Backlog Quest: Day 11 – Where the Wild Things Are – Childhood and Junk

Dear Journal,

Today I learned about myself and stuff.

Taking a book that is literally only a few sentences long and turning it into an hour and a half movie is no easy task. Turning that same book into a five-six hour video game would have been next to impossible. A few liberties pretty much had to be taken.  Viewed in that light we might be a bit more forgiving of Where the Wild Things Are, after all, making anything that isn’t pure trash in that situation is noteworthy.  Beyond that though there isn’t much of note about Where the Wild Things are.

The game doesn’t look very good, and there isn’t much done to really capture the art style of the book. That’s the true crime of the game; Where the Wild Things is one of the most memorable children’s books of all time partly due to the distinctive art style, the game has none of this. It just kind of looks generic and dated.  Other than the fact that the Wild Things look kind of like the Wild Things from the book there isn’t much to set it apart from any other platformer out there.


Of course the main thing that had to change as a result of taking a children’s book and making it into a video game is the story.  They had to stretch it out a whole lot longer than it was ever originally meant to be. As a result, a story is made up that involves fighting off hordes of a oil like darkness.

It is a really bizarre transition.

The game’s story mostly suffers due to the fact that it isn’t really the Wild Things that we remember.  Obviously there was no choice but to take some liberties from the original story, but it isn’t the Where the Wild Things Are that you and I remember, and fair or unfair, it doesn’t leave the best taste in your mouth as a result.  The thing is, the story isn’t all that horrible (for a kid’s game), and can loosely be described as learning to cope with a fear of the unknown and working with people different than you to overcome obstacles.  Or something.

The game’s real saving grace is that underneath the “Wild Things” related imagery and odd story about something that is supposed to be deep and meaningful, there is a descent little platformer.  The game’s platforming elements are by no means genre defining, in fact they are somewhat generic; but much like yesterday’s review, it is sometimes just nice to play through something other than an FPS these days that isn’t instead a third person shooter.  Platformers are relatively rare these days (compared to their prime), so it is refreshing to say the least. The fact that while the game doesn’t do really anything new or exciting, it does manage to pull off being adequate.

There isn’t much more to say about Where the Wild Things are.  If you are looking for something true to what you rmember of the book as a child, well you’ll be disappointed. If you expect some epic story about finding yourself, you’ll be disappointed.  If you simply expect an adequate little platformer starring a kid in a wolf costume who hangs out with giant monsters; well you could probably do worse.

Tomorrow I become a Norse god of pixilated graphics in Thor: God of Thunder.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: Approximately 6 hours.
Gamer Score Earned: 845/1000
Price Bought at: $9
Current Price: $10.95 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $10 is pushing it, $5ish is worth the price of admission.
Why you should buy it: Cute platformer that you might enjoy and any young kids who share your collection will likely enjoy as well.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You can’t deal with the changes to the story and characters.

Keep track of all the Backlog Quest journal entries!

 

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About Tristan Rendo

I’ve made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.