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Review: Moto The Man
Ah... where to begin. There are just so many things wrong with this game that it's difficult to choose just what most makes me to leap out of my single-glazed University window and fall to the harsh concrete ground below rather than have to play it again. Still, I'll have a go. I'll give you my own personal account of playing through this masterpiece from beginning to end. It'll be a long journey, but together we'll make it out alive.
At first I thought that it would have been better to have a downloadable version instead of a game embedded in a web page - I had to download and install Vitalise to play this, and hopefully it'll come in useful later because it certainly didn't here. After having played the game, I decided it was just as well that you couldn't download it because I feel it would be unfair on my 4GB hard drive to ask it to store this garbage.
The game begins with a map of Great Britain with a lot of motorcyles across it, then moves on to a psychedelic background with some Wingdings, with the title and "PRESS FIRE TO START!!!!!" written in the most unreadable font in the world - Algerian, in case you're wondering. (That's right, five exclamation marks - a sure sign of someone who wears underpants on his head, according to my old chum Terry Pratchett.)
So, I pressed Fire as instructed and was taken to a pirate ship background with a question object. I haven't seen one of those for a while. The question asks you who is the worst person in the world, but it doesn't seem to matter what answer you choose as you have to go through the game anyway after selecting an answer. I chose "Big Bird" as it was the name of my fourth year maths teacher. All right, not her real name.
A platform level started up with the sound up too loud. In an inspired moment, I ran into the first box and both it and I (the motorcyclist) disappeared completely. Finding I could still fire, I came to the conclusion that I hadn't been destroyed but was instead "invisible". How original.
Firing constantly so that I could see where I was, I made my way to the second box which brought me back into existence, then touched the ring, which ended the level and gave me a password for the next. Of course, because it's an embedded application the passwords can't be used, but that doesn't matter anyway because you only have to play the game for about two minutes before you reach the end. That's still more time than most people could tolerate, however.
Anyway, the second level. Now, this is really thrilling. Fire a few times to get rid of the bizarre mutations in front of you, including a slug-like creature that's twice the size of your bike, pick up the beer to give you an extra life, then trundle across the bridge (on the stage) to the jewel (or exit). That's all, folks.
Level Three had an Aztec theme to it. It involved shooting two enemies, I couldn't make out what they were meant to be (by the way, by now your bike has been upgraded so that it can fire laser bolts that are half the length of the screen), then picking up a treasure chest and hamburger. The exit, in an inspired touch, was a key.
The password for Level 4 was "Save Me", as in "Save Me from this terrible game". As I've said, you can't actually use it so there's no harm in me telling you, but if you decide to play the game after reading this for some reason you'll wish you could use it to skip to the end.
It gave me a bit of a shock at the start because I had to fight the huge floating head from Gradius or whatever that KNP game was called, but a zap from my jumping, laser-shooting bike was no match for it. Driving James Bond-like under floating breakout blocks, I made my way to the rubbish bin with the eyeball which I assumed the author had chosen to make this level's exit. Not so - shooting the eyeball, however, revealed a door to go through.
Actually, at this point I died, nailed on the head by a silver brick. The text for the Game Over screen has the strikeout effect applied to it for some reason, and a floating molecule. I pressed Fire and returned to the point where I had left off in the hope of finishing the game.
An unusual point in the game came next - a little break (the author's words, not mine). I was then given an introduction to the "space" level in which everything flashes on and off. I can only assume it's some kind of mind control device cunningly put there by the author, but thanks to the radiation that I've received from sitting in front of the monitor typing out reviews for the Daily Click all day, I seemed to be immune to it.
On the next screen, I was informed by means of ALL CAPS text that Moto had bought a life. Must have been the one that I gave away while I was reviewing the game. I pressed on.
Level 5 was different in fact, but sadly it was of the same quality as the ones before it - the kind of quality that makes you want to drill holes in your skull to try to release all memories of playing the game. After shooting two enemies, I picked up a fruit which reminded me of tomatoman's avatar (Look, I mentioned you. Fame at last). I then inadvertently collided with a coin that one of them had dropped, which ended the level.
The clipboard/password screen for Level 6 had italic purple text, which also had the strikethrough effect all over it, and a green smiley face drawn in the background. The level itself was comprised of a few random things being flung at my character, who was now a moon buggy for some reason. I decided to just ignore them and hope they'd go away, and leapt across the roof to the safety of the wind-up chattering teeth (yes, according to this game, moon buggies can jump. I don't know, maybe they've got springs in their chassis or something. You know, like in Speed Racer.)
The text on the password screen, which was beginning to slide off the clipboard, informed me that the password for level 8 was "RETARD", which coincidentally was what I was beginning to feel like for playing the game this far. Note that the author decided to miss out the level numbered 7. I'm not complaining, at least it makes the game slightly shorter.
I was still in the hopping and skipping moon buggy, and the half-screen-length laser had returned, along with a firing noise that sounds like a cat with its more sensitive areas wired to an eight thousand volt battery. Colliding with a bike left carelessly in the middle of the level made the moon buggy disappear, and gave me control of the motorcycle again. This was the first clever bit of programming that I'd seen in the whole game, and sadly it was also the last.
Leaping from floating rooftop to floating rooftop, picking up a cheeseburger along the way, I noticed that the author hadn't even bothered to give the bike two directions of animation, so I had to complete the second half of the level in reverse gear. The game just screams quality at you, doesn't it?
The last level starts off with a "dum-de-dum-dum" villian's theme sound effect, and again features the floating head. Soon dispatched along with the rest of the enemies, it was then decision time. That's right, the game gives you a choice of route. There's the easy way (through a door) or the hard way (colliding with a satellite dish somewhere higher up the screen). The hard way gives you five million points (not "adds five million points to your score", just sets it to five million points). The easy way just gives you a score of 1.
I was interested to see how I compared with other people in the world, if the game's high scores are kept, but as soon as I looked at the high score screen a hideous black and white flashing message came up saying "Do not play this game if you suffer from epilepsy". It caused me to lapse into a coma, which was a welcome release from playing the game, in fact.
Grudgingly I admit that the graphics are decent, but only because they're all taken from Klik and Play. The way they're stuck together is hideous - a pile-up on the M6 has more artistic merit, and is slightly easier to get rid of. Other than that, there's nothing I can say that's good about this game, other than the fact that I was quite glad to get to the end of it and have my name recorded for all time against the others who have survived the experience (I'm "The fed up reviewer", for those who are wondering). So I can sleep happy tonight knowing I rank alongside such greats as "Goatse Man" and "Voldo". Which is a good thing... isn't it?
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David Newton (DavidN)