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Family Guy Video Game! is an action-adventure video game based on the animated television series Family Guy. It was released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PSP in North America on October 16, 2006, in Europe on December 1, 2006 and in Australia on November 3, 2006. The game was developed by High Voltage Software and published by 2K Games.
The game is split into 22 levels for the three playable characters: Brian, Peter or Stewie. Brian has six levels, while Stewie and Peter both have eight. Each character has his own unique style of play.
Peter's levels have a beat 'em up style, similar to Final Fight and Double Dragon. In Peter's levels, the player rampages across a section of town, attacking anyone and anything in his path. In addition, depending on the player's progression through the game, Peter will adopt a different persona as a result of head trauma, giving his attacks different animations but otherwise similar results. Peter's alter egos are Rufus Griffin, Hooker Peter and A.N.N.A. (Automaton Nuclear Neo-human Android), played in that order. Peter begins and ends the game as himself.
Stewie's levels resemble a shoot 'em up like Galaga or Space Invaders, but also with similarities to games like the Futurama video game. Stewie uses his upgradeable laser gun and conveniently placed "sky hooks" to move through various stages.
Brian's levels have more in common with stealth games like Metal Gear Solid and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Brian must avoid detection by those around him, and can adopt disguises to fool onlookers. A secondary element in Brian's levels is avoiding his natural urge to urinate on things. Should the player remain near certain objects for too long (potted plants, fire hydrants, etc.), Brian will be forced to pee on them, exposing himself to those around him.
A key feature of the game are mini-games done in the same style as the cutaway gags that the show is famous for, usually lasting less than 10 seconds. The mini-games often repeat cutaway gags from the shows, such as Peter inexplicably burning his hand in a waffle iron. Successfully completing the mini-game offers a bonus: Brian becomes invisible for a short period, while Peter and Stewie receive power-ups for their respective abilities.
Stewie has built a mind control ray, and plans to use it in conjunction with Peter's satellite dish. However, his plans are interrupted by his half-brother Bertram, who claims to want his satellite dish. After making his way to the roof, Stewie decides that he would rather fail at world domination then let the satellite fall into his half-brother's hands, and self-destructs the satellite dish. However, Bertram reveals that he has come to trick him into destroying his own satellite, and he has begun a plan for world domination as well. He then leaves in his helicopter, and blasts Stewie off the roof. To discover Bertram's plans, Stewie infiltrates his lair in Peter's testicles. There, Stewie finds the location of Bertram's new lair and promptly lays waste to the facility. Stewie finds Bertram at the top of a missile silo, planning to launch the rocket into orbit so he can project his mind control beam around the world. To add insult to injury, Stewie's teddy bear, Rupert, has been placed inside the rocket. Stewie destroys the rocket, rescues Rupert, and has a final battle with Bertram at the playground. Bertram uses a device to grow to tremendous size, but is defeated anyway. Before Stewie can finish him off, he calls for his "mommy" to escape, leaving Stewie by flipping him off.
Brian's section of the game sees him trying to prove his innocence when he is accused of once again impregnating Seabreeze. Brian is forced to escape from prison and follow a scent picked up from Seabreeze's genitals. This leads him to Tom Tucker at the Quahog News Station, which turns out to be a dead end. Brian's next stop is the Quahog Dog Races, where Brian, disguised as a food vendor, finds the scent on a discarded ticket stub. He takes Seabreeze's place in the race, wins (by drugging the other dogs), and draws the father out. Brian reveals that the father of Seabreeze's puppies is Quagmire, thereby clearing his name.
Peter, after being smashed on the head by the PTV satellite dish, wakes up in the hospital and sees a spotlight identical to the Bat-Signal, only in the shape of Mr. Belvedere. Believing that Belvedere has kidnapped his family, Peter rampages across town in an effort to destroy him and save his family. He eventually arrives at Cheesie Charlie's, where he is hit in the head by the doors, opened by several African-Americans. Peter takes on the persona of Rufus Griffin and destroys the entire arcade before waking up in the closet. Seeing that the Belvedere signal is now at the Indian Casino, Peter travels there. As he enters, he takes another blow to the head when a hooker attempts suicide by jumping off the roof. Peter becomes Hooker Peter and destroys the casino. He then takes a fifth blow to the head, now seeing the Belvedere signal again at the docks. As he arrives, the debris of Bertram's rocket crashes on him, and Peter emerges as ANNA, an android programmed to destroy Mr. Belvedere. Crossing the dock and the beach, Peter arrives at a cave and is forced into battle with the Black Knight. Peter defeats the knight, but takes a final blow to the head when the knight's helmet falls off and hits him. When he comes to, Lois confronts him, furious that Peter had destroyed half of Quahog looking for Belvedere.
In the final level of the game, Peter decides to drown his sorrows at the Clam. There, he is confronted by Belvedere, who rips off a disguise revealing none other than Ernie the Giant Chicken. In the final battle of the game, Peter defeats Ernie, and just barely escapes a massive explosion in a penthouse, landing safely on top of Meg who, along with Lois and Chris, had inexplicably been standing in the middle of the street. After getting up from Meg and rejoining his family, Peter sees the Belvedere spotlight again which turns out to be Adam West making shadow puppets. The Chicken, as always, ends up surviving.
Take-Two Interactive had attained the rights to publish a Family Guy video game by February 2005, before the series' revival episode "North by North Quahog" had aired. No further developments were made public until March 2006, when Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games had acquiesced the publishing rights, with High Voltage Software to fill in for development. The game predominantly uses the voice cast of the television series, and a cel-shaded visual style. The game was exhibited at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006.
The game received mixed reviews. The review collation site Metacritic gave the Xbox version a score of 53%, the PSP version 52%, and the PlayStation 2 version 51%. X-Play gave the game 3 out of 5, mentioning Brian's levels as a weak point, and suggesting that there is little to recommend in the game beyond its humor. The Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine gave it a 3 out of 10 score, the main problems being broken AI, frustration and repetitive objectives. Another UK based PlayStation magazine, PSM3, gave it a 48 out of 100, with criticism toward uninspired levels, restrictive controls, and obscure references being the main reason for panning it. Game site IGN gave the game a 4.1 out of 10. However, it did win the "Best Cast" Award in 2006 on Spike TV's Video Game Awards.
- ↑ Surette, Tim (February 4, 2005). GTA: Quahog? Family Guy gets game deal. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 20, 2010.
- ↑ Sinclair, Brendan (March 6, 2006). Family Guy games on the way. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 20, 2010.
- ↑ Sinclair, Brendan (August 24, 2006). Family Guy game gets original voices. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 20, 2010.
- ↑ Surette, Tim (April 19, 2006). E3 06: Family Guy detailed. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 20, 2010.
- ↑ Metacritic: Family Guy (Xbox)
- ↑ Metacritic: Family Guy (PSP)
- ↑ Metacritic: Family Guy (PS2)
- ↑ X-Play: Family Guy (PS2 and Xbox)
- Family Guy Video Game! at MobyGames
- Family Guy Video Game Official Site
- Family Guy at GameFAQs
- Family Guy Video Game preview from Planet Family Guy
- Family Guy PlayStation 2 Review at Gamestyle
- Family Guy Xbox Review from Neoseeker
- Blast Magazine review February