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Garfield Gets Real

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Garfield Gets Real
"I need a break, from this awful game that is." -Garfield
Protagonist(s): Garfield the Cat
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): Nintendo DS
Release: NA/AU: July 21, 2009
EU: August 28, 2009
Developer(s): Gravity-i
Publisher(s): NA: Destination Software
AU: Funbox Media
EU: Zoo Digital Publishing
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Garfield

Garfield Gets Real is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Gravity-i and published by Destination Software in North America, Funbox Media in Australia, and Zoo Digital Publishing in Europe for the Nintendo DS. It is based on the Direct to DVD 2007 Garfield movie of the same name, which in turn, is based off the Garfield comic strips starring the titular protagonist Garfield the Cat. The Wii version of the game was planned but it was cancelled. This is the last Garfield game to release on the Nintendo DS, after Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties in 2006, Garfield's Nightmare in 2007, and Garfield's Fun Fest in 2008.

Why It Doesn't Get Real

  1. Poor graphics for 2009 Nintendo DS standards. Even Garfield's Nightmare and Garfield's Fun Fest, released in 2007 and 2008 respectively, had better animation,
  2. Poor animations with a low frame rate, causing animations to not be smooth with frame transitions obvious and very choppy. Even the Pet's Incorporated logo when you start up the game is poorly compressed.
  3. Gimmicky and convoluted controls. Pressing left or right will make Garfield move left or right respectively, but releasing the button will NOT stop him moving, to do that you must press down. If you are not using the buttons, there is an option where the game can be controlled entirely through the touch screen, which justifies how convoluted the controls are.
    • These controls are so bad, it's enough to consider the game broken. You will notice this in every level of the game, especially level 4.
    • The jumps are also so delayed it will make a great impact on whether you will be able to pass these levels or not.
  4. Awful music for the most part, and awful sounds. This is especially the case for the title screen music.
  5. False advertising: The box says it was based on the upcoming movie of the same name, but the game was actually released nearly 2 years after the movie was released.
    • In fact, this game was possibly released to coincide with not just this movie (which came out in 2007), but with the release of the final movie of the "Garfield CGI Trilogy", Garfield's Pet Force, of all things, which was surprisingly the only movie in the animated trilogy to not get a video game tie-in.
    • In addition, the video game adaptation of Garfield's Fun fest released before this game did (in 2008, around the same time as the movie's release), in which the Garfield's Fun Fest movie itself was actually supposed to serve as the first of two sequels to the 2007 movie this game was based off, the latter of the two sequels being Garfield's Pet Force in 2009.
  6. Stupid concept: The concept is that you are directing the movie, where in other movie-based games that follow the movie, you play through the movie.
  7. Speaking of controls, this game doesn't need to use the touch screen, but it does.
  8. In levels 3, 6 and 7, you cannot make any mistakes at all as doing so will force you to restart the entire level from the beginning. To add, these levels can often be beyond difficult if you are not experienced with this game.
    • In level 6, you are never told what buttons to use when trying to perform a series of dance movies unless referring to the instruction manual, that is, if your copy of the game even comes with one anymore. If not, you would have to search up a tutorial online on how to complete this level, so basically, this level is trial and error in its worst form. Not helping is that the level is impossible to complete if even one of the buttons on your DS is unresponsive or broken as well as the digitizer of your touchscreen, as you will fail after just one miss. Same applies for the bonus time dancing segments in the collecting levels that grants the player extra points.
    • Some of the levels in this game have a high difficulty spike despite this being a kids game, as these are levels where if you get hit once, you would die. Level 3 is the worst offender since it's very hard for you to dodge the swings and jump onto all of the trapezes without getting hit as it requires very precise timing. As said earlier, one wrong move will cause you to fail and start the whole level over, meaning you will most likely have to play this level many times before succeeding. Level 7 has a similar issue, but is thankfully not as bad as before.
    • To add insult to injury, there are no checkpoints in these levels. Screw up once, you have to do the level all over again.
  9. While having okay voice acting, most of the character's voice acting does not sound like their movie counterparts.
  10. Many characters from the movie were absent, even those shown in the title screen.
  11. Poor grasp of the movie and to some extent, the comics.
  12. When Garfield gets hit by a swing moving backwards, his character model is knocked into the sky diagonally even when he somehow resets to his standing position while in midair. While laughable, it further shows that the game has been badly programmed.
  13. In level 4, the game does not tell you can hit 3 sauce bottles before you lose let alone give Garfield a visible health meter, despite other collection levels letting you get hit as many times as you want until the time runs out. Same applies for level 5, where the game doesn't tell you that Garfield needs to get hit by 3 items to lose until it happens.
  14. Terrible Ending: No matter how well you do in this game in terms of score, you will always be given the following message once you beat the hotel level: "Garfield DVD A Letdown!" In fact, it doesn't even automatically send you to the credits right after.
