Code Name: Viper( OK, this game REALLY confuses me, and that's saying something.) First, why did I play this game? I know I've said that before, but this is one game where I don't understand why I played it. It's not bad (great, I've spoiled the rest of the blog for you. Are you happy?), and I've seen more obscure games, but I don't know why I played the game. It was just sitting there in my queue, for some reason, and I just sorta played it. How did it get there? And why do I get the feeling that this is a question that will never be answered ever?
I haven't even gotten to the actual game yet, which actually creates more confusion. You're a special commando guy person sent on a mission to take down a South American drug lord. However, there's one problem: you're not wearing pants. I realize how much of a non-sequitur that is, but it really irks me how nobody mentions how you're not wearing pants. Instead, every major-yet-indiscernible character focuses on giving you this one letter they all seem to have copies of. However, it seems that printer inks, along with working printers, are a rare commodity in South America, since most of the letters have random bits missing from them. Why? Who the hell knows? That's pretty much all the story the game gives you, and as I just said, it doesn't explain anything. I'm still confused as to why my main character doesn't wear pants, and since the game never explains at all, I guess I'll have to: he's on drugs. See how easy that was? It fits in with the "drugs are bad" motif the game shoves in your face, and it also explains why he flies his plane all over the South American map to achieve a very simple task in the game.
That task? Shoot the hell out of anybody you come across. Unfortunately, this is where the game falls apart like the pants your protagonist never wears. First, there's ammo in the game, which is...weird. Not bad, just weird; your regular pistol never runs out, and the only other weapon you get is a rapid fire machine gun. It's just like the regular gun, only faster, meaning it tears through enemies AND your ammo reserves. This is also when the enemies tear through you, since they have some significant advantages, like magic bullets. I can never figure out how much damage the bullets do. Is it a one hit kill, two hits, four hits, or does it follow some weird 2^x formula with distance or something more arcane and confusing? How am I supposed to defend myself against magic bullets? Or at all? I spend a lot of my time crouching in a position where I can only change directions by putting myself in the line of fire, and these guys can fire in more directions than "horizontal!" How did the developers consider any of this good game design?
And then it hit me: this is obviously a stealth game. And a stealthy stealth game, at that. That explains all the doors present throughout the game; this isn't a weird version of Moonwalker with even worse voice sampling and bombs you have to collect, for some reason, it's a stealth game where you hide behind doors, waiting for your foes to drop their guard. They don't even notice you when you're in a door, so when you come out from hiding and shoot them in their smug faces....words cannot describe that feeling of satisfaction, and any pictures/videos that can would surely get me banned. However, this is assuming you can even shoot them; chances are that their magic "somebody has walked through a door" sense will kick in, and they'll just plain ninja you to death. Why are all the enemies in this game so damn mildly annoying to kill? Even the final boss falls into this category; it's near impossible to avoid his attacks, which means that even if you have full health and the machine gun, YOU STILL DIE. I still don't understand why I played this game. Or why my character is pantless. Oh, fuck it; this game gets the Good Stealth for its Time Award if it puts on some damn pants. Unless it can do this. Then it can wear pants whenever it wants.
- Why aren't I wearing pants?
- The enemies are some type of magical deadly.
- Stealth helps, but not a lot.
I really wish there was a Mary Poppins game, just so I had an excuse to use the phrase, "What's going down? Mary Poppins." Hell, I should just begin every blog like that. (Also, if you look at the URL, it seems UGO is run by lesbians.)
Toy Story( What's going down?) Mary Poppins. Man, that feels good. I wish there was an actual Mary Poppins game, but I'll settle for a regular Disney game: Toy Story. Remember that CGI Disney movie before people absolutely fucking hated CGI in every possible form? Remember how it had a game for just about every console at the time, and the ones that didn't get a game got one when the sequel came out? No? Well I do.
Let that serve as a transition into the Toy Story franchise's one running gag: really depressing stories. You're Woody, a toy cowboy named by a very vindictive toy designer, since he pretty much named/made you the gayest thing on the planet. Wait, scratch that; an astronaut toy invades your space, and his name is Buzz Lightyear. Sure, his name is gay, but it's the masculine type of gay you identify with something like Cho Aniki; you look at Woody, and you immediately think, "That kid's middle school life sucked." Or this, even though they're not actually made of wood. Why do I get the feeling that this isn't the type of movie suited for a game? The game itself doesn't help; every chance it gets, it tries to stuff in some gameplay element around the story. That minor fight at the gas station? Boss time! Andy's having a birthday? Might as well start off with an awkward "get everybody where they need to be" level! What's that? We don't have enough bosses? Then just make shit up! Shortly after we meet Buzz, Woody has a dream about him. This is not what you think, whatever that might be; instead, Woody must defeat a giant Buzz surrounded by flaming burritos. I am not making this up; they are.
How do you defeat such a monstrosity? Hit him while he's teleporting, duh! It gets worse, though, since every boss in the game has this very specific way and time of hitting them that you'll never figure out. This leads to the one major theme of the game: trial, error, and death. Lots of it. I'm guessing it's to tie in with the depression theme of the movies, since they designed this game to make sure you die again and again and again. Not again, though, because that would be excessive. Hell, you can't even defend yourself in the normal levels; your only attack is a harder-than-it-should-be to use lasso, and because none of you are alive, none of you can ever die. Except you. You can die. And you will. A lot. OK, last time I mention that, but the game sure does expect a lot from you. Some of this stuff requires reactions within the time span of a single frame for it to be successful, and that bastard Woody is never willing to cooperate. His lasso won't go where you want it to go, he can never jump as high as you need him to jump, and should Woody actually listen to your commands, chances are the arbitrary rules du French-word-for-level (I could not find one) won't be clear enough to prevent you from miserably failing. Oh, and in case it isn't clear by now, Toy Story's a platformer. Except when it isn't.
It seems that the consistent mediocrity of Toy Story's platformer sections weren't enough for the game, so the developers threw in a bunch of non-platforming levels to mix things up. The quality on these jumps up and down wildly, reaching its lowest point with the stealth section. You're tasked with sneaking into Pizza Planet, Metal Gear style (just like in the movie!), avoiding the smallest burgers and hot dogs in the world. Oh, and don't think you can move at your own leisure, because Buzz will be there to validate my gay jokes the entire time. It doesn't get much better when you have to rescue him via RC car, with easily drained batteries and controls so slippery that they make Micro Machines look good. However, they're not all bad; for example, there's an FPS portion. I am not kidding; look at it, then compare it to the piece-of-shit Duke Nukem 3D for the same system. It rules. I know it's a minor part of the game, but it kicks the crap out of everything else. Along with the washed-out-but-still-good graphics, they're the reason I gave this game such a high score in the 6s. Other than that, it has very little going for it. Look at the box; it's like they're looking in disgust at this very game. They know it sucks, and it sickens them. That's why I give it the Frankenstein Award: because you're literature-deprived morons who won't get that joke. Lemme throw you an easy one: the trailer for Toy Story 4.
- I'm pretty sure that the movie never featured a scene dedicated to the Genie level in the SNES version of Aladdin.
- The actual platforming sections aren't that good, since they expect a lot of you.
- The non-platforming parts can be really good or really bad, depending on where you are in the game.