The Muppets Movie AdventuresOverview -
I love me some Muppets. The 1977 French pressing of the 'Mah Na Mah Na' 7" vinyl single stands proud in my record collection, their excellent 1992 version of the classic Christmas Carol story gets spun every Christmas in my family and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 reboot starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Shivering with anticipation, I entered 'The Muppets: Movie Adventures' for the PlayStation Vita. Could it be everything and more for the seasoned Muppets fan, or a terrible bore for all audiences?
'The Muppets: Movie Adventures' features colourful backgrounds and backdrops, but the character models are a mixed bag. While definitely recognizable as our favourite Muppets, the sometimes blocky and unpolished design leaves a lot to be desired and improved. Cut scenes are always static. What an utter shame to not animate the zany and wacky felt heroes. Even jittery or stop motion-esque would have sufficed. Just before the credits roll, we get exactly three seconds of actual moving Muppets.
The cut scenes and the director's three snarky comments are fully narrated, but none of the Muppets talk. I'll give you a moment to let that thought sink in. None of the Muppets talk. These characters have had legendary voice actors provide them with definitive voices that are ingrained in our brain and our collective pop culture memory. Every American knows at least some French thanks to Miss Piggy, and some faux Swedish thanks to the Swedish Chef. No character speech in 'The Muppets: Movie Adventures' may be its biggest crime. Background music is perfunctory and basic, but passable.
On paper, a self-aware, self-referential, meta Muppets game about the felt puppets acting in the movies sounds like a charming game. In reality, it's a half-baked effort featuring basic platforming thrills, a few chuckleworthy touches, but no actual Muppet voices. What a crime against good taste in videogames. While not a total disaster (young children may find some enjoyment in the title, and the Muppet theme alone is enough to warrant a small smile on a gamer's face), 'The Muppets: Movie Adventures' could have been so much more. And should have been. A pretty meh nah meh na affair.
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