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    Hands-on with ratatouille

    form ign i found the latest hands on with disney pixars movie tie-in game:
    Hands-on Ratatouille
    Wii remote and nunchuk in hands, we head for the sewers. First gameplay impressions and Wii videos.
    by Matt Casamassina
    US, June 12, 2007 - Based on the forthcoming Pixar movie of the same name, Ratatouille is an action-platformer that thrusts players from the dark and seedy sewers of Paris and also into its fanciest kitchens. You become Remy, a rat with human envy - not only does he wander through the underworld on two feet, but he aspires to become the greatest chef in all of Paris. This ambition has, naturally, not been met without hurdles, most notably that Remy happens to be a chef's worst nightmare. The title, which is jointly developed by Heavy Iron Studios and Asobo Studios, follows Remy through a variety of levels and play styles that range from standard platform affairs to slider-style race levels and even a selection of multiplayer minis. Always cynical, we had our fears that the end project would prove sloppy or boring, but having crawled our way through three or four hours of the game, we're happy to report that - while undeniably designed for younger crowds -- it's fun, and it looks pretty good on Nintendo's console, too.


    Meet Remy, a rat who wants to be a chef.The Wii version of Ratatouille is different from the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 3 incarnations. The overall content is similar - the storyline, the levels, the characters involved, etc. - but the designs of environments and the puzzles contained within, not to mention the controls, are all unique to the system. Main character Remy is controlled very tightly with the nunchuk's analog stick. Hold down the Z trigger and the camera will shift to a fish-eye perspective as the rat scurries forward at impressive speeds. Hold down the C trigger and you can then use the Wii remote to control the camera, freely looking around the game world. The A button on Nintendo's pointer is there for jumping; tap it twice and Remy will double-jump into the air. Meanwhile, B-trigger is held to execute Remy's scent track, which temporarily makes visible a zigzagging blue mist which can always be followed to the next objective or item. The layout is simple and very easy to grasp if you've ever played a platformer before. It may not revolutionize the genre as we know it, but the control scheme does, to its credit, feel very good. You can intuitively maneuver Remy around the environments, effortlessly double-jumping between chasms or using his scurry function to more or less power slide rat-style around corners.

    One of the mini-games exclusive to the Wii version.In Ratatouille, Remy knocks a haunted cookbook from a window ledge and then rides the item down a river, where it leads him into the sewers of Paris. This sprawling underground becomes the hub world for the rat and he can eventually gain access to a number of branching city paths, from an atmospheric street guarded by dogs one night to the inside of a cook's kitchen. The general goal is to collect stars located about each level, but there are primary objectives for each stage, too. For instance, the rat might have to traverse a series of platforms to find spoons that can be twirled into rattraps so that none of his friends become wounded. Another time Remy may need to ride atop a beach ball to crush a series of grotesque bugs that block his path.

    Hold down the Z-trigger and you'll run like a rat out of hell.The action is varied. In one moment, you will be scrambling through a level, dodging cats and dogs, sneaking underneath boxes, running up planks and balancing with the nunchuk's analog stick as the rat crosses high-wires. In the next stage, you might need to waggle the Wii remote in order to paddle a boat down a river. In another still, the rat might find himself sliding down a series of pipes, jumping over holes and tilting left and right to pick up collectibles. And then there is the wealth of mini-games, which we have yet to sample against friends. In one, Remy sits atop a ledge which itself hangs above a pot of stew. You have to point the Wii remote at various ingredients on-screen in order to make Remy fling them into the soup. A variation of this mini later on requires you to point at spots on a fuse box and press either the A button or B-trigger in sequence to hot-wire the device. Then there are the dream worlds, whose psychedelic presentations feature floating watermelons, spinning grapefruit and platforms made of other colorful fruit. In these trippy areas, Remy must progress from the beginning to end without falling or slipping from a surreal piece of fruit and falling into the abyss below.

    Sniff. Sniff.We've certainly enjoyed Ratatouille so far, but it's not without drawbacks. The in-game graphics look pretty good on Wii. Character models are well designed and fluidly animated. Textures don't hold up when observed from nearby, but when you're speeding through a level they look fine. The lighting effects are a cut above the norm, going so far as to illuminate character models in different hues. And the game runs in both 480p and 16:9 widescreen on Wii, which is always a plus. However, between-level cut-scenes call upon digitized footage made to look like the game-engine and it's terribly compressed - baffling since Wii has the storage capacity to handle higher movies with a higher bitrate and thus less compression. Meanwhile, for a "kiddie game," Ratatouille sports a few overly complicated controls. For example, when Remy twirls himself between poles, you'll have to hold B trigger to latch onto the next pole and then press the A button to release again. Controlling the camera by first pressing the C button and then pointing with the Wii remote also feels a bit off, although we've grown more used to it as we've played onward.
    We're always happy to see the next Pixar movie and now we're also keen on the game adaptation. It may not be a revolution in game-making, but Ratatouille for Wii is nevertheless on track to be a perfect companion piece to the box-office hit in-the-making.

    this looks like another solid disney-pixar movie tie in from recent years
    PS3 now, sorry Wii. You gather dust.

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