cartoons, does anyone else think Michael Jackson looks like a tiny
eh? I guess it’s a decent shot at wordplay. Until you drop by the
web-site and take a look at the character descriptions. Here are a
few of the gems:
devil is so chaotic, he got himself kicked out of hell because he
couldn't follow the Boss' orders.’ This guy’s name is
apparently Sinder. Get it? SINder. Ha-ha! Funny! Know what’s
even funnier than that? Barium enemas.
‘Violet is a
teen anime demon girl from Asia.’ Just look at that sentence
construction! Three adjectives for one noun, without interjection or
emphasis...not even an exclamation point. I mean, not even an
exclamation point! I particularly like ‘...from Asia’.
They added that for the three guys in South Dakota who haven’t
been assaulted with poorly dubbed re-runs of Dragon Ball Z on the
Cartoon Network, and therefore were unaware that the phrase ‘anime’
was practically synonymous with JAPANESE animation. The best part is
that Japan isn’t even on the Asian continent! Gotta love
stereotyping! And exclamation points!!
hard-boiled, gangster duck comes straight out of a '30s B-movie,
when men were men, ducks were ducks and every 'toon was black &
white.’ Nothing I could say would make that statement more
befuddling. Unless I were to use a word even more befuddling than
‘befuddling’...like concupiscence. Is that ever a word.
Really. Look it up.
‘This nerd of
all nerds puts all other nerds, geeks and assorted goof balls to
shame.’ Wow, is that lame. The only thing that could possibly
outclass that description for lameness (is that a word?) is the
simple, straightforward desire the developers obviously have to
envelop you in some kind of warm, ‘love our cuddly character
designs’ dementia that will coerce you to ignore this twerp’s
geek factor. For cryin’ out loud, this guy’s default weapon are
shuriken. If you’re unaware of how pathetically appropriate
that is, congratulations, you weren’t a complete loser in junior
high. If you DO know what I’m talking about, and think that my use
of ‘shuriken’ instead of ‘ninja stars’ was tasteful,
congratulations. You WERE that loser. Take a bow and marvel that you’re
still alive to read this.
a nice morning drive through the woods quicker than a dinosaur in a
monster truck.’ (Description of T-Wrecks, apparently the
Mini-boss of the Jungle level.) You know, I’m not even
less than impressed with the backstory to this game. Hopefully that
will prove a useless point of origin for a proper dissertation of
this game. Really, how often has it mattered why you’re
blowing the crap out of other goofy characters in a game? Capcom
hasn’t bothered with applicable game history for more than a
decade, and it hasn’t hurt them in the least. In fact, I think
they outsource to junior high-schools in the pacific northwest to
acquire their character profiles in Street Fighter.
Wondering what I
have to say about the actual game? That’s coming up in a second. I
should explain first though, that I decided to try something new
with this preview. I’m going to give you a paragraph of my initial
impressions, in the exact order they occurred to me. All of the
following ‘bites’, as it were, landed on the page as I watched
about 30 minutes of various slices of gameplay. Unedited,
uncensored, what you see poured from my fingertips completely
- Freeze ray
puts you in a giant block of translucent blue ice, complete with
frost and icicles at the top.
- What’s up
with the repetetive noises? Please tell me they’re
placeholders and the real game uses music.
environments really have about nothing to do with the various
characters, or their cars. I suppose it could be argued that
these are typical cartoon backdrops for late-sixties/early
seventies Warner cartoons, but in those instances, there was
some kind of plot or sight gag that made the ‘location’
relevant. A black and white duck driving a sedan in a space
level leaves a lot of room for questions.
- Cars appear
to actually drive over one another, but whether or not this does
damage? Unknown. However, it certainly would make it interesting
if running into someone wasn’t a concern. You’d never really
have to stop driving, and the ability to use other cars as ramps
has some possibility. On the other hand, there’s just
something about a bone-jarring impact upon ramming another
vehicle that has lent itself well to most car combat games
(though their numbers are limited) thus far.
- I’m hungry
- You know, if
they made all of these cars into hot chicks, and had them shoot
‘seduction rays’ at each other, it would be one hell of a
hovercraft seems unable to maintain direction well, and it’s
floating nature seems to give it a pretty wild ride. This could
be good, but it also may make precision driving nearly
And so ends the
prototype game preview. We hope you all had fun, and look forward to
seeing you next time. We now return you to the standard, boring
recitation of faults and benefits you’re accustomed to.
There are three;
Smack Attack, Flag Rally, and Gate Relay.
appears to allow you to pick up multiple flags (which do their best
to run away from you, which would be a nice touch if they were any
good at it) and has you return them to a central location. Obviously
all other game rules apply, so getting killed is not only possible,
and unwanted, but likely unavoidable. It does seem that getting
offed is pretty easy in this mode, no more than a hit or two, which
may prove to make the action fast and furious, assuming you respawn very
quickly, and close enough to exact revenge, without being so close
to set you up on the wrong end of a beat-down double-play.
