Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 2 Review
Posted by James Newton
Spot the difference
Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 2 is the second slice of the stripey one's retail appearance, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to you that it follows the exact same template as previous release Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 1. Sadly, you can't carry your profile over from the first game, though it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway as the games are all-but separate anyway.
As you'd expect, the aim of the game is to find Wally and his friends over four levels, with each environment offering specific characters and items to play too. You'll also have to play a few rounds of spot the difference, as well as identify certain spots on the stage from photographs and fend off the evil plans of Odlaw.
You can pick from two difficulties, easy and normal, with the former living up to its name: we were able to clock the game in under 20 minutes in easy mode, including an unscheduled reset after an isolated freeze. Easy mode gives you a screen-sized portion of the overall picture to take in, meaning you just need to point and click, whereas players on normal mode have to scroll around the stage to see everything. While the main characters can be anywhere on the map, the game zooms into a sample of the overall image when trying to track down smaller items, making things a little easier to manage.
Understandably given the nature of the game optimum image clarity is a must, and playing through component cables on a HDTV is certainly recommended. In later stages the items can be pretty small, even on a decent-sized LCD TV, so we'd recommend gamers playing on standard definition sets to approach with caution. It's also worth pointing out that one stage makes abundant use of the colour green, and that users who have difficulty differentiating between shades of this colour should also think twice before stepping in.
It's not all single-player japery though, with a Party mode included for two players to face off in Where's Wally? combat. The screen is split down the middle and each player must find their own items in their half of the screen, with a miniature tug-of-war showing who's currently in the lead; pull your opponent's team over to your side and you're the winner. It's a shame there was no cooperative play included, as this multiplayer mode isn't likely to get many run-outs.
One thing commendable about the game is how closely it sticks to the source material, with a few nice flourishes of animation to bring each stage to life. The majority of the game is clear enough, though as previously mentioned gamers on smaller screens may struggle, and the music and occasional voice dialogue work well to bring the package together.
As you'd expect, Fantastic Journey 2 is more difficult than its predecessor, particularly the Odlaw stages that task you to find ever-smaller black-and-yellow striped monkeys, lizards, snakes and toucans. Easy mode takes away almost all of the challenge, but players who want to stick with normal mode will find plenty of tough moments.
Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 2 is clearly more of the same as its predecessor, so if you liked the first part you'll enjoy this one just as much. Players on standard definition TVs may want to think twice before stepping in however, as the game's tiny objects can cause issues even on HDTVs, but fans eager to find Wally (or, indeed, Waldo) will find fun here.