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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Package Art

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

The holiday season is practically upon us, both in video game form and film. Who better to merge the two than Activision, with their excellent turn out during the summer with Shrek 2 and the amazing Spider-Man 2. While their latest film adaptation, Shark Tale, left a little something to be desired, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events steps it up a notch. However, it still doesn't hold the lasting power of Shrek 2 and it certainly doesn't hold the copious amounts of gameplay from Spider-Man 2. All comparisons aside, however, this is easily a recommended game for fans or younger gamers.


As a video game based on a movie, which is in turn based on a series of novels, it only seems fair to bring out the highlights of the film's art design. One of the most impressive aspects about the game is the visuals, which aren't top-notch, but they can sometimes be surprisingly beautiful. Unfortunately, the character models suffer from a few ugly flaws. Repetitive animations and sloppy textures are only a couple, but it's enough to keep the game from looking better than it could have been. Thankfully, the level design and art direction saves the game from completely mediocrity. Each environment is captured beautifully and while it could be said that each area is too small, the designs make up for it. All in all, the game looks okay and the frame rate holds steady throughout most of the events.


With accurate voice-overs and a beautifully composed score that could have been taken straight from the film, the game is predominately saved by the audio. Jim Carrey reprises his role as Count Olaf whereas Emily Browning and Liam Aiken return as Violet and Klaus. Also returning to his roots within the Series of Unfortunate Events is Tim Curry, who provides the voice of the Narrator. With his background on the audio book narration, Tim Curry provides an entertaining and enigmatic voice over. How can Tim Curry not make anything that much better? Carrey and the very talented young actors re-create the world they made within the film and make the cut-scenes rather enjoyable. The sound effects are entertaining, crisp and clear.


The play mechanics in Lemony Snicket are varied, although not as much as in Shark Tale. With three characters in the game comes team-based gameplay, which is really one of the more interesting aspects in any licensed title. Even though one is a small baby, she still holds an integral part in the game. Violet is the most important of the three, however, since she's the one who makes the inventions that allow everyone to progress. Starting off, you'll have to make a weapon for Klaus to take care of some rats out of household items such as a broom, a spring and a boxing glove. It sounds a little bit like the latest Jimmy Neutron game, but it's much different. For instance, the inventions actually make sense in this title, plus the fact that you actually get to build each invention. The concept is very cool and executed nicely, but it leaves just a little bit to be desired. Klaus doesn't really provide much throughout the game with his unique talents. As a genius, he remembers every book he reads. Needless to say, he reads a lot of books. However, this really doesn't come into play while your actually playing, but rather during cut scenes. Other than that, he's just the muscle. Sunny, the baby, can fit through small openings and gnaw through steel pipes. How cool is that?

While that sounds all well and good, the gameplay snags up here and there. The game sets the children in several different tasks. Once each task is completed, you'll move on to the other task. During each task, you'll encounter some of the strangest enemies that will get in your way. There are even some stealth mechanics, which are really anything but. Just stay out of the light and you'll survive. The combat is fun, but repetitive. You'll constantly be begging Violet to invent a chainsaw or something. Some of the platforming elements are a bit dry, considering the fact that each character only has the power to jump and push boxes in order to progress. It's fun, but the simplicity bogs down the variety. With only a handful of different areas to explore, the game cuts off relatively short and with no multiplayer elements, the game has an unfortunately short life span.




It's rare to see a good film-based video game, but it's even rarer to see a great one. Thankfully, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events provides enough production value to keep its head out of the muck and crawl back into the land of good. If you're a fan of the film or the books, you can pick this one up without guilt. If you know a younger gamer who would get a kick out of inventing jetpacks out of fire extinguishers, you'll definitely want to pick it up. Unfortunately, that narrows the game's niche down quite a bit. The folks at Adrenium did a good job and it's certainly a step up from their past works. Hats off, folks.

final score 7.0/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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