… I hate this game.
I used to love it. Now I hate it.
I had such beautiful memories of this game, such warm nostalgia that filled me up every time someone mentioned it. But not anymore. Now this game fills me with sadness and anger. Why? Because this game is terrible.
JieYing and I recently started playing this as one of the SplatGameplay series and boy do we regret it. At first we were looking through my games and I saw the case for this and a flood of nostalgia hit me. I had to play this game again. But just two minutes into the game and I was regretting it. The nostalgia started shattering around me. But rather than just moan on and on about it I’m going to explain as many things as I can that have made me come to hate this game.
1. The Animation is Garbage!
Now you might be saying “oh come on! It’s an old game. It doesn’t look that bad!”. That’s the nostalgia talking my friends because this game came out in 2001. That’s five years after Crash Bandicoot, three years after Spyro, and four years after Oddworld: Abes Oddysee, all of which are immensely prettier games. Not only that but the lip synching on this game is… well it’s non-existent! Both JieYing and I were cringing from the get go at how badly synched the voices are and how long it takes to move to the next piece of dialogue.
2. The Overprotective Mother Phone Calls.
Now I know that this game is aimed at children, but come on! I do not need a phone call tutorial every five seconds to tell me every single detail of the game! If I were a child (which I was when I originally played this game) I would feel insulted that they thought I needed this much help.
I swear to you, no word of a lie, I was not exaggerating when I said they call every five seconds! The first one or two levels of the game you cannot go more than a few steps without hearing that annoying phone ring!
“Hey press X to jump”
“Hey press X twice to double jump!”
“Hey watch out for that enemy!”
“Hey watch out for that enemy right next to the enemy I just warned you about!”
SHUT UP MUM! JUST LET ME PLAY MY GAME!
Oh, speaking of enemies…
3. The Useless Enemies.
The enemies in this game suuuuuuuuuuuck! They are so static, so predictable, so badly programmed. I mean look at this picture! We could help but stop playing to laugh at just how useless this guy was. He’s a ninja that 1. charges at you (because that’s totally what ninjas do!) and 2. He got stuck behind a box because he literally cannot turn!
He’s not the only one either. The enemies are either useless or do ridiculous attacks. Apart from our Ex-American Football player turned ninja we have:
- Samurai that glide around after you with their sword in the air
- Seals that throw snowballs at you (they apparently have evolved thumbs)
- Chariot riders that can’t drive five meters without hitting an obstacle
- Skeleton “archers” that are half in the floor and throw bones at you
- People whose moves I genuinely don’t know because I killed them every time before they had a chance to even charge their attacks
- Security cameras (yes SECURITY CAMERAS DAMAGE YOU)
- Flipping Sumo Wrestlers (not me insulting them, their attack is genuinly them flipping towards me)
The list goes on and on, and it just gets worse the longer you play it.
4. The Level Designs Are Crap.
Nothing is how it should be. All the levels are narrow and confined. Claustrophobic gamers beware; this is your living nightmare! I thought Crash Bandicoot’s levels were narrow but damn, this game takes the prize! Throw on top of all that things that don’t do what they should and you’ve got yourself a crappy gaming experience.
In terms of visual problems it’s mainly simple things like having to jump over stairs instead of just walking up them like a normal human being. But the main thing that really makes the levels suck is what they feel difficulty means.
Most games get more difficult as they progress, but that’s through increasing the health or damage of enemies. This game goes for a different, more infuriating approach. They feel that to make a game more difficult, you simply add more and more enemies into the one area. This makes the game less of an increase in challenge, but more an increase in obstacle course running.
There’s one level in the roman world that particularly shows off the ridiculousness of this. JieYing and I spent ages trying to get through one area of the level because there were just too many enemies for such a narrow map. One area had about twelve enemies, pit falls, and a zigzagging path, making for an unbelievably annoying 10-15 minutes of playing. This is a lazy man’s way of making a game more “difficult”, but it doesn’t make them satisfying. An increase in difficulty is supposed to leave the gamer with a sense of satisfaction after completion, but this doesn’t. It just makes you angry and then having no pay off at the end just keeps the frustration going into the next level. Sloppy…
5. How The Hell Did I Die?
A lot of games leave you asking that question, but this one’s got two very simple, and very unforgivable reasons as to why you die all the time.
First, the game is not programmed correctly (I feel like a broken record here…). You will find yourself running past and enemy, going nowhere near him and yet you still get hurt. This is simply because the game thinks he is still there. This is such a huge mistake to make on the part of the game developer that I can’t believe they didn’t notice. In fact, I think they did notice and just didn’t care. On top of that, this issue of not knowing where something is also applies to the edges of objects. The amount of times I’ve landed on a platform or run into an object and the game has said that it wasn’t there is justification enough for launching your controller across the room.
Second, the controls are like that person at school that always used to make up these fantastical stories to make you like them… i.e. they lie, big time! One moment a jump takes you a short distance, the next it launches you across what seems like a fifth of the map. It never makes up its mind about how it works. Oh and don’t even try jumping back over a pit fall to grab that last scooby snack, because the travel distance is halved because you hit the edge of the map and the game doesn’t like that one bit.
6. The Bosses.
This, for me, is the most unforgivable thing about this game. This makes the whole game seem lazy, slapped together, and proof that barely any thought was put into the creation of it. Take a look at this image of four of the game’s bosses… anything seem strange to you?
That’s right. Every single one of the bosses are exactly the same. Here’s how the boss fights go:
- Dodge projectiles
- Dodge charging boss
- Hit boss with pie
- Repeat until dead
This is without a doubt the laziest game design I’ve ever seen from a game. I mean come on! There are self-financed games with only a handful of staff working on them that have more imagination and creativity than this!
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the levels “increasing their difficulty” left you feeling angry and dissatisfied, but the bosses?! Come on guys, give a guy a break! Sure the bosses got harder as you progressed but it was through cheap tricks. The bosses got faster each time, which isn’t too bad, but they also start using moves that make it impossible to dodge. No, I’m not exaggerating. Unless you are the luckiest person in the world, they are going to hit you every time.
Take Barney the Dinosaur in the image above. After you damage him twice he starts playing dirty. He slams his tail on the ground, causing scooby to do some weird panicked dance, and before you even have time to move, he charges at you, taking away another piece of health… let’s hope you have enough health left to survive to the “chance” huh?
Overall, this game is a disaster and does not deserve the praise it receives. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why you would defend it. Up until now I would have too. But here’s the thing, we shouldn’t defend it! How have so many people been tricked by this game? Honestly, play it again and see for yourselves. Or, if you’re too lazy for that, then watch our gameplays of it here.
… Seriously, the only way this game could have been worse is if they had put Scrappy Doo in it…