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Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure PlayStation 2

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Magenta Software Ltd.
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £19.99

Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure, an introduction.

I have to admit that when this game dropped through the letterbox I was puzzled as to why I hadn't heard of there being a Stuart Little 3 movie. The first two films were actually quite good and surely a third movie would have been deserving of a lot of publicity? Well as it turns out there is a third movie but it's a cartoon movie and it's on DVD and video only. Anyway none of that is important because what we have here is essentially a collection of mini-games.

What's the game about?

Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure is aimed squarely at younger children, especially children who are fans of the Stuart Little movies. The game begins with Stuart inadvertently launching an aeroplane and flying around all over the place before finally wrecking George's photo album that he was going to use for a photography project. Naturally with Stuart being the good egg that he is he's going to put things right by retaking all of those ruined photos and you're going to help him.

What's good about the game?

Rather than simply having Stuart wander around and take photographs all over the place the game is well organised and requires you to do tasks before you can take each photo. These tasks are mini-games of course and you'll have to take part in mini-games that involve quad bike racing, skateboarding, mini-golf and driving around in a mini-tank amongst other things. Then of course you'll have to collect recharge points for you camera flash so you can take the pictures. Stuart can change into a variety of costumes too which I'm sure children will love. The mini-games have been well thought out and children shouldn't find them difficult as they are very forgiving. You can just do as you please if you want to and simply explore the various levels in the game. You can even take part in the mini-games over and over again if that's what you'd like to do.

What's not so good about the game?

Given whom this game is aimed at, children, Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure is pretty much how it should be. The only complaint I have with the game, and unfortunately it's a rather large complaint, is how suitable the game is for deaf gamers which we'll talk about in a moment.

How does it look?

Big Photo Adventure looks as good as could be expected. The characters are all instantly recognisable and nicely detailed. The palette is cheery and bright as it should always be in a children's game. The load times are quite respectable too which is always a bonus. The camera angles are mostly OK but I found them to be a little troublesome during the mini-golf game. The various icons that denote a possible interaction are all very large and easy to see which again is another plus point. The game uses various clips from the Stuart Little movies and blends them rather nicely into the action. In fact, visually speaking, there is little to complain about.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Sadly the cutscenes in Big Photo Adventure are not subtitled. The disappointment doesn't end there either. Your instructions are given in speech and no text is given. Pressing the select button will allow you to recall any hints you've been given but it's a waste of time for deaf gamers as the hints are once again in speech only so there's no point in accessing them. You do get control tips appear in text which is useful and when you are presented with a mini-game challenge, such as when George only agrees to having his picture taken if you beat him in a quad bike race, you are given a simple question in text which is better than nothing I suppose. Comments made by Stuart and the other characters during the main game are not subtitled.

Final thoughts.

In essence then Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure is a rather good children's game that manages to include a decent amount of well thought out mini-games. However, deaf children will be upset to find that none of the dialogue is subtitled and none of the hints and very little of the instructions are shown in text. For all intents and purposes this will make for a very puzzling experience and in truth it's probably not worth the frustration.


Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

(Click the letter or here for details)

Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure is actually a good children's game with well thought out mini-games and interesting challenges. The problems is that it's not subtitled and very little information is given in text making it very awkward for deaf children.