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I Couldn't Complete Family Guy Video Game!

I Couldn't Complete Family Guy Video Game!

Around mid-September, I was tasked with writing a 15th-anniversary article for Family Guy Video Game! (yes, that is the official name) and to do so, I decided to play through the game on PlayStation 2. I had a whole plan for the articles (yes, multiple) I was going to write about it too. I wanted to cover every easter egg and show reference, I wanted to write a small piece about how this game showed me how fun portable gaming was back in the 2000s, and I wanted to write a really good anniversary piece on it. There was one problem, however. The game sucks!

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This game gave me burnout. I haven’t done anything since 23rd October, which actually isn’t that long ago when I think about it, but it feels like a long time. This playable yet boring game put me off videogames for a hot minute.

Honestly, it pains me that Family Guy Video Game! (which is a game that doesn’t even have a proper name, so why did I even have expectations?) is such an awful game. To understand the pain that this failure has caused me, I’ll go over the history of Family Guy Video Game! as well as my personal history with the game.

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Family Guy Video Game! is actually a small miracle in its own right, mainly due to Family Guy’s cancellation in 2002. Yes, Family Guy was off the air when Take-Two Interactive attained the rights to a Family Guy videogame in February 2005. That’s ballsy business. But not too ballsy! Due to regularly aired uncut reruns on Adult Swim starting in 2003, the show had seen an extreme rise in popularity. Fox agreed to air new episodes of the show again in 2004, with the first episode of the new season (the fourth) airing on 1st May 2005. That is some great timing and also the most interesting part of Family Guy Video Game!’s story. Family Guy Video Game! released 17th October 2006 on PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Xbox to low-to-mixed reviews.

Now my personal history with this hell game! Family Guy Video Game! was my first PlayStation Portable game. Yes, I’ve played this game before. I’ve beaten this game before. This was the game that made me respect the PSP and portable gaming as a whole. Disgusting.

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Now onto the game itself!

Family Guy Video Game! has the player control Stewie, Brian, and Peter Griffin in 22 levels split between the three unevenly, each having a separate style based on common game genres. Stewie’s levels focus on platforming but also have moments reminiscent of classic arcade shooters like Space Invaders, Galaga, and Galaxians, which unfortunately tend to go on for longer than necessary but aren’t awful. Peter’s levels are similar to beat ‘em ups like Streets of Rage, something immediately recognisable. This part of the game features Peter on a rampage, destroying every person that comes in his path while he walks along Spooner Street. It’s easily the best part of the game, but unfortunately, it also goes on for too long and the difficulty becomes tedious once enemies such as S.W.A.T. Team members start appearing. And then there are Brian’s levels…

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Brian’s levels are stealth-based and tend to be the worst and most frustrating moments in the game. Family Guy Video Game! was not made for stealth missions and these levels of the game make that very clear. In fact, the best way to get through these levels is to just rush them. Forget that stealth is even a thing. I got way further in these levels by charging the enemies I was supposed to avoid and I saved a bunch of time in what are the most needlessly time-consuming parts of the game.

It’s also worth noting that every glitch I came across in the game happened during the Brian levels, one of which almost broke the game (the pimp disguise—stay with me—the pimp disguise needed to distract the police while Brian tries to leave the police station, all while resisting the urge to urinate in every plant the player passes, just would not appear on Brian’s model) but ended up helping me, which is the only reason I won’t call this game broken. There also was an uncomfortable amount of the same “gay prison” visual gag repeated over and over.

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In fact, a lot of things in this game repeat. Not only is every level in the game essentially the same thing per character but with slight changes in settings and enemies, but the jokes are the same as well. The same suicide joke poster repeats in each room of the hospital, sometimes with two being right next to each other. The same dialogue lines from the police repeat while in the station and honestly, the cop jokes aren’t even funny. “What would Danny Glover do?” is not a funny enough joke to have each cop repeat it on a ten-second loop in a room where you’re supposed to be slow and stealthy.

That leads to my biggest issue with the game. Not only is it not fun, but it’s not funny. It’s not funny at all. I chuckled a few times at visual jokes and gags that then were oversaturated to death, but the story and dialogue are just flat and boring. I was a fan of the show, especially the early seasons, so it isn’t the style of humour that isn’t doing it for me either.

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Despite the game having the exact same writers (and voice actors, which is rather impressive for a licensed PlayStation 2 game), the game is an extreme waste of potential. An omen of what was to come for Family Guy as a television series, perhaps. Overall, Family Guy Video Game! is a terrible mess and isn’t worth the frustration it causes. But Happy 15th, I guess!

Charr Davenport

Charr Davenport

Staff Writer

Looking like anyone through dark cosplay magic


Acelister - 03:09pm, 19th November 2021

You're surprised that Seth MacFarlane reprised his roles? He does like 40 characters in the show, and frequently his characters are the only ones in entire scenes!

I remembered enjoying the game, but I'm honestly not shocked that it doesn't hold up. Licensed stuff rarely does.

xoxoCharr - 07:03pm, 21st November 2021 Author

Sad but true ;-; i remember licensed games being so much better than they are

retrogamergirl - 09:48pm, 19th November 2021

Wow, not too sad I missed out on this one!

xoxoCharr - 07:04pm, 21st November 2021 Author

mistakes were made. happy you missed out on it!! ^-^