By Video_Game_King 28 Comments
Carmageddon 64( Can somebody explain what I'm supposed to see in this game?) Allow me to explain myself for that weird set of expectations: for a long time, AjayRaz has been tormenting me to beat this game and talk about it. I even made a list about it (not that you'd know that now, given that it won't appear on the list). Of course, I did the stupidest thing I could: I played it. Not only did I lose a poster (now he can't keep telling me to play this game), but I also played Carmageddon 64. Yea, it's bad, but what the hell am I supposed to do with this?
I guess I could make fun of the story, but there's one problem with that: there's not a lot of story to make fun of. It's the future, and, as is the case in many video games, the future sucks. I don't know why people distrust the future, but whatever. This particular brand of future is like a combination of Mad Max and BioDome, in that people just kill each other with death vehicles unless they're outside the super-safe domes of the future that only the wealthy upper-class can afford. You know, because that entire premise makes so much sense. In enters the protagonist, who realizes that a combination of Mel Gibson and Pauly Shore is a shitty future. You yearn for a better movie; unfortunately, you only get the small bits of Blade Runner that the German guy mutters at the end. How do you plan on getting there? Well, the government-OK, this story is already too much of a mess, and the fact that it's only told through text screens that Braid would call "dense" doesn't help. Let me simplify the story: you must race around race tracks eight times. If you see zombies, they must die; same goes for your opponent, because there are no laws in the Carmageddon! 64! Wait, did I just summarize the gameplay, too? Holy shit. That's usually the type of thing I do in a separate paragraph.
You know, like this one. It took me a while to figure out what the fuck you're supposed to do in the game, mainly because it's not explained very well. Most of the time, you're supposed to race, but the barriers around the actual racing part of the map are less like barriers and more like suggestions, making it stupidly easy to wander off and forget what the hell you're supposed to do. The only way you can tell if you're on track is if the next checkpoint you cross says "Checkpoint." Of course, you only know what it says after you've driven through it, so if you're off track (trust me, it's pretty easy to go off track), most of your time will be spent doing two things: finding a checkpoint that just says "Checkpoint", and then finding the next one that just says "Checkpoint." Then again, once I found out what you're supposed to do, I found the game to be piss easy. Just drive through the checkpoints until the race is over, and then repeat for 29 more races. What's there to stop you? Your opponents? I forgot that they were even there. They don't race you to the non-existent finish line as much as they occupy space. The only times I saw them were when they just kind of appeared, just as confused as I was when I first started playing this game. I promptly ignored them and sped to my next goal. Sad, since there's actually a pretty cool game mechanic where you get new cars by killing your opponents. I'm pretty sure that it makes sense in other Carmageddon games, but given that my car was already good enough at moving around and killing zombies, I never really saw the need to end their already terrible lives.
Oh, right: zombie killing. You kill zombies in this game, too. That's sort of a big thing, and it gained a lot of controversy back in the day. Why? I have no idea. I guess running over zombies is the best training for an old fashioned school shooting? Anyway, running over the HUGE amount of zombies in each level gives you extra time, which is the only reason why you'll ever bother running over zombies. OK, so you can technically complete the levels by running over all the zombies, but there are just way too many to make that a good idea, so you'll just go back to finishing races, like normal. The only time you'll run over zombies is when you encounter them in giant zombie groups, and even then, the only reason you're doing it is because it's a really good source of time (that's how I got those 25 minutes). It's not really fun, since there are so many of the same looking assholes, and you only have a few options in terms of killing them: either run them over, or collect a power-up that kills them for you. So yet again, you'll find yourself just driving a lot, something that gets really boring really fast. It just goes on and on and on and on and damn it, I should not have said that. We all know that saying those words summons the inaccurate lyrics of Journey. Do stop believing. Also, stop reading this blog in the melody of Don't Stop Believing. Anyway, the game doesn't get better during the missions (AKA the "there's more to this game than just racing" parts of the game); it just gets more confusing. Each one has you doing something that isn't racing, like killing X number of zombies, or destroying X number of things. Unfortunately, it can be really damn hard to find those Xs, especially since they're usually strewn across the map at random, like the level designer constantly called in sick throughout development. Other times, it's just poorly explained goals; for these, I found it best to glitch the hell out of the game, like riding walls or bunny hopping to Mars. The only reward for all this, besides an oddly cool slalom level, is this weird ending. Great.
