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1/10. Who doesn't love pirates?
November 28, 2012 7:46 AM   Subscribe

How is the new game Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse? Find out for yourself!

See also this recent Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion review.
posted by kmz (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Should I be glad that they called out the casual homophobia/sexism/etc., or upset that there was so much of it that not calling it out would've been too conspicuous of an absence?
posted by griphus at 7:53 AM on November 28, 2012


I like the link to the name-your-own-shooter. Stealth Bazooka in Space!

Also, this sounds like a horrible game.
posted by Mister_A at 7:58 AM on November 28, 2012


LOL BulletGun.
posted by Mister_A at 8:00 AM on November 28, 2012


Jon Blyth is a much better writer than a games magazine deserves, really. His OXM Breakdown videos are great too, as is his blog.
posted by dng at 8:02 AM on November 28, 2012


I actually do agree that co-op will make any game better.
posted by Pyry at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think pre-cancellation Family Guy was often quite funny. Really, no fooling.

It's really, really, really terrible now, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's kind of exciting that this game is so bad, in a hedonism-bot 'bring out the new whipping boy' sort-of way.
posted by Tevin at 8:11 AM on November 28, 2012


There's been a lot of debate about whether to use review scores in the industry press. And game fans often freak out about their score being too high/low, regardless of the content of the review. This neatly solves that dilemma by letting everyone make their own scores. Now everyone's happy.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2012


I think that may be what they call a push poll.

I don't know how to answer 11, "Would you feel differently about the game if you were to find out that it murdered a hobo, made it into a hearty stew and served it with a rustic bread and a nice cabernet sauvignon". I guess murder is wrong, but I really like stew.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Should I be glad that they called out the casual homophobia/sexism/etc., or upset that there was so much of it that not calling it out would've been too conspicuous of an absence?

I think this is one of those times that both conflicting viewpoints are right and entertaining. Like that time I challenged Danica Patrick and Betsy Ross to a Sexy Driving and Patriotic Sewing Contest.

[Cutaway]

Giggity.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:16 AM on November 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


If I had a narrative device like the Multiverse, that made literally anything possible, I would say "I want a pirate level because pirates are funny. Shut up let's do a pirate level," before patting myself on the tummy and screaming "Hooooo, boy! I do like pirates."

Instructor: “Welcome to the Quahog Maritime School Chris. Our curriculum consists of being on boats for long periods of time with men. Just men. For many days at a time. Up on the deck with lots of men, or down in the galley with lots of men, ”
Chris: “Is this some kind of pirate school?”
Instructor: “Well... a certain kind of pirate. Yes, we've been called that.”
Chris: “I don't know ...”
Stewie: “- is there some kind of preschool program?”
posted by Roentgen at 8:35 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The thing about Family Guy--when it was funny--is that it's fast-paced one-shot gag humor. You can't write that into a game unless the game is pretty substantial. Otherwise you're stretching these tiny gags to the breaking point by spreading them across entire sections of game, which is what it sounds like happened here.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:52 AM on November 28, 2012


3/10
posted by mrgrimm at 9:03 AM on November 28, 2012


Oh geez, I thought I was the only one that disliked Family Guy.

So, let me ask then: Am I the only one that dislikes Seth MacFarlene? I don't understand the love for Ted, it just struck me as a repeat of the bear being dirty and doing naughty things for nearly 2 hours.
posted by FJT at 9:37 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, let me ask then: Am I the only one that dislikes Seth MacFarlene?


I'm not sure who that is, but Seth MacFarlane created Family Guy.
posted by sweetkid at 9:40 AM on November 28, 2012


