A few years ago, Atari announced they were bringing the various Humongous Entertainment series (Pajama Sam, Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Spy Fox) to the Wii. Everyone was super-excited, because those series have all been ignored since about 2003, which is kind of odd because the original PC versions were all best-sellers. As in, tens of millions of copies got sold. I was surprised it took them so long to try a series revival, to be quite honest.
Naturally, they realized the great potential of re-releasing these blockbusters, so they re-hired executive producer Ron Gilbert to oversee the smooth PC-to-Wii transition for all twelve-plus games, with an eye to perhaps making new installments for these different series if they proved popular enough.
No, wait, that was a dream I had. What really happened is that they outsourced the job to Majesco. But Majesco apparently didn’t feel like working on this project, because they also outsourced the job, this time to the Cut Every Corner Port Company, who—this is true—illegally used an emulator in order to port the game. Nice.
But that’s not all they did! They also cut material out of the game. Have you heard of re-releases that contain bonus material? This game is the exact opposite.
In my review for the original version of this game, I said that the best part of the game is its multiple pathways–that is, each time you play the game, you have different puzzles to solve. They must have decided that was too good of a feature, so they cut it out of the Wii version. Now, there is only one pathway you can go through–the easy, boring one.
So in one fell swoop, they took out the best feature of the game and removed the replay value. That is what I like to refer to as “a bad idea.”
Overall, this game leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I would have liked to see a port with new, bonus material. I would have settled for a lazy port that’s identical to the original game. But a port that cuts out a large chunk of the game while adding nothing in its place? That’s just bad.
Is it still a good game? Well, yeah; it retains about 65% of the material from the original game, all of which is pretty good. But because they’re still selling copies of the PC Pajama Sam games, I can’t recommend buying this inferior port.
Actually, you probably can’t buy a new copy of this game even if you want to; one of the terms of the out-of-court settlement is that all unsold copies of the game were to be destroyed. …Yeah. I’m pretty sure that this game ruined all chances of a series revival.