Monday, March 17, 2008

Mr. Bean on the Nintendo DS - A Game Review

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Throughout my entire TV-watching life, Mr. Bean is probably the funniest character on TV who no one would dare associate with. Come on, being called or compared to Mr. Bean isn't funny at all even though his silly/funny antics kept us tuning in week after week.

One spin-off from the live-action Mr. Bean TV series is the animated (duh) series by Tiger Aspect, which is currently being shown on Astro's Disney Channel. Animation probably adds more effect to Mr. Bean's already absurd behaviour. According to the Wikipedia article on the series, Mr. Bean's animated actions are taken from Rowan Atkinson (the guy who plays Mr. Bean in the live series) himselft!

Anyways,Pinnacle has just released a video game based on Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, and it is actually quite a bit better than most tv-show/movie tie-ins. Remember The Golden Compass on the Nintendo DS? I don't think so.

Mr Bean for the Nintendo DS surprises by being quite an adept platformer. Graphics-wise, it adopts a cell-shaded look while retaining the character designs from the animation series. One thing that makes the game stand out is unlike The Simpsons game which took a 2D approach, Mr. Bean is actually in 3D but the game restricts you to the X and Y planes on a linear path. Hence, a 3D 2D platformer...if such a thing existed in the first place.

Like any platformer worth its salt, there is a Story mode. Mr. Bean's teddy has been kidnapped by that dratted cat. Mr. Bean must collect cat biscuits in order to free him. Mr. Bean encounters a lot of enemies along the way, including frogs, bees, guard dogs and moles! To assist Mr. Bean in his endeavours, there're some items such as bug spray, cooking pans and a weird looking hat that renders him invulnerable for a few seconds.

The game will have the player jumping onto moving platforms (it's a platformer alright), pulling and pushing crates, and avoiding environmental obstacles such as explosives(!), pits, garden hoes, water hazards and pointy stuff that come up from the ground. If it does sound daunting, rest assured that the gameplay caters for children and it is rather forgiving.

Finishing levels provides not many incentives except for unlocking mini games such as "whack-a-mole" and jigsaw puzzles. Replay value is limited in the Story mode as the only other thing you can do is to play as Mr. Bean's girlfriend.

Despite that, this game would most certainly appeal to children and fans of the TV series. Currently an European release, Mr. Bean for the Nintendo DS is available on Amazon UK. Click here for purchase details.