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Ratatouille Review

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Developer: Helixe Publisher: THQ
Release Date: June 26, 2007 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Wii

Who would have thought that an animated film about a rat would be the blockbuster summer movie of 2007? It is both the top rated and grossing movie of the summer, pulling in over $100 million in two weeks. You have to give THQ credit for their foresight into picking a hit to base a game off of. The only question is: does the video game hold up to the success of the film? That depends on the platform you play it on. Read on for my impressions of the Nintendo DS version.

Let me start off by saying that this game will be most enjoyed by children, the obvious target audience of a game like this. The difficulty is extremely easy and unless you are woefully lacking in your platforming skills, you probably will not even die in Ratatouille on the Nintendo DS. From what I have played of both the Nintendo DS and Wii versions of the game, the console version is far superior in quality, where the DS version plays like some old Nintendo 64 or PlayStation platformer.

Ratatouille is a very basic platformer and oddly enough, a cooking game a la Cooking Mama. You see, most of the game consists of collecting ingredients for meals or recipes. This involves basic platforming such as jumping and wall climbing. Basically, this game is a collect-a-thon. The only other element aside from this is the cooking element where you chop food with the Nintendo DS stylus and stir it on an oven.

The platforming levels are as basic as the gameplay. You have kitchens, rooftops and sewers, but most of the levels that you play in are repeats of the same levels that you play in to collect other items. There are a few hazards to watch out for, such as electrical volts along wires and stoves with flames, but as I said earlier in my review, only the most inexperienced gamer will ever even lose a single life. In case you do manage to lose a life, collecting stars increases the number of lives you have.

The only other gameplay element that I can take note of is the stealth element. Ratatouille includes an exposure meter. Basically this means that you are in the sight of a human and about to get squashed by an incoming tomato. Too bad they don’t do much damage. All you have to do to quickly lower this threat is hide in an overturned cup, can or box. You can also climb onto high ledges or hide under furniture to lower the exposure meter.

If you have a grade school level gamer in the household, Ratatouille might be entertaining enough. The Wii version is a great deal more entertaining though, as it includes spruced up visuals, more fleshed out levels and cut-scenes. If you have a choice between the two, go with the console version. If you have a kid under the age of 10, this might be an option as well. Otherwise, I would suggest passing this up entirely on the Nintendo DS.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide