Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 3 Review
Posted by James Newton
The final chapter
Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 3 is the last part of retail game Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey, and follows the same pattern as predecessors Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 1 and Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey 2. If you haven't played one of the previous games there's no need to worry, as this version is entirely self-contained.
The aim of the game is to find Wally and friends over four levels, with each stage offering its own characters and items to spot. There are also variations on the theme, with spot the difference, identifying where certain photographs were taken and picking out bad guy Odlaw.
You can pick from two difficulties: easy mode gives you a screen-sized portion of the overall picture, 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. It must be stressed that with this being the final episode in the game's WiiWare incarnation, it's the most difficult and those wanting to play on a standard definition set are highly unlikely to be able to finish the game: the final find is so unbelievably cruel it's tough to see even in 480p on a big screen TV, leaving players with smaller sets almost no hope of completing the game.
If you can rope in a friend there's a Party mode included that lets two players face off in a tug-of-war fashion: the screen is divided in two, with each player having to look for their own items in their half of the screen. Pull your opponent's team over to your side and you're the winner. It's a shame there's no cooperative play included, as this could have turned Where's Wally? into a more enjoyable experience.
As before, the game's fidelity to its source material is excellent, with plenty of humour in the situations and individual characters. There are small touches of animation in each stage that help bring things to life, too: the Land of Unfriendly Giants stands out in particular. The sound isn't bad either, with some nice tunes and a sprinkling of voices to bring a bit of cheer to proceedings.
Unlike the predecessors, the Easy mode doesn't always feel overly easy, particularly in the Odlaw stages that require the eyesight of a hawk to find the tiny black-and-yellow striped animals hidden away. However, experienced players will still likely clear the easy difficulty in less than 20 minutes, so Normal mode is probably recommended.
The three-part Where's Wally? Fantastic Journey series has been a decent addition to WiiWare, and although players who take on the Easy mode will likely rattle through all three entries in an hour or so, it's a fun ride while it lasts. It's just a shame that it wasn't a bit longer.