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Ceville PC Review

01/04/2009 Family Family Gamer Review
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Ceville PC

Ceville

Format:
PC

Genre:
Adventuring

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Bucking the recent trend of dire adventure games, Ceville is a hilarious tale that successfully mixes the soul of the classic Lucasarts games with some biting modern wit. With its easy point and click game mechanics and cartoon-style graphics, Ceville was an unexpected hit with my family. Thanks to its accessible nature and crackpot British humour I found my study the unlikely scene for some entertaining family gaming.

First impressions with Ceville were not encouraging and I have to admit that I almost never gave the game a chance to shine. It's not usually a good sign when a game calls itself a cross between Shrek and the messianic Monkey Island. If I had a pound for every adventure game wannabe that invoked the holy canon of Lucasarts then we'd all be rich guys and girls and be able to call the whole thing off. Yet rather unbelievably I found that Ceville was starting to pull its own marketing guff off. Its charm and witty writing soon had me under its spell and it rarely seemed to falter from this beginning.

What I found immediately engaging was not being the usual square-jawed hero that so many games naturally generate. Instead, Ceville lets you play as the titular and diminutive anti-hero who loves nothing more than to scheme and poke fun in the most delightfully malicious way possible. This usurped, cynical King soon became one of the most lovable characters I've had the pleasure to play. Not only do the adventure game mechanics become entertaining with the ridiculous tasks you have to perform, but it's done with the most biting wit and convincing voice acting as well.

There are so many instances and one-liners that stand out which had me laughing loudly in my study when I should have been working. Part of this successful humour is the wide range of subjects that the game takes a wrecking ball to. Apart from the obvious fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons parodies that I expected, it also has some surprising commentary on modern culture. I always thought that the X-Factor, Chuck Norris and Jennifer Lopez had it coming and Ceville gleefully sticks it to all of them with gusto. Even the mechanics of videogames aren't spared and the game even parodies itself at certain times, something that appeals to my own twisted sense of humour.

Not only do the adventure game mechanics become entertaining with the ridiculous tasks you have to perform, but it's done with the most biting wit and convincing voice acting as well.

There are so many instances and one-liners that stand out which had me laughing loudly in my study when I should have been working. Part of this successful humour is the wide range of subjects that the game takes a wrecking ball to. Apart from the obvious fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons parodies that I expected, it also has some surprising commentary on modern culture. I always thought that the X-Factor, Chuck Norris and Jennifer Lopez had it coming and Ceville gleefully sticks it to all of them with gusto. Even the mechanics of videogames aren't spared and the game even parodies itself at certain times, something that appeals to my own twisted sense of humour.

All this humour does tend to overshadow the point and click adventure roots of the game and it came as a shock when I started to get stumped on a few of the puzzles. Although they were mostly easy and obvious to solve, many of the later ones start to get a little arduous or obtuse. This tends to be a 'feature' of adventure games, sending you to the brink of insanity before your brain rewires itself and the solution appears.

Aside from this minor complaint Ceville really hit the mark for me with its story. It's a gem of a game that's been woefully underrated and worthy of a higher praise. It carries the soul of those classic titles from years ago and has a cutting modern edge that entertained me like... no I'm not going to say it. No... Gah! Alright, I admit it. It entertained me just like Monkey Island did all those years ago.

Written by Andy Robertson

You can support Andy by buying Ceville



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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."


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