Some of us may remember a series of books that took the form of a fantasy adventure; where you made choices and then flipped to the page given in response to see how your choice worked out. If you made all the right choices, the hero would win in the end. This is how these "Multipath Adventures" work from these DVD-Video games from Slingshot and Brilliant Digital Entertainment. As the story progresses you are offered choices and the computer graphics animated video proceeds with the story based on your choice. Using the simplistic interface capabilities of DVD video players does not lend itself easily to games, but can work for casual entertainment in the living room or for the kids. This disc will work pretty well for kids but adults will grow tired quickly of the limited interaction and the lackluster storyline.
Facts of the Case
Ace Ventura, the pet detective of two well known Jim Carrey vehicles, is brought to 3D computer animation in this "Case of the Serial Shaver," where Ace and his monkey sidekick must figure out who is shaving the animals at the zoo and leaving the names of the Seven Deadly Sins written on their hairless bodies. Could it be Angelica, the sweet and ungainly veterinarian, or perhaps Erica, the sultry vixen tour guide? Perhaps it is Milo, the mean and ugly zoo owner or his moronic nephew? Follow nonsensical clues that give Ace an excuse to do his trademark lines and gestures from the movies.
For awhile fans of the Ace Ventura films will find some chuckles here as Ace quips and air-humps his way through the adventure. Though this is not voice acted by Jim Carrey a reasonable facsimile was cast and sounds fairly like the character. The mannerisms and lines are also in line with the character. Kids will likely get a kick out of the story and laugh at the animals being shaved as Ace looks for clues while flirting heavily with Erica the tour guide.
I don't have much good to say about the computer graphics themselves, which are too blocky and not realistic looking enough, but I will say that the full frame picture quality is fine. Not much artifacting and the images look as intended. I don't mean to say these images should look like real life, but they aren't up to the standards of computer graphics characters in current games.
There are a few trailers for other games included as extras. If you liked this game, then you can get some input on what other games are available. A couple of them are horror based which would have been nice for our Fright-Fest celebration instead of this one.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
That leaves everything else for here, where the prosecution gets to rip the credibility of the defense case to shreds. First and foremost this isn't much of a game. Periodically you get choices to highlight and press enter for, but those choices seem to mean nothing to the eventual outcome. Furthermore the icons for the choices are simply pictures that do not adequately inform you as to exactly what action you are choosing, so it seems as if you are simply choosing randomly and hoping things come out alright. Fortunately they do come out alright since it seems like your choices have no real difference in the outcome. It seemed basically an exercise in frustration.
The sound is likewise lacking, at least part of the time. While the dialogue and sound effects are done in Dolby Digital 5.1, frequent dropouts in the volume level make it difficult to understand what is said. Turn it up to hear the lower volume and you will be treated to a full volume assault on your eardrums later.
I already mentioned the poor quality of the 3d graphics. The 3d models of the characters are clunky and angled looking people rather than the more rounded and smooth graphics we've become accustomed to. The animation is very poor as well, as you can see one set of polygons moving to simulate walking or moving about with very un-lifelike results.
Since replay value seems low and the game itself isn't that great, along with the rather flawed sound and poor animation, I can't recommend this one for purchase. It might make a fun rental for your kids to keep them out of your hair for an afternoon.
The makers of this game are sentenced to improving the graphic quality of their animated characters and paying closer attention to the sound levels in their soundtracks from now on. The game itself is convicted for not passing the first test of a game, which is "Is it fun?" Except for some children, this game doesn't make the grade.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Slingshot Entertainment
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