Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 action-adventure video game released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Microsoft Windows based on the film of the same name directed by Tim Burton, which is based off the 1964 children's book of the same name by Roald Dahl, which has already been adapted into a movie with 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Charlie Bucket is an ordinary boy, and although he and his family live in poverty, he was the luckiest boy in the world. Meanwhile, candymaker Willy Wonka sends out five "Golden Tickets" around the world in five separate Wonka Bars, and whoever finds the tickets are able to visit his chocolate factory.
However only four of the tickets have been found: the first ticket was found by a gluttonous German boy named Augustus Gloop, the second was found by a spoiled English girl named Veruca Salt, the third was found by an arrogant gum-chewing American girl named Violet Beauregarde, and the fourth ticket was found by an aggressive video game-obsessed American boy named Mike Teavee.
Why It Sucks
- For the entirety of the game, you repair the factory, not explore it.
- There's a cruel blend of ideas and poor execution. For example, there are collectibles in this game, consisting of four groups of them and if you collect 50/50 collectibles in one group, all you get is a health boost. That is all. Another example is that with a push of a button, Grandpa Joe can give you hints on how to do something. And although they're helpful, sometimes the hints are unclear.
- The Oompa-Loompas. They're the main priority of the game, since although they do help you fix the factory, it's flawed with some glitches, such as an Oompa-Loompa running toward a wall. When it comes to platforming, they sometimes fall off, causing you to backtrack and look for them to follow you.
- The Oompa-Loompa tasks are basic and repetitive.
- The Wonka-Bots are also a pain. They're the main enemies of the game, and they're really annoying to take them down, since not only do they keep attacking you, they also steal away your Oompa-Loompas, causing you to backtrack for some more.
- Some stages drag on. In the Augustus Gloop level, you'll have to help him get out of a clogged pipe, along with the help of your Oompa-Loompas, just to have him get stuck to another pipe, and this will keep going until you finally manage to get him out.
- Most tasks are unnecessarily troublesome due to poor instructions and issues within the game that make it tough to complete objectives.
- Unresponsive and simplistic controls.
- The arcade sequences are terrible due to bad controls.
- Very short length.
- Bad camera that makes it hard for some platforming levels such as when it gets stuck behind a wall.
- While some cutscenes are nice to look at, other times, facial expressions can be downright creepy.
- Confusing and weird moments. How come the four golden ticket winners are left unsupervised without a parent? How come Charlie's other parents are nowhere to be seen nor mentioned? Why does Violet look more purple than blue when she turns into an inflated blueberry? After you complete the Mike Teavee stage, where was Grandpa Joe all that time in the last two cutscenes? The game also ends rather abruptly. After you and Wonka go up and out in the glass elevator, the game just... ends. Other than Wonka telling Charlie that he now owns the factory, did he ever go home?
- Considering a game targeted for kids, some objects are difficult to deal with, causing you to mess around with something, until you figure it out by trial and error.
- The game plays and feels like an online Flash game, thanks to its fixed camera and that you mainly point-and-click the entire game.
- Terrible graphics which are comparable to a PS1 game only with more jaggies, even by 2005 standards.
- Somewhat poor source material; instead of Mike Teavee being shrunken, he is black and white and you have to restore his full color by just throwing color coded chocolate bars. Mike, for some reason, still retains his normal voice throughout the stage, and we don't even get to find out what happened to him after that, making this stage rushed. The four other kids are also still left unsupervised, Charlie's parents are still not there at all nor mentioned, Grandpa Joe still goes missing after the mine shaft stage, and the game still ends an in abrupt way.
- The clunky controls are very unresponsive.
- Horrible sound. The music and voices are too loud in this port.
- Odd soundtrack, sounding something off of MIDI.
- Bland minigames which are hard to endure.
- Terrible voice acting. The characters sometimes are annoying since at times they repeat their lines and won't shut up.
- The CGI cutscenes have horrendous and stiff animation, to the point where it's laughable. At one point in Violet's inflation cutscene, she turns into a blueberry very quickly.
- The objectives are practically hidden with instructions so obtuse that you're often unsure of what you're supposed to be doing.
- The in-game cutscenes themselves are also terrible. Animations are very stiff, and not one person moves their lips.
- Some stages serve no purpose other than to pad out gameplay. For example, there's a stage where you have to sort out the square candies that looks round, and this isn't even in the movie. After the Mike Teavee stage, there's even a completely different stage that you have to get rock candy out of a mine shaft. This is, again, not in the movie.
- Some stages just show up out of nowhere. For example, there's a level where you lick lickable wallpapers to find the find the right key, area, and flavor to advance to the next stage, and it just shows up immediately after Violet Beauregarde's stage.
- This game can be completed in less than in one hour.
- Some of the voice acting is good. James Arnold Taylor does a spot-on impression of Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka.
- Good soundtrack in the console version.
- The console versions also have decent graphics.
- The console versions' cutscenes have a nice artstyle.
The game wasn't well received by critics, although reviewers praised the game's enjoyable storyline, music and presentation. On Metacritic, an Xbox and GameCube version received 39/100, GBA version received 36/100, PS2 version received 35/100 and PC version received 26/100. Juan Castro of IGN rated the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube versions 4.5/10.