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Alvin and the Chipmunks

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Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-2007-game.jpg
An abysmal game based on the live-action movie. Created by our little friends from Brash Entertainment.
Genre(s): Rhythm
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo DS
PlayStation 2
Wii
Release: NA: December 4, 2007
EU: December 7, 2007
AU: January 11, 2008
Developer(s): Sensory Sweep Studios
Publisher(s): Brash Entertainment
Country: United States
Series: Alvin and the Chipmunks
Successor: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Alvin and the Chipmunks is a rhythm game developed by Sensory Sweep Studios and published by Brash Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and Wii in 2007, released in conjunction with the eponymous movie of the same name, which in turn, is based off the characters and novelty band of the same name created by the late Ross Bagdasarian.

Development

The game's developer Sensory Sweep Studios was founded in 2003 but filed for bankruptcy in 2005. To keep going, they changed their name twice and their employees were stopped being paid in 2008. In January 2009, the US Department of Labor filed a civil suit against the company and its founder Dave Rushton on behalf of 196 current and former employees, causing the company to collapse. In October 2012, Rushton was convicted for $1.2 million in wages for over 100 of his staff.

The game's publisher Brash Entertainment was only founded in June 2007, and released this game as well as Jumper: Griffin's Story and Space Chimps. Alvin and the Chipmunks sold 360,000 copies, but all three of those titles lost the company money. These low quality games put off other developers with working with Brash Entertainment in the future. They were planning to make games centered around the Saw franchise and had also planned to publish other critically panned games such as Prison Break: The Conspiracy and Clash of the Titans, however the company folded on November 14, 2008, only 17 months after being established.

Gameplay

In this game, you play as the band through nine locations starting from the Dream Sequence and finishing at the Rockathonapalooza, a competition the Chipmunks try to win to save their music club from going out of business. It features voice acting from Jason Lee, who plays the band's manager David Seville as well as in the movie.

Why It Sucks

  1. Complicated controls. There are four circles on the screen that are linked to the four shoulder buttons for the PlayStation 2. However, the bottom left and right circles are linked to the L2 and R2 buttons rather than the L1 and R1 buttons, which is counter intuitive and confusing to play.
  2. Generic uninspiring storyline that barely follows the movie.
  3. Poor grasp of the source material: for example, Ian Hawke (played by David Cross), the main antagonist of the first and second movie (who also turned good in the third movie), never appears in this game.
  4. The gameplay is just nothing but a shallow rip-off of Activision's Guitar Hero series and Electronic Arts' Rock Band with the chipmunks slapped onto it.
  5. The animations of the chipmunks that are not synced to the music at all, in particular Theodore's drumming.
  6. Bad animations for the crowd, lighting and pyrotechnics.
  7. It is annoying to listen to the Chipmunks sing 35 well known songs (even less on DS due to hardware limitations). If you are not a fan of them, you will hate having to hear that.
  8. Just like the movie, they took whatever songs were popular at that time (such as All The Small Things by Blink-182 and Funkytown by Lips) and either butchered them or made them even worse with chipmunk singing.
  9. No animated cutscenes. Instead you are given pictures of the scenes with some text.
  10. Cringe-inducing words such as Rockathonapalooza, as well as its description in the manual - "the Biggest, Baddest, Most Rockingest Concert Ever! Enough Said".
  11. You can miss most of the notes and still get a high score, which defeats the purpose of a rhythm game. This is thankfully not the issue in the DS version.
  12. Very ugly graphics that look like they were from the Nintendo 64 or PlayStation game. To add insult to injury, the Wii and Windows versions don't look any better.
  13. The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions suffer from an awful framerate and constant slowdown.
  14. There is no multiplayer on the PC version for some reason, despite it being on the console versions.
  15. The PC version is even worse than the console versions due the controls being more convoluted and there being no options for graphics and remapping in the options menu.
  16. In the DS version, the game gives you multiple minigames to complete during the level to earn extra points, which adds nothing special to the game. One of the minigames has you yell "Alvin!" into the mic until the game was satisfied. That was like EXACTLY Dave did A LOT to Alvin.
  17. The games released for every Alvin and the Chipmunks movie sequel except Road Chip (which never got a game, not even on the 3DS and Wii U) are literally complete rehashes of this game in terms of gameplay.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Missing enough notes in a row in the DS version can cause the player to lose, giving the game some form of challenge.
  2. The controls present on the DS version are simple enough, and not convoluted like the other versions, as it uses the touchscreen.

Reception

The game, like the movie, received generally negative reviews from critics. The PlayStation 2 version on Metacritic has a score of 33, based on five reviews, whilst the Wii version has a score of 30. IGN gave the PC, PlayStation 2 and Wii versions 2.2, 2 and 1.7 respectively, all out of 10.

Videos

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