- Holy hell, beating the races is easy.
- I guess to balance it out, they made the non-races kinda confusing.
- What about this was supposed to make a good blog? I give this game the Bad Dudes Award for No, This Isn't as Good an Idea as You Thought. It just isn't.
IT'S LIKE I CAN TOUCH YOU!!!
Sonic Colors( Hold on, I need to explain myself.) Since this isn't an old school game, you're assuming that I went into some store and said to the employees, "Give me the game with the 3D hedgehogs, like what I saw in the commercial with terrible pop music!" However, that's not the case; instead, somebody else did that and passed the shame onto me as a Night of the Sexyface gift. I'm guessing that they wanted me to appreciate how much Sonic has fallen in past few years, since I haven't felt it as much as others. OK, Shadow the Hedgehog sucks, but Sonic Heroes was pretty good, from what I remember. Then I played Sonic Colors. Oh, Sonic. What happened to you?
Of course, before I even get into the actual game, I can see this is a sign of desperation, as the Wii HUD thing shows me what looks like Super Mario Galaxy 2 with a blue rodent slapped on. As I enter the game, I'm treated to terrible music. I'm guessing that in order to make this worth something, there's also a video that does a better job of explaining the core gameplay mechanics than I do. What follows is an intro screen that looks like Sonic filmed Super Mario Galaxy getting it on with Star Fox 64; after that, the story. it seems that Eggman has given up the world-conquering business, and instead, he builds an amusement park...in space. That's not the stupid part; that honor goes to him chaining planets into his amusement park, and then building a space elevator to get people there, because fuck physics. Sonic, being madly in love with physics (this isn't the first time Eggman fucked space and physics), decides that Eggman must be doing evil things, based on absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, he's right, for not only is Eggman stealing crap characters from Jimmy Neutron, but he's also stealing aliens from nearby planets. It's all part of his plan to rule the world and force people into his amusement parks, because apparently, you can get lower than Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts' " we want to feel pretty" evil plot. Hey, that was actually pretty funny, like Colors' story. I know that I spent the entirety of this paragraph bashing the story, but to be honest, it varies between embarrassing (why does Tails need to push Sonic out of the way of a projectile?) and genuinely funny. Most of the really good stuff comes from Sonic being the Sonic we all knew and loved, at one point. While Shadow was being emo as shit, and while Knuckles was discovering a lost race of time echidnae, Sonic was telling you to go fuck yourself, and you liked it. A lot of what he says would fit perfectly into a GameTrailers-esque video review, if I started doing those.
But I won't, mainly because I don't own a microphone, editing software, capturing software, or anything else that would help me make such videos. Instead, I'll just continue writing extremely dense blocks of text. Why? Because I know what I do best, which is more than can be said of Sonic. People like you because you're supposed to be fast, Sonic, and I'm not seeing it in this game. Sure, you're trying with those 3D behind-the-back things, but from what I've heard, you just never figured out 3D controls. Sonic Colors doesn't do a better job of figuring it out, either, and this is with two control schemes. I tried playing with both the sideways Wii-mote and the GameCube, and I have come to this conclusion: they both suck. The Wii-mote's kinda too tight, and should you so much as nudge the analog stick on the GameCube controller in one direction, Sonic will eagerly dash in that direction, thinking he's going to run into a better game. He's not. He's only going to run into death or something that isn't death. While the latter may sound preferable, it still sucks, since it kills the game's momentum pretty fast. For a game like this, a game that survives on momentum like a brightly colored shark (I think I just gave Sonic ideas for the next Sonic game), it really kills any chance of this game being enjoyable. OK, there's a 2D half to this game, and while it's definitely the most playable part, it still isn't that good, and for one good reason: it's not doing Sonic stuff. I didn't really find myself blasting through levels at insane speeds as often as I should have; most of the time, it was stuff like slowly bouncing through obstacles, or exploring levels for power-ups. That shit's fine, but it's not really meant for a Sonic game. It feels like the slow and methodical crap that would fit in much better in just about any other platformer.
