September 19, 2008 - Who could ever forget the charming and endearing story that is Beauty and the Beast? The classic, fairy tale has been retold through books, short stories, and animated movies. The story now presents itself through the eighth episode of American McGee's Grimm. Beauty and the Beast is also the last episode in the series' first volume. So is this closing chapter the Beauty or the Beast?
How about a weird hybrid of the two? While I'm a fan of the original tale, this episode doesn't quite live up to expectations in the narrative department. As the story goes, a father finds himself pulling a flower from Beast's garden. Upon seeing this, the Beast confronts the man and threatens to take his life. The scared man tells the Beast of his daughter, and the creature exchanges his life for the girl's. That is how Beauty meets up with the Beast and then you get your happy ending from there. While this is the premise of the story, the narrative was very weak and I forgot I was participating in the famed story halfway through. Also, if you're looking for a close tie-in to the Disney movie, you won't find that here. As with all Grimm episodes, this game is still dark and putrid.
When you compare this episode to the rest of the series, it's pretty good. It's got some relatively nice platforming additions, and it's a slightly more challenging experience. With this being the last episode of the first volume, I am inclined to say that the series does a pretty impressive job for a weekly released series. However, when you take its rough schedule out of the picture, history leaves you with a dull and monotonous gameplay concept. Hopefully volume two will address some of the criticisms I've had with the series and refine its storytelling process while continuing to push for more challenging, platforming action. While this particular episode makes some baby steps in the right direction, the series still has a ways to go. The art style already provides the beauty; let's just hope its gameplay becomes the beast in future installments.
|out of 10||click here for ratings guide|
The tale's premise is great, but it's not presented to you in a compelling manner. Dialogue could also be simplified.
The colors, the style, the transformations are all good. This episode runs real smooth. The graphics engine won't blow you away, but it does its job.
Some of the ambient music is pretty creepy. The voices continue to be silly, but sometimes feel too forced.
Simplistic and monotonous gameplay concept gets some decent platforming sections. A few glitches and or design flaws are encountered along the way.
The longest episode yet, there are now nine missions, instead of eight. This translates to roughly 45 minutes of gameplay.
(out of 10 / not an average)
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