  15. The dialogue and sound effects can get very repetitive and old, FAST! The worst cases of this is when Garfield says "Oh, yes" every time you catch food, the applause sound effect playing every time you get a coin and the gong sound effect every time you win or lose a level.
  16. False Information: The manual states that there are only two types of levels: Platforming and Collecting, where there are three types of levels in this game, with the third type being a Dancing level in Level 6.
  17. To make things worse, in the platforming levels, when you move to the right, you cannot go back, even if you go a little too far or need to dodge something.
  18. Absolutely no replay value at all. Once you beat it, you've done everything the game has to offer. No collectables to go back for, no minigames, no extras, nothing. Except that is, if you want to replay a certain level, not that you'd want to anyway.
  19. The coins do nothing but increase your score, and collecting all of them in a platforming level gives you nothing.
  20. More poor programming involves Garfield still having the ability to jump to other areas of the level after he turns himself around if you press A after you beat the platforming levels.
  21. You are never able to hear some of the songs in their entirety, most notably, the songs allocated to each dance move, and the Office level, that is, unless the game glitches out during the dancing sections and accidentally plays most of these songs in their entirety in place of the level music.
  22. In the first level, the books appear out of thin air, rather than directly from the bookshelf. Also, the level seems to switch angles to either the front or the back of the room every time you collect a certain number of books for no reason.
  23. The American version of the box art states that this game is awesome, which is nothing more than blatant self praising bias, which proves itself to be the complete opposite due to its abysmal gameplay.
  24. On the final level, you have next to no idea where the barrel will stop unless you play the level enough times, meaning that it's very easy to get hit by them. If you jump behind it right as it stops, you have virtually no time to escape it before it rolls straight into you, and then you lose the level as a result.
  25. The dancing and camera shoots that randomly occur during the collection levels are incredibly annoying. The logic with this is also really stupid as it implies that the producers have no clue how to set up a photo shoot.
    • Not only that, there is a huge missed opportunity here as you can't even save them to an in-game photo album to look at them later, let alone possibly save the photos to the system memory of the Nintendo DSI/3DS camera.
  26. The ranking system at the end of the level is completely pointless, as your score constantly increases throughout the entire game and never resets every time you play a level, even if you lose.
    • In fact, the "Bargain Bin Movie" rank perfectly describes this game that the movie spawned in one sentence, as this game was so much of a financial and critical flop that this ranking had sealed this game's fate and you can often find the game easily online or in a used video game store for a very low price these days, sometimes in brand new condition depending on the copy. Some copies remained on the shelf for so long that there are stickers on the covers stating that this game also works on the Nintendo 3DS.
    • In fact, you will almost never see the other two rankings that come before "Director's Cut", due to the studio level giving you so many points that you will go from "Bargain Bin Movie", all the way to "Director's Cut", skipping the other two rankings. This is likely due to the fact that you will lose the studio level many times before you win.
    • As mentioned before, it has no effect on the terrible ending that this game has, proving that they couldn't be bothered to program in a good ending for getting a certain score.
  27. It's so bad, it completely killed off the possibility of any future Garfield games on the Nintendo DS, as the system had been discontinued in 2014, 5 years after this game released. In fact, after The Garfield Show: Threat of the Space Lazagna, and Garfield Kart plus its 2019 remaster subtitled Furious Racing, they stopped making Garfield games altogether except on mobile. In fact, he even got cut out of Nickelodeon All Star Brawl before it released, only to be added back in through an update weeks later.
  28. Not only that, the quality of this game is one of the reasons Destination Software and Zoo went out of business a few years later.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The voice acting is passable.
  2. In some parts of the game, at least it stays true to the movie it was based off and follows its story decently.
  3. Unlike the movie it was based off, it at least acknowledges the fact that Garfield thinks his sentences like in the comics instead of speaking them out loud.
  4. In some levels, the music is okay to listen to.
  5. The concept could've actually been decent if not for the abysmal execution


  • There was going to be a Wii version of this game, but it got cancelled, likely due to the negative reception this game got. The Studio level is one of the only bits of evidence that proves this concept even existed at all.
  • This game was released almost 2 years after the movie it was based off first released. In fact, this was released to coincide with Garfield's Pet Force (movie) instead of all things.
  • This is the last Garfield game to ever be released on the DS, and the third to last Garfield centric console game to date, as besides both versions of Garfield Kart and The Garfield Show: Threat of the Space Lasagna, all other Garfield games made since have been released only on mobile. In fact, he was lucky enough to get a playable cameo in Nick All Star Brawl weeks after its release.
  • This is one of the only games to come with a "Also compatible with 3DS" sticker on the game case due to poor sales.



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