Animaniacs: The Great Edger Hunt (Game Cube 2005)
Sadly when Animaniacs moved from Fox Television to Warner Broadcasting, the executives at Warner got greedy and decided to double down on the show’s success. With the addition of a Pinky and the Brain spinoff, Animaniacs stopped being a variety show and was stretched out as two eleven minute segments. Due to a lack of previous character variety, mundane storylines about TV executives, the inner workings of corporate Hollywood, and other topics that would bore any child, Animaniacs lost focus on what made it funny.
After two short seasons on Warner Bros. stations, the show was finally canceled. Animaniacs ran for 99 episodes and concluded with a Direct-to-Video feature film, Wakko’s Wish… And then “POOF!” Even after a 5-year run and winning multiple awards, the zany adventures of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot disappeared, replaced with sh#tty 30-minute toy commercials like Max Steel and Cardcaptors.
In 2005 there was a brief revival of the show with syndication on various Nickelodeon and cable stations. Now edited into “mini shows” for a newer audience, children were once again singing along to Yakko’s World and Wakko’s America. Soon after, VHS collections and games started to pop up including Animaniacs: The Great Edger Hunt.
Instead of being entertained with everyone’s familiar Animaniacs opening song, players are greeted with a freshly face-lifted female reporter telling TV viewers about this year’s Edger ceremony (a parody of the Oscars), which is to take place on the Warner lot. This unnecessary and boring intro leads to another intro where the Edger Statues are stolen, an ominous figure in a hot air blimp blackmailing the head of studio for a 10 picture deal, and the balloon crashing it to Warner Bros tower, littering the back lot with film cans and releasing the Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. Not only is this a waste of animation but this pointless setup takes about 4 minutes… 4 *&@! MINUTES!!!
And get this, the boredom still continues with 2 more minutes of Yakko chatting with a Wild West extra with yet another retelling for the stolen Edgers… f#ck, really? We haven’t even begun to play the game and had to sit through 6 minutes of pointless setup, watching a robbery, and blackmail phone call just to watch another scene retelling the same event? W the F?
As Yakko, you roam around the center lot, smashing garbage cans and such to find apples (health) and gathering film reels. There is a dump truck worth of these reels hidden throughout the lots/levels but so far I believe it’s not necessary to collect them all to complete the game. You first “official” objective is to proceed to the Wild West lot/Level to find your sister Dot. After a minute or two of button mashing, Animaniacs feels a lot like Banjo-Kazooie, especially since you feel forced to smash everything smash-able with your spinning attack.
Near the saloon you talk to the sheriff and he gives you a quest of apprehending members of the Moody Clan. This task at times becomes very difficult due to the poor camera angle controls. You do have some limited camera control (via controller) but since you can’t move it a full 180º, sometimes you can become stuck behind a building or a blind alleyway fighting your way out. Later in the level you’ll find yourself in a silent movie where you have to continue across a roaring locomotive to rescue Dot, who is tied up on the train tracks. This is your first boss level with a very comical punch line at the end… don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for ya’.
Once completed, Dot will join you and will obtain an Edger, which are needed to open the stage doors to each lot/level. After saving your sister, you continue your adventure throughout the Warner lot on various back stages including a haunted house, Fairytale, Jungle, and Roman levels. Later, with the addition of Wakko and Dot, you’ll learn special abilities that come in handy with each new level. Yeah, the Wild West back lot may seem easy, but future levels become more challenging. Still, the hardest part of Animaniacs: TGEH is the ongoing frustration of the camera angle control but if you can see past this issue, then you’re in for an exciting adventure.
So far, my favorite level is the Spooky Movie lot, which has a good balance of platform and puzzle gaming. This level also includes a haunted roller coaster/first person shooter mini game that’s tons of fun. Pinky and the Brain mini-games also add to the fun of your platform adventure. Despite lacking in atmosphere at times, the backlot levels are very reminiscent of classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Likewise the animation, though sub par, often contain comedic dialog which adds to the overall game play.
OUT OF 5
Sometimes Animaniacs: The Great Edger Hunt feels unfinished with a lot of camera angle issues, stale levels, and missing series music but overall it’s not a bad game. The cut scenes and dialog are all a hoot and there’s plenty objectives to complete while looking for more Edger statues. If you can adapt to the lack of camera angle control, you’re in for a treat.
+ Fun variety of gameplay
+ Plenty to do
+ Witty humor
– Unneeded opening
– Poor camera angles/controls
– Level design lack polish