Making life out of clay.
There are not a lot of things that I'm scared of. But for some reason certain types of Claymation scare the hell out of me. I can trace it back to a scene in a California Raisins Christmas Special from my childhood: the Carol of the Bells sketch. Ugh. I really thought the conductor was going to jump out from behind my bed and kill me.
[image1]Now that I'm older, I no longer live in fear of that imaginary conductor, but I still find something oddly eerie about moving clay figurines. Which means I'm probably the last person that should be previewing the new episodic Wallace and Gromit video game from Telltale Games. But it's all good. The game is done in an animation style that mimics models of the famous British short film stars, but they're not made of clay. So my paranoid delusions can rest easy.
Since this is going to be Telltale's first launch on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade, they've decided to deviate from their traditional gameplay mechanics a bit. This is still going to be an point-and-click adventure-style game, just without the pointing and clicking. You'll move your character around environments using the D-pad and scroll through options using the shoulder buttons as opposed to just moving a cursor over things.
[image2]Capturing the humor of the character strip, the story for the first episode (there are shooting for a total of four episodes) goes like this: Wallace has been making money selling honey. He gets a huge order that he must fill in a short amount of time. But since he doesn't have enough time or honey, he turns to his inventing background to try and solve the crisis. But as anyone who has watched the Wrong Trousers could tell you, his inventions have a way of backfiring on him. So of course the bees at some point become super bees, and it's going to be up to you and your faithful dog (probably more the dog than you) to save the day.
Telltale seems like they can do no wrong at this point. So far I have enjoyed the Strong Bad and Sam & Max episodic games a lot. Wallace and Gromit Grand Adventure looks to carry on their fine tradition of fun adventure games, but we won't know for sure until its release on XBLA and PC later this year.