December 7, 2011

Bringing a Classic to Life

Lasting First Impressions of The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Game from Ubisoft

TinTin BoxartI remember the Tin Tin character and books from when I was a child.  My best friend was a big fan of Tin Tin, but I really didn’t know much about the stories and never read them myself.  The Tin Tin character was created in 1929 by a Belgian artist known only as Hergé.  These stories are definitely not new so it has most certainly been a long time in coming to finally have a movie based on these characters.  With a title so beloved, and producers so well known (Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson), it is no wonder we also have a game to coincide with the release of the movie.

The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Game from Ubisoft is, as you might imagine, a movie tie-in game.  This usually doesn’t bode well for any game these days; the rush of having to release a game to coincide with the release of a movie never gives developers the kind of time they need to create a truly great game.  Overall, however, Tin Tin still manages to stand up on its own merits under the weight of the movie tie-in curse.

TinTin Screen 3

Ubisoft has done a great job bringing the real-meets-cartoon styling of the movie to the game and brings key elements of the movie to fans everywhere.  Taking control of many characters from the movie, each with their own unique abilities, players will relive the…well….the adventures of Tin Tin.  While the game looks like a 3D platforming adventure, even allowing for 3D compatibility with the proper hardware, the character based gameplay is solely a 2D side scrolling action game.  While the game mixes in some high flying adventures with airplanes, vehicle chases and combat with motorcycle and side-car, and some swashbuckling sword fights, it is, for all intents and purposes, a very linear 2D platformer with some puzzle solving thrown in for good measure.

TinTin Screen 4

The game is rated E10 so it is definitely build for a child audience and the controls are simple and straight forward.  Though some controls are not what I would expect even in a simplified game.  For example, during the sidecar missions, the A button (on XBOX360) is used as the accelerator as opposed to the more traditional right trigger.  Some other controls are a little odd as well even during the platforming areas.  For example, to climb a ladder, you must push up and then press the A button or push down and press A to climb down.  This isn’t a huge issue, it just seemed a little odd and adds some complexity that I felt was not required.

In addition to the main story, The Adventures of Tin Tin also adds in a multitude of extra levels that can be played solo or with a partner.  These adventures all happen after the events of the movie but seem to be smaller platforming levels with several collectibles to find.  Additionally, there are several challenge levels in each of the action genres: flight, sword fighting, and side-car each with optional Kinect controls.

TinTin Screen 2

While there was nothing inherently wrong with the game (it looks good, it plays well), there was also nothing overly exciting about it.  What it does, it does well enough, but I simply found it not enough to warrant continuing play sessions.  Tin Tin brings nothing new to the table that hasn’t been done a thousand times before and for that reason, I just don’t feel compelled to play it again.  That’s not to say its a bad game in any way, there are disastrous movie tie-in games out there and I don’t rank this as one of those.  Tin Tin just doesn’t impress me enough to make me want to come back to play it again.

Ubisoft I gave you an hour, and I am NOT IMPRESSED.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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