Due August 2003 for
Xbox, PS2, GC.
it is here. Since the premiere of Futurama, Matt Groenings genius
follow-up to The Simpsons, I have been wanting a videogame. Its such an
obvious connection. Even before Fry wondered, in the Season Three
Anthology of Interest episode, "What if life were more like a
videogame?" Ive been wondering, "What if Futurama were a videogame?"
Its an obvious connection: Futurama pioneered a style of 3D cartooning
that seems made for an immersive game. Futurama features a wacky cast of
characters who could potentially embark on an unlimited number of
adventures. And Futurama can pull in any and every influence, trend,
style, or story. All of this screams out to me: Make a videogame! And
Im such a huge Futurama fan that I lay awake at night, planning my own
personal Futurama game, which mainly involves getting revenge on the
evil FOX corporation for mistreating, abusing, and neglecting what could
be the greatest animated television show ever (excepting the Simpsons,
of course, who were never quite a natural match for videogame
suppose if anyone aside from myself were to plan a Futurama game, Matt
Groening is a good choice. He has served as executive developer on this
game, and his close involvement shows. The game features all of the
voices from the Futurama cast, and the story was written by Stewart
Burns, longtime Simpsons and Futurama writer. The plot revolves around
the Planet Express crew trying to stop Mom from taking over the
universe, or some similarly nefarious plot. There are over 32 minutes of
cinematic scenes, and the whole game comprises two episodes worth of
content. This is the game that Futurama fans have wanted, and thats a
three playable characters are Bender, Fry, and Leela, as one would
expect. Each character plays through different action-oriented levels,
and each one has their own special styles. Leela is a kung-fu queen,
breaking out with impressive hand-to-hand combat moves. Fry is a weapons
kind of guy, using laser guns, big mechs, and other tools. Bender is,
well, Bender: Hes got the unique abilities to belch fire and bend
things that youd expect. There are also plenty of cameos from other
characters, and we were told that we can expect to see a playable Dr.
Zoidberg in the form of a racing mini-game. If anything makes my gut
chuckle, its the sight of Zoiby scuttling along.
game was basically finished at E3, and we got to see quite a bit of
content. The graphics are looking great, although they are just shy of
perfect. Fry, in particular, has especially bulgy eyes in the game. But
overall the translation from TV to game console is looking beautiful.
The environments are populated with all kinds of subtlety and jokes, as
we expect in the show itself. There are working suicide booths,
hilarious street signs, crazy advertisements, and plenty of wacky
background characters. Control is a dream, and the game is very easy to
pick up. Each character controls a bit differently due to their unique
abilities, but its not to hard to switch characters as you switch
levels. Unfortunately, we wont get to fly the Planet Express starship,
which is a bummer, but we can deal.
Futurama is looking ripe for the gaming. With news that the series wont
be included in FOXs fall lineup, all we can say is thank goodness for
Cartoon Network. The series will continue to show in syndication, and
hopefully the sure-to-be strong success of the videogame can help
Futurama stick around for years to come.
Shawn Rider (05/24/2003)