Specifically, Mario, probably because of how much it flat-out steals from Super Mario Galaxy. Let's take inventory, shall we? Sweeping orchestral pieces set to space title screens, red coins (somehow, yes), power-ups, the planetoid motif (at least for that one level), a ground pound, and even some of the level themes! Remember the candy level in Super Mario Galaxy 2? Well, Sonic's doing it, as well, only he doesn't know how to do it. The candy level in this game has freaking rockets in the background; when did Buzz Aldrin and sweets ever go together? Never. After that, there's an aqua Japan level. OK, that's better, since Japan's pretty heavy on the sea as part of its culture, but it still feels off. Why is Eggman sinking Japan into the sea? Did Yahtzee get fat and bald? (I honestly don't know; I stopped watching him around Enslaved, and I never looked back.) At least I can understand why somebody mashed candy and rockets together: power-ups. Unfortunately, the water levels really don't have any power-ups that justify mashing together Japan and water. Oh, I should probably mention the power-ups. Remember those aliens that Eggman captured two paragraphs ago? Over the course of the game, you free them, but with one major caveat: they shall never be free. They will always be your slaves, doing all that you demand of them. Of course, you have to release them to use them, so there's a small Metroid element to the level design that you'll never really use, since there's not much reward for going Metroid in these levels. You don't even get the Chaos Emeralds that way; how can you make a Sonic game without the Chaos emeralds? It's just unnatural. I'd say the same about the spin-dash, but there's a power-up for that. There are also power-ups for lasering through levels, rocketing in one direction, hovering, cubing things (the fuck?), and a bunch of other things. Like the 2D portions of the game, they can be pretty cool, but they're not Sonic-y enough. It's like how the class-swap feature in Shadow Dragon would've worked had it been in another game, instead of the NES remake that it appeared in. Only these power-ups would work, because they're never explained that well. You're just told how to activate them, and then you're expected to figure it out from there. This works well for crap like Reptiege (is that how you spell it? Neither the manual nor the FAQs were clear on this in any way.), which work well with experimentation and Ws, but for stuff like lasers, it ends up DESTROYING THEM.
You know. sort of like how this game destroys its own boss battles. Or maybe you destroy them. It's hard to tell. The point I'm trying to get across is that the boss battles are stupidly easy.If I remember correctly, there was one boss that I was able to S-rank in under a minute. Notice how I used "S-rank" instead of "complete." This means that not only have the grades returned (why is Sonic always grading me? Did he get his license to teach in some obscure Sonic game I'm forgetting about?), but there's one boss where you can get the best grade in under a minute. The worst part of it? He's a repeat. Now that I think about it, there's a lot of repeating of bosses, like a bunch of games I could probably name, maybe. The only difference is that those games add shit to their repeats; as far as I remember, Sonic Colors doesn't. The only boss that isn't copy/pasted from a previous level is the final boss, who looks like Spawn swallowed Eggman. He's actually pretty challenging, although part of that may be due to how you have to clear a running level immediately after it, and dying there results in doing the final boss over again. So how do you follow up a decent final boss like that? With... fucking auto-tune bullshit. Are you even watching this, Sonic? This is why nobody likes you: you chase trends. You don't do anything original, and the stuff you are doing just doesn't work for you. Tell me when you realize that things went downhill when people discovered Michael Jackson's vampire pedophilia scam; when that day comes, I shall reward you the People Liked Super Mario Galaxy Without Auto-Tune Award.
- The story bounces between "yes this is what I like about Sonic" and "this is why people fucking hate Sonic."
- Oh, and so does the platforming.
- It's still better than Shadow the Hedgehog.