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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Buena Vista

 

Developer

Traveller's Tales

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

 

- Good single and two-player action
- Accessible for younger players
- Does a good job capturing the feeling the of the movie

 

 

- Older gamers will feel like someone is holding their hand
- Restricted to the events of the film

 

 

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (XB)

Review: Batman Begins (GC)

Review: Chicken Little (XB)

Review: The Incredibles (XB)

 

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Chronicles of Narnia

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

chronicles of narnia           chronicles of narnia

 

If I were to be so bold as to provide a one-sentence summary of the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to save myself the trouble of actually writing a review -- the 4th Quarter of the 2005 pretty much drained away my will to live, nevermind my will to write -- would be something like: Chronicles of Narnia is like a more kid-friendly version of the much-ballyhooed Lord of the Rings action games from EA, which incorporated clips from the film into the action and

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featured a videogame retelling of the film source. (Even though both are rated "T" (for Teen), Chronicles of Narnia definitely feels more kid-friendly.)

If you're familiar with the film or the C.S. Lewis book on which the film is based, you'll feel right at home controlling the Penvensie kids: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, each with their own special abilities. Lucy is the smallest

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of the bunch and can access small spaces; Susan's forte is ranged combat; Edmund can climb trees; and Peter -- kind of the brawler of the bunch -- can lay waste to enemies and clear out barriers. In single-player mode, you can switch between characters on the fly and in some situations character switching is absolutely necessary. To further heighten the aspect of in-game teamwork, is that characters can be "combined" to some extent for more powerful attacks or defensive moves.

The game leaves little in the way of guesswork as to which character should be used. As you approach objects and locations a character icon pops up that indicates which character should be used on the object or location. It makes the experience more accessible for younger players but for older players it will feel a little too much like you're being led by your nose.

 

chronicles of narnia          chronicles of narnia


Chronicles of Narnia manages to keep the action moving at a good clip and mixes it up with straight hack 'n' slash action and "on rails" sections (i.e. zipping down ice "rapids" while avoiding gaping chasms). It's not going to win any awards for originality but developer Traveller's Tales (of Lego Star Wars fame) did a good job capturing the major confrontations from the film, particularly the climatic battle scene, and that's what counts when it comes to licensed games.

On the graphics and audio front, Chronicles of Narnia does a good job recreating the feel of the film. As mentioned before, clips from the film are integrated into the game. All the main characters lend their voices and likenesses to the game to provide that much more authenticity.

At the end of the day, Chronicles of Narnia is an above-average movie tie-in. If it left some of the exploration and discovery up to the players instead of laying things out it would have scored higher. That said, it's still a good gaming experience.

- Omni
(January 6, 2006)

 

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