By Video_Game_King 30 Comments
Clock Tower( Let it be known that I do take recommendations, even though it's never really proven to be a good idea.) Perfect example of the latter: half the games I play. Perfect example of the former: this one. Actually, this could do for both, since it's a piece of crap, but whatever. MylifeforAiur actually recommended that I play Clock Tower, and knowing that both of us knew that I ran out of games a year ago, I played the game and hated it. Granted, he was recommending a completely different Clock Tower for a wholly different system, but I persevered, and in the end, still managed to blame him for all this.
Amazing, given that I was playing a sequel to a game I had never played. You'd think that would fuck up my understanding of the game, but given that the plot's simple enough that the whole script can fit on a single sheet of toilet paper, I found it kinda easy to manage. There's this serial killer called Scissorman (I'm guessing that they ran out of cool/creative names around the time Jack the Ripper came along), and everybody wants to know who he is. Also, people die. That's it. You never get any sense of build-up or personality from Scissorman, nor do you slowly unravel his personality; he's just some creep with huge scissors, and when you finally find out who he is, it just comes off as a shittily (can shit be an adverb?) executed plot twist. Wait, this is a sequel, right? So that means nobody found out who he was in the last game. Then why do they treat this Scissorman guy like a brand new threat? Like the problem had already been solved? It's amazing how they can not only fuck up such a simple plot, but fuck it up so consistently!
A perfect example happens rather early in the game, when you can call the police. Your character tells them that Scissorman is chasing her, and the police respond by telling her to go fuck herself for prank calling 911. Keep in mind that everybody has already been acknowledging Scissorman as a mass murderer (I guess once you run out hands to count all the murders, you're a mass murderer), and that hanging up on somebody calling 911 usually results in being fired, at its best. She calls again, and now the police begrudgingly oblige with her request. I'd say that it's inconsistent, but given that the whole game is an inconsistent mess, it oddly comes off as consistent in its stupidity. You can interact with certain items, but merely observe others (and the lock-on mouse doesn't differentiate); certain doors lead to death, while virtually identical ones actually make your character's brain suddenly work; some scenes have crappy voice acting for no particular reason; certain puzzles defy logic with their EXACT order of completion; I could probably go on and on listing all the ways the game fucks things up like this, but I feel like I should actually describe how you play the game.
I'd call it a survival horror game, but it's far more of a point and click adventure. I realize that survival horror evolved from adventure games, but damn it, this game is ridiculously faithful to its roots. You explore a few areas, swipe everything in sight like you were just fired from an office job, and rub things up against other things in the hopes that your forced item sex will result in getting through the game. The only difference I found is that the adventuring is actually much, MUCH easier: the game's broken down into segments that don't last as long as an episode of Metalocalypse, meaning puzzles are easier to manage and that the game is only an hour long (unless you count the multiple endings, which brings it up to the still-short length of Chrono Trigger). You'd think that would be the one thing to cause me to tear this thing open like Scissorman, but surprisingly, it's one of the few things I liked about the game, given that I suck at adventure games. The only problem I had with the system itself was near the end, when the game suddenly started throwing me false clues, useless items, and a bit more of that serial killer dude I keep mentioning.
Might as well mention him here, too, since he's the only thing that makes this game scary. Every now and then, you'll run into Igor holding a giant pair of scissors. Run away from him, hide in some random area (another good thing about this game: lots of options), and he'll decide that his time is better spent making giant paper snowflakes. Imagine Nemesis from RE3, only without any sense of power or threat. Actually, I probably shouldn't have even made the comparison, given that Scissorman is actively trying to be opposite Nemesis. Remember how Nemesis was like some sort of weird stalker who'd follow Jill everywhere she went? Compare to Scissorman, a guy who only comes around when you trigger an event or if you're stupid enough to pick your nose for nine hours. Should he find you, no worries, for he moves so slowly that you can outrun him at the fast pace of stationary miles an hour. And when you find a hiding place, worry not, for he will never find you. He only got me once, and even then, I managed to dodge him. But let's say that I didn't; all he does is impale you with his scissors. Sounds deadly, but trust me, the game gets more creative (and stupid) with other ways to die, like being eaten by rats. He's the only scary part of the game, but since he's not scary, you soon realize that you're playing a mundane, stupidly broken adventure game for an hour or two. I think the award I'm gonna give this game is obvious: the Ed Wood Award for Obvious Reasons.
