Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

The popular dark children's books are being translated into a big-budget movie and a video game.

You may not have heard of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, but that will soon change. This popular children's book series ranks just behind Harry Potter in terms of popularity with the younger population, and it's no surprise that Hollywood is looking to cash in on the Harry Potter craze with a big-budget movie adaptation of Lemony Snicket. The movie is based on the first three books in the series and will be released later this year, and it will star Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, and Jude Law. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, the game, will be published by Activision, and it will be based on both the books and the movie.

The Lemony Snicket books tell the tale of the three Baudelaire orphans: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. After losing their parents in a fire, the children are sent to live with their evil uncle, Count Olaf, who intends to kill them off and steal their inheritance. So it's up to the children to stay ahead of their uncle's dastardly plans. Fortunately for them, they each possess a special ability. The oldest at 14, Violet is quick thinking and brave and is the greatest inventor in the world; 12-year-old Klaus is the ultimate bookworm, and he is knowledgeable and intelligent; and Sunny, the infant, speaks in a language only her siblings can understand, but she has one thing she does extraordinarily well: bite. Eventually, the children escape the clutches of Count Olaf and land with a series of foster parents and other hapless caretakers, including the titular Lemony Snicket. The successive books in the series recount the children's adventures.

Activision only showed us a short video of the game that was intercut with many scenes taken from the movie. From all appearances, the game will feature a lot of platform-style gameplay, with the children having to navigate, jumping style, through devious traps (you'll be able to play as all three children). There will also be elements of puzzle solving--you'll have to create inventions and defeat Count Olaf. Fans of the series relish the dark tone of the books, and the movie and game will do well if they can capture the same brooding atmosphere. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events will be published for all major platforms, including the PC, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. The game should be released around the same time as the movie later this year.

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