IMO, Seth MacFarlane is a (multi)talented artist who has a really hard time pulling out of his shtick, and that shtick tends to be, in many ways, annoying and genuinely offensive. There's a lot to Family Guy (and, moreso, American Dad) -- although I'm not sure exactly how much creative control he exerts over either -- that is absolutely brilliant. A recent episode of Family Guy was sent, entirely, with two characters locked in a bank vault. No cutaways, barely any props, and entirely dialogue. Was it successful? Eh. But getting something like that written, shot (or, well, animated) and on the air is pretty impressive. He gets his creative team to stretch themselves, which is great, but he's also sort of mired in everything that sucks about Family Guy, which really drags him down past the point of it being something you can overlook.
posted by griphus at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some days, I wish I could give 2004-me a good shaking by the shoulders, and suggest to him that he should pick an internet handle that would better survive the test of time.
posted by Mayor West at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also I will ceaselessly defend American Dad as one of the single best animated sitcoms ever made.
posted by griphus at 9:43 AM on November 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I watched the pilot of American Dad and hated it. Gave it another chance years later, loved it, asked my friend when it got good and he said "Pretty much the second episode." Dammit. Anyway, it's amazing, the third season premiere "Vacation Goo" is a pretty good place to start for the uninitiated.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:46 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think pre-cancellation Family Guy was often quite funny. Really, no fooling.
I think that pre-Family-Guy-cancellation me thought that pre-cancellation Family Guy was often quite funny.
posted by deathpanels at 9:55 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually prefer the post-cancellation "Family Guy." Up until about a year or so ago, when Seth started trying to be all deep and have drama and dead seriousness creep into the episodes -- he appears to be trying to become the Animation Domination version of Norman Lear. Quagmire as a ranting bitter off-his-meds sociopath complaining about the world is a lot less funny than zany slightly bewildered and clueless slapstick Quagmire. And Stewie getting philosophical is a hell of a lot less funny than one-liner Stewie. And so on, from Peter on down.

Ah, well. Seth's heart isn't really in "FG" anymore; he could probably easily retire off the proceeds from "Ted" and its proposed sequel alone and spent the rest of his life soaking up the rays in Tahiti.

Agree that "American Dad" is pretty awesome too, though Roger's various disguises and the uptick in convoluted plotlines is a little tiresome.
posted by blucevalo at 9:59 AM on November 28, 2012


IMO, Seth MacFarlane is a (multi)talented artist who has a really hard time pulling out of his shtick, and that shtick tends to be, in many ways, annoying and genuinely offensive.

Aside from Seth MacFarlane the artiste, Seth MacFarlane the person seems like a nice guy, a progressive atheist who supports gay rights, workers rights, and drug legalization.

A little more trivia: He also donated Carl Sagan's papers to the Library of Congress. Cool!

Bill Maher & Seth MacFarlane Discuss Religion, Politics, & The New "COSMOS"
posted by mrgrimm at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(the politics part starts at about 3:35)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:01 AM on November 28, 2012


I've been a huge fan of American Dad since its inception. It took a season or so for me to realize that The Cleveland Show can be wickedly funny.

Maybe one or two out of every fifteen Family Guy episodes are genuinely funny and memorable.

I finally stopped dragging myself through The Simpsons sometime late last season, though I must admit I've watched one and a half episodes this season. I really believed that I'd watch that show until it went off the air or until I died, but it went from being a habit that produced laugh after laugh to a habit that every once in a while was very rewarding to a habit that killed a half hour every week to a habit that made me feel bad thoughts about myself for taking part in to, finally, a habit that I knew I had to part ways with. The overall experience wasn't unlike my time spent doing drugs, come to think of it.
posted by item at 10:03 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


When the Family Guy MMORPG was released, I played it for all of about ten minutes before giving it up. This review nailed it with "My idea of a fun side mission is to collect somewhere between five and fifteen identical items that have been concealed throughout the level, with no meaningful reward."

It sounds like the only thing missing from the reviewed game versus the online game is the delightful existence of a constant stream of live chat from your fellow players.
posted by ErikaB at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2012


And yeah, American Dad is awesome, but The Cleveland Show is sorely under-appreciated. MacFarlane's involvement in The Cleveland Show is reportedly limited to stepping into the nearest sound booth to record his lines, which limited involvement probably helps the show immensely.

Both shows are available on Netflix Streaming, and are well worth watching for anyone who's even remotely interested in animated comedy. (With the understanding that the first season of any show is often quite rocky.)
posted by ErikaB at 10:19 AM on November 28, 2012


Not sure you should give yourself a pat on the back for disliking Family Guy if you then go, "OMG PIRATES ARE SO AWESOMESAUCE"
posted by Legomancer at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2012


Some days, I wish I could give 2004-me a good shaking by the shoulders, and suggest to him that he should pick an internet handle that would better survive the test of time.


If it makes you feel any better, Mayor West, as someone who still watches Family Guy out of habit/because Sunday is the only night when I watch TV live/because I don't miss Bob's Burgers or American Dad/because, as an avid TiVo user, there's something refreshingly old-school about sitting through at least 30 minutes of TV a week that you don't actually like -- that character is EASILY the best thing about it. I wouldn't watch an entire show based on him -- but the minute or two he is part of it is, without a doubt, still a consistent laugh.