- How do you fuck up a simple story? Clock Tower.
- Simple adventuring juxtaposed alongside absolutely no survival horror.
- It takes longer to read my blog than it does to complete the game.
Of course, we all know what William Henry Harrison's pick-up line would be: "He-*dead*."
Panic Restaurant( Already, Clock Tower is failing in retrospect.) That game couldn't scare me anywhere in the entire game, and before I even play Panic Restaurant, I'm scared shitless. I'm not even throwing the phrase "shitless" in there to make it seem like it's funnier; a few minutes before I typed this part of the blog, I actually had to go take a dump. My body saw what the food in this game is like, realized that I've been filling it with those substances for years, and decided that it wanted nothing to do with such horrors.
Some of you may be wondering why I didn't crap out my guts until after I beat the game, and there's a good explanation for that: I beat the game before I saw the box art, and there's nothing scary about the game itself. It's just about some Waluigi-esque guy stealing your restaurant, shrinking you to the size of food (apparently), and bringing all your food (and some of the furniture) to life. That's kind of all the story there is, which makes me wonder why I decided to open with it. It also makes me wonder why I'm transitioning into the graphics, when all I have to say about them is that they're that kind of creative/cartoony appealing, like you saw in a bunch of late-life NES games. I should probably move onto the actual game part of the game, but I'm starting to realize something: this is a very simple game. Not generic, like Buck Bumble, mind you, as it still has enough personality to keep the citizens of Cyrodiil from staring at it menacingly; it's just really simple.
This becomes evident as soon as the first few levels, which are straight lines to a boss that seems to combine two episodes of South Park into one death. Not that the bosses are bad or anything; they're actually pretty creative, ranging from a hamburger that kills you with bread frisbees (or as you call them, "buns") to a final boss you kill by deflating a balloon with eggs. Oh, look at that, something I can easily complain about: hard to find weak points. OK, so not all the bosses were smart enough to hide the part of their body that houses extremely volatile C4, but the ones that do can be a bit frustrating to beat. You'd think that hitting an ice cream boss in the ice cream part of it would cause instant death; oh, how naïve you are. You're supposed to hit it in the cone. Everybody knows that, right? Once you do figure out where to hit them, though, the battles become kinda easy, probably because all their weak points are made of glass. Don't get me wrong, they're still fun to fight; it's just that it only takes three seconds for them to puke up coins you'll waste in a useless gambling mini-game.
OK, it's not entirely useless, since you can get some extra lives and health from it, if you're lucky, but you already get enough of the latter in the levels themselves, mostly eliminating the need for the former. I think somebody forgot to tell the developers that, since there are a few extra lives in the levels, put in instant death areas, for whatever reason. My best guess is that the wanted to make you die somehow, but realized that the gameplay doesn't really allow for it. After all, your attacks are quick and responsive enough that enemies are only a threat if your reaction time is counted in minutes, and there are enough cooking-themed weapons in the game to render living food back to regular food. Oh, sure, the developers tried to weaken you considerably, given that you can't attack up and the whole health color thing (look at that picture), but nothing can stop this chef from his bloodlust for food (does ice cream have blood? Get on it.) Not even the timing on that stupid pogo-fork can stop my rampage! And that's why I like the game: it's on the simple side, yes, but killing Mega Man 2-esque popsicles is still fun as hell. I wish there was a Mega Man popsicle out there, just so I could give this game that instead of an award; but given that I couldn't find any, I'll just give it the Knife Award for Simplistic Killing. Odd, since the game doesn't have knives as a weapon.
- A variety of weapons, ranging from useful to useless.
- Simple platforming, mixed with some useless mini-games.
- Killing food is like killing zombies, only you can't eat re-dead zombies.