khuntley's Hellboy: The Science of Evil (PlayStation Portable) review

This Game was Developed by Nazis...

Snagging Hellboy on the PSP wasn’t something I did because I wanted it on the PSP, but it was an excuse to get a new game for the system I just procured. After finishing the game while slurping down Kahlúa Mudslides, I wonder if I would have bothered to beat it sober. As a long time admirer of comics, Hellboy, Hellboy comics, and weird occult shit, I thought the game would be a worthwhile endeavor.     Let me start with saying that the PSP version of the game promised a lot of things, and didn’t deliver on any of those fronts. The manual touts a cast list of the film counterparts Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, and let’s not forget Bruce fucking Campbell. So, I paid $30 for a game with Bruce Campbell, and I’d get to fight Nazis? I’d say that’s money well spent. But I was wrong, dead wrong. I wish I could say Evil Dead-wrong, but I can’t. The game doesn’t have –any- voice acting in the game, aside from grunts from Ron Perlman. Realizing this, pangs of regret started rumbling in my stomach. All of the cut scenes in the game had subtitles, as did the normal game play scenes.

    The cut scenes all looked like flash animation, and you’d think the least they could do was throw in some voice acting, but that’d be too much to ask. The illustrations are nice and all, reminiscent of Mike Mignola’s work, but not close enough. At first I thought to myself that it might just be because the PSP couldn’t handle full motion cut scenes, as well as voice overs. Then I remembered Daxter, and Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. These were two games that have highly detailed full motion video and cut scenes, as well as full voice overs. And both of those games are much longer than the three to four hour play through of Hellboy. Let’s not forget that they also lied about Bruce Campbell. Konami seems to be batting a thousand these days, eh?

    The game is just dreadfully bland, and the story is all over the place. It never establishes anything that makes it a cohesive story. The more I think about it, the more I realize there wasn’t a story, just a collection of levels that just served to confuse the player. I reckon that the main idea by the production company was just to confuse the players enough so they couldn’t complain. The characters you fight are pretty much the same throughout the game. You only really fight around seven different characters, there just happens to be hundreds of versions of those same seven characters. In that sense, it’s a classic beat’em up, but I’m telling you right now, this game isn’t classic.

    Going back to how Konami lied to me, I’m going to bring up the Nazi thing. Hellboy hates Nazis, and so do I. So, the game promised that I’d get to pound the shit out of some Nazis, but as the credits rolled on that little handheld system, I was unsure if I ever fought any Nazis. There are Nazi drones you fight, and the only way you might know that is from the red arm bands they wear, but any symbol or mention of the Nazi thing is missing. The giant red flags throughout some of the levels show symbols of a black plus-sign, clearly Konami is just trying to remind the world of how inherently evil arithmetic is. For far too long, we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security while the malevolent mathematic-Reich has gained more power.
    There have been a ton of games that have promised a lot of things, and then didn’t deliver. I’m just going to assume that because I hold the character of Hellboy in such high regard, that I just expected more from the game, and what I expected was for the game to not suck. If that’s the case, then its not Konami’s fault, it’s my fault for expecting a product worth the money I paid for it. How dare I be so fucking silly?

  The PSP version of this game isn’t worth a purchase; it might be worth a rental, but I don’t want to be responsible for you wasting $4. If you have the ability, try to rent it on the Xbox 360, or PS3, because those versions are better.


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