(Granted this is just one man's opinion -- though the AV Club reviewer last week tends to agree:

Adam West’s antics, on the other hand, continue to be hysterical. He mistakes his dry cleaner for a nightclub, declaring the background noise in the shop his jam.

And yes that bit was much funnier than it deserved to be.)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:58 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, I love Mayor West and like the user name too!

Then again I don't find Family Guy that objectionable even now. I've only seen a bit of American Dad and thought it was worse, but I need to see more maybe. I think it's the only cartoon ever set where I grew up (Northern VA, for the CIA connection)
posted by sweetkid at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2012


What's The Cleveland Show like? American Dad is awesome, for me at least, because the writing team clearly agreed that they have seen every single movie and television in existence and loving pastiche is a much, much better way to deal with that than the ironic cutaway gags in Family Guy.
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2012


American Dad really picks up the further you go into it. They establish a pretty firm canon, for one thing, and they actually bother to develop characters rather than just brand them with a personality.
posted by griphus at 11:02 AM on November 28, 2012


Just watch season 5's "Rapture's Delight." It's sort of the Apex of American Dad, IMO
posted by griphus at 11:06 AM on November 28, 2012


> So, let me ask then: Am I the only one that dislikes Seth MacFarlene?

I'm not sure who that is, but Seth MacFarlane created Family Guy.


MacFarlene is like MacFarlane, but with double-bonded carbons.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2012 [19 favorites]


deathpanels: "I think that pre-Family-Guy-cancellation me thought that pre-cancellation Family Guy was often quite funny."

Eh, I still think eps like "Road to Rhode Island" hold up pretty well.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:14 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's The Cleveland Show like?

Imagine a black hole, bigger than whole galaxies, which sucks up all the light and heat of the universe where no joy can live and everything is bleak, terrible entropy.

The Cleveland Show isn't quite that bad, I guess.
posted by mightygodking at 11:35 AM on November 28, 2012


The problem with all those shows is that .nl Comedy Channel and the BBC both tend to show the same six episodes over and over again to the point of nausea.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:18 PM on November 28, 2012


It's still much consistently more amusing than Family Guy though.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:18 PM on November 28, 2012


I think this season of FG has gotten a little bit better than last season -- home of the "HEY LET'S DO A SERIOUS EPISODE AND THEN JUST HAVE PETER SAY STUPID SHIT OVER IT" eps, like the Thanksgiving one. Which... like, if you'd removed the Peter-Saying-Stupid-Shit aspect, it would have still been an awful episode, but that just made it worse.

I do still watch reruns of the older FG, particularly pre-cancellation, and it still holds up; the "offensive" element is turned down, so when you do see it, it DOES have a bit more of then "we're making fun of this viewpoint" rather than "HA HA JEWS ARE CHEAP!!!" ... and it's also much more rare in those eps too, which makes it a bit more palatable and/or funnier.

(Seriously, I think last week's ep was the first in a long time where there WASN'T a Jew joke. Besides, I liked Mort better when he was just, y'know, a nebbish-who-happened-to-be-a-Jew, rather than JEWY MC JEWSTEIN HERE TO PENNY-PINCH AND OTHER STEREOTYPES. It's like they were all "Oh, 'When You Wish Upon A Weinstein' turned out to be a really good episode and FOX was proven wrong for banning it the first time.... SO NOW IT'S JEW JOKE ALOOZA!" Despite the fact that the jokes in that ep were, again, more about Peter's ignorance rather than Jews as a people.)

And don't even get me started on the episode where Quagmire's dad came out as trans. I am hard pressed to think of a more hateful television program than that episode. I can't even watch it. (And it's weird, because Seth MacFarlane was, prior to it airing being all "We got a trans episode coming up that should be beloved by all and is sensitive and everything!!!" and.... what? Really? You thought that abuse-marathon was SENSITIVE? Christ.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:20 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was about to say "What about the Quagmire's sister's abusive boyfriend episode?" but then I realized that was last year too. At that point, I was absolutely sure that Seth McFarland was so done with the show that he was deliberately trying to get it thrown off the network somehow.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:39 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


While I love Family Guy, I don't understand why they would continue to make video games for the show. The characters do not transition well into 3D, so it just looks weird. It doesn't look like they even tried to polish it, but instead did a rush job for the $$$ (I doubt they make much).

There has been a slight uptick in Jew jokes. It hasn't been an explosion as some of the comments in this thread would lead you to believe. As for the Transgender Episode, I wouldn't call it hateful, Peter and Lois do display ignorance at the kitchen table when talking to Quagmire (saying that his Dad is gay, basically no such thing as trans). The abusive boyfriend episode definitely could have had a better ending (more educational/how to get help).

