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Review: Unknown Game 2659
I've had this one on my hard drive for ages, lurking there like a piece of bacon between the fridge and the cooker. To celebrate the start of my Easter break I thought I would give it a review.
Let's be fair about this. On starting the game up, you're treated to a series of logos, which are very impressive for the most part. This goes on for far too long, though, and it feels like sitting in a cinema waiting for them to stop showing adverts and get on with the film - though thankfully there wasn't anyone belching cigarette smoke all over me and no one's mobile phone was shrilling from somewhere. Instead, at that time my next-floor neighbour decided to play rap music at a volume normally associated with those ultra-amplified sonic weapons used to knock down buildings, and I find rap to be almost as bad as the two things mentioned previously combined.
Enough of my rambling, but I've been trying to put off talking about the game for as long as possible. What you're greeted with is a multi-coloured menu in a very small font which is difficult to read against the background, but thankfully the author had the sense to program the menu so that you don't have to click exactly on the text. Just as well, because otherwise it would have required superhuman hand-eye co-ordination just to get in to the game. The Options menu contains an uncharacteristically unhelpful Help section and some credits.
Six characters are available. They are Dark Sonic, sonic, Robotic, Luigi, Mario and Bower. Sadly, there are no typos in that last sentence - that's the way that the names are spelled in the game.
The actual fighting is played by means of the GFactory standard platform engine for each player. Such intricacies as having the characters' individual platform engines are discarded in favour of using exactly the same one for every character - collect your item to give you extra lives. All the characters have their own strengths and weaknesses in that they behave differently when hurt, but some characters are very out of balance - Bowser and Robotnik against the entire rest of the cast, for example.
When any non-human character jumps (and I use non-human to mean 'neither a scientist turned evil by the force of a rotten egg nor an Italian plumber of questionable sexuality') it produces the standard Sonic jump sound, which I find to be one of the most irritating sounds in the world. A pitchfork being grated down a blackboard would sound like a welcome release after having that played to me a couple of times. What makes it worse is that sometimes it plays multiple times for no reason at all.
I can't give this game too low a score as there are some good ideas in there, but they're all dreadfully executed. I'd like to see the result of the author trying this game again with the experience he has now, though. As it is, this is perhaps the first game I've actively not wanted to play again during the process of writing reviews.
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David Newton (DavidN)