Muppets are known for solid verbal humour. All of that is missing here, leaving the characters almost totally devoid of personality.

IT feels like the developers created a generic platformer (and not a great one at that) and then decided to simply skin everything with a Muppets theme. The potential for fan service (which would have made the generational appeal of this title much, much wider) is never even explored. The character of Kermit the Frog, for example, simply looks like him there is nothing to make his character unique from any of the other Muppets in the game, aside from appearance; or, for that matter, from a stick figure or blob, or whatever.

Beyond being a gargantuan missed opportunity, it verges on insulting to the Muppets fans who expect to experience a game that delivers a Muppets experience. After all, it has the Muppets on the cover, and in the name… would it be so wrong to actually expect a game that felt even remotely like it had anything to do with the Muppets?

But no, this generic, mediocre platformer doesn’t even have that going for it even the most ardent and forgiving Muppet fan would be at a loss to find reasons to experience this title.


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