Has Family Guy gone past it's peak? Probably. I still find it to be rather good. Still need to catch up on the commentaries for the past few seasons. (I highly recommend the commentaries. Listening to those is why I want to be a Voice Actor. Plus, you do tend to learn some interesting things.)
posted by Melee Loaf at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2012


I think the transgender episode would have been better had Lois been less terrible (i.e. throwing Ida's casserole out immediately and just generally being awful to her). I expect Peter to be a lout, that's the character -- but it seemed out of character for Lois to be so cruel. (Though they've been kind of making Lois a bit more cruel over the years too, so I don't know.)

Between that and Brian (the Seth stand-in/Only Sane Man In The Show[TM]) having the puke-a-thon after having sex with Ida, it just seemed... classless.

I think the episodes could have worked if the Griffins were a bit more in character, sort of:

Peter: Loudmouth Idiot
Lois: Generally an OK person if a bit culturally conservative (i.e. her initial balking at Gay Marriage etc.)
Brian: Decent Human Being
Stewie/Chris: Probably going either way or talking about random things.
Meg: Shut up, Meg.

I don't know. It could be that I've just got a lot of trans friends, so I'm a bit sensitive to that stuff, I guess. But it just seemed like shitting on a group of people who are already shat upon by everyone.

As for the Jew Jokes, while, yeah, it's not like wall-to-wall, but it is frequent, and... well, I think I wasn't quite clear in my post. For me, the most offensive thing isn't that they're, well, offensive - it's just that they're so. fucking. lazy. (See also almost any recent Family Guy racial joke of any stripe.) It's gotten to the point where it's less... any sort of comment, and just "HUR HUR JEWS CHEAP" and expecting that to get a laugh for nothing -- just sort of a "we're naughty!!" sort of laugh. Which... can work if it's out of nowhere sometimes (it's still lazy, but at least it's not all the time?)... but it seems that you get at least one or two per episode and it's all basically the SAME JOKE.

I do admit enjoying the commentaries, and one thing I think is unfair is that from some full-on FG-haters is how Seth is a terrible voice actor.... and that's simply not true. Regardless of what you think of the show, he's really very good at it. Particularly check American Dad for proof, seeing as he's Stan and Roger -- and Roger's often a whole mess of characters in and of himself. And aside from a few characters (FG's Dr. Hartman and Carter -- which was lampshaded, for example), his characters don't sound a whole lot alike. (...he's certainly better than Tress MacNeille at that, and she's one of the most successful VAs in the industry.)

I shall now end this, because I got distracted by an ad on TV that had a bubble with what seemed to be clearly a foam-nipple, and I was amused by how clearly they were going "HEY LOOK A BOOB!!!" even though the product was some sort of makeup or something.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:44 PM on November 28, 2012


Forgot about the puking gag. Yeah, the freak out would have sufficed, and the unrealistic barf stream is addressed by Stewie's actions. Then again, they did the hyperbole version of what many heterosexual men would do in a similar situation. For them, it is gay sex.
Some of the Jew/Racial jokes can get a bit lazy, although some have a small twist to them. (Mort putting the coin on the ground in the reversed time episode, for example. Lazy, but different.)
I do hope that they get better with those kind of jokes, but it does seem like they have lost a lot of the original writers. So that might explain some things.
posted by Melee Loaf at 1:46 AM on November 29, 2012


That Family Game guy is like $70 on Steam, which made me go whut.

If ever there was a $14.99 game at best, that's got to be it. And even then I don't think I'd buy it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:27 AM on November 29, 2012


The really weird thing about all the lazy Jewish jokes thing is that in "Road to Germany" (which is full of them) there's this amazing scene, completely free of dialogue and set to beautiful music, cross-cutting between Mort's grandfather's wedding festivities and the German army gearing up for war. I searched for a while to see if it was a parody of pastiche of anything specific, and I couldn't find anything, so I can only assume they made it from whole cloth. It was just so well-done that I have no idea what is going on in their studio.
posted by griphus at 7:18 AM on November 29, 2012


For those of you wondering why Family Guy keeps getting worse...

MacFarlane was on Real Time earlier this year and basically said that he hasn't written a Family Guy episode in years. He basically just comes in and does the voices and that's his contribution to the show.
posted by daHIFI at 9:48 AM on November 29, 2012


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