|System: Wii, DS|
|Dev: Monkey Bar Games|
|Pub: D3 Publisher|
|Release: December 7, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p|
The only major break from the platforming formula comes in the form of on-rails action. There's no shooting, though Yogi and Boo-Boo are tasked with collecting pieces of pie as they fly through Jellystone Park on some airborne contraption. The gameplay for these segments is long and boring, presenting only a mind-numbing distraction from the game's platforming mediocrity.
Perhaps the game's most criminal offense is how it uses merit badges to slow down progress – it's a completely transparent and obnoxious device. Completing Yogi Bear on Wii would likely take but only a brief time were it not for being constantly stopped in your tracks by a demanding park ranger in need of more merit badges. Collecting the loot means replaying the same, poorly conceived levels multiple times. In other, better games, this sort of gameplay construction might make for a nice incentive to scour nooks and crannies of a level; in Yogi Bear, it only serves to drive home just how bad the game truly is.
Yogi Bear on Wii offers no multiplayer component, and the single-player offering is shallow and unsatisfying. At roughly $40, the package is priced a bit lower than your average Wii game, but I'd still be hard-pressed to recommend it were it a $10-15 WiiWare title.
Considering the dated feel of the gameplay, it's no surprise the presentation also looks at least a generation behind. Textures are bland and blocky, though to the game's credit, the framerate is smooth. I experienced no noticeable slowdown during gameplay, but Yogi Bear on Wii is an otherwise completely lackluster production to behold. The water effects are subpar, and the animations are uneventful. The music is comprised of a respectable selection of MIDI loops that sit fine alongside the gameplay. Some of the sound effects are jarringly out of place, however, and the voice work is pretty barebones.
Most gamers are well-trained to be suspicious of any game based on a movie, yet a handful of impressive titles have made a positive mark on the medium – every once in a great while fans are treated to a companion piece worth investing in. Yogi Bear on Wii, however, takes the easy way out and offers no spirit, no pizzazz, and no real value to moviegoers hoping to extend their enjoyment of the Yogi Bear experience. Christmas might have come early on the big screen, but Wii owners will only find the Grinch in this holiday package.
CCC Freelance Writer