In the Smack
Attack it looks like you can take a bit more of a beating, but only
just. It should be pointed out that all the vehicles seem to float
to some degree. This isn’t such a bad thing except that there’s
little delay between your vehicle’s turning and the environment
spinning in the appropriate direction. This becomes very
disorienting, particularly when trying to make minor adjustments to
your course. However, when you get tossed about wildly, doing
multiple rotations or such, the camera waits for you to come to a
stop before realigning. Most appreciated.
Gate relay looks
like your generic checkpoint racing, but with weapons.
effective ranges are very odd. On some vehicles, the boxing gloves
seem to reach almost three car lengths ahead, while on others they
barely hit an opponent before the vehicle wielding them does. The
same goes for the shrink and freeze rays. It may simply be that the
range is variable, and adjusts for what appears to be the nearest
threat. This in itself may require strategy adjustments. Should I
use the tomahawk since I know it will fly in a straight line,
therefore ensuring I command its direction? Or should I take a
chance with the shrink ray and see if it can accurately assess which
of the three vehicles in front of me I most want to hit?
The ax has a
limited life, and when an enemy car is ‘chopped’, the pieces
stay on-screen for a while, acting as obstacles of sorts, though of
the ‘marshmallow’ variety. By that, I mean they don’t make
anyone come to a stop, but rather become a lump in the road that has
physical presence without any detrimental effects.
There also seem
to be environmental weapons. These are offensive items that anyone
can use, similar to Spyro or Power Stone, and like those titles, don’t
require a lot of accuracy on the player’s part. The crossbow load
you onto a platform with no walls which then raises you into firing
position. How difficult it will be to align yourself properly so
that these weapons will activate in the heat of battle remains to be
seen, but hopefully once you’re within a certain proximity you
will be able to press a ‘use’ button or something similar.
A drill that
allows you to drive underground? Very interesting concept, and would
be one of the most innovative sneak-attacks in a game like this if
it didn’t leave a dirt trail (a la Bugs Bunny) in your
wake. I guess it’s a lot harder to spot the dirt trail and where
it finally ends than an enemy vehicle, but it’s still a giveaway.
But that’s the price you pay for trying to be true to a genre I
The shrink ray
is a formidable weapon indeed. It brings to mind the lightning
attack from the Mario Kart games, since it shrinks the enemy,
thereby reducing their speed and maneuverability, as well as
allowing you to run them over for an easy kill. How long this
unfortunate condition lasts is unknown, and that could be the
annoying part. By that, I mean that to use the ray in the first
place, the enemy needs to be pretty close, so you don’t need the
effect to be. As well, making this diminutive state last painfully
long will only serve to suck the fun out of the game for whomever
must endure it. But if the gamer returns to full size too quickly,
the shrink ray effectively becomes useless, since you’ll likely
have to either line your enemy up to be run over upon shrinkage, or
spend excessive amounts of time chasing people down to shrink them
and hope you get lucky with a powerslide.
actually a lot more weapons that could be covered, but I think you
get the idea. Besides, we’ve established the development team
knows to put in the basics (guns, cutting weapons, freeze rays) and
toss in a few improved ideas (drilling, environment weapons) for a
rounded package. As for the gameplay itself? Well, I can’t speak
for that. However, from what I saw, I have to say that I got the
impression that it was frequently too easy to die, and the
interaction with the environment (destructible scenery) was nearly
pointless. The easy deaths may simply be a style choice, making the
game more like a first-person-shooter deathmatch, with loads of
weapons lying about to exact a quick revenge (which could be
interesting), or it may be decisively detrimental, particularly in a
single-player game. I can definitively say that I would be ready to
bludgeon some game producers with very blunt instruments if I died
with every change in wind direction, as I was shown in the footage.
So where does
this leave us?
Please. Did you read the beginning of this preview?
sorry, but I think everyone has tried so hard to outdo everyone
else, that nothing seems interesting anymore. I no longer believe
there is an ‘edgy’ or wacky’ character capable of
demonstrating anything other than their creators sad attempt at
begin ‘edgy’ or ‘wacky’. Maybe Twisted Metal and Fighting
Vipers ruined it for everyone else, but the only thing interesting
left is having some normal guy from middle-America at the wheel of a
minivan in your game. And that’s just sad.
not holding a lot of hope out for this title. It’s a neat use of
technology with the cel-shading and cartoon temperament, but I don’t
feel a strong game underneath at this point.
I’d love to
have to eat my words though.