The Incredible Hulk

Opening cinematic:

UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWhat more story do you want? I’m confused enough as it is. Let me hit stuff.

Review

This game’s like this: you run at some shit and you give it a good thwack!

Pros: Back muscle animation while climbing ladders is ultra realistic. A big old “bam!” when ya hit the ground!

Cons: If you get shot enough you turn into a pussy with mended trousers.

For those who are interested, here’s the backstory:

Purplepants McGee falls in love with this woman, see. And she doesn’t love him back too good, so he buys her a big diamond ring. But that diamond ring turns brass. And since, as the rhyme goes, he “ain’t gonna get any piece of that ass,” Purplepants sets his sights on a more attainable prize: her hand in marriage.

During the honeymoon it turns out that she’s a real piece of work. Soon, Purplepants knows he can’t take anymore. He feels the anger welling up inside him like an unwelcome orgasm; it would feel so good to let it all come out.

Trapdoor Sexplosion
Massive Sexplosion

But he cannot. She is, though horrible, a beautiful flower. In the afternoon she sits, elegant, upon the branch of a maple, reading her book as chipmunks drop acid and laugh at squirrels’ tails.

She poetrys to him: “Deadly drops of mercury / Dropping, stopping, running free / I cannot find my make-up kit / Any chance you’ve taken it?”

Purplepants, always the gentleman, refrains from running her through with his broadsword. Instead, he takes out his anger on some woman-shaped robots. And phone booths. But that’s it. He can’t bring himself to commit more property damage than is absolutely necessary.

Rage blinded his judgement!
Rage blinded his judgement!

Tarnished is his past, yet he carries still the brass ring, which is also tarnished.

When he is angered, he is large and green. When he is small, he is pink.

When he doesn’t want to be hit by bullets, he ducks. He’s a wily dude.

If he is facing a boss and he is small, they give him a gun and two bullets.

Two bullets. Two — the number of union.

Two is a couple.

Three is a crowd.

Four is too many.

Five is too loud.

Six is ridiculous.

One bullet to end a life; the other to give it back.

"Crawl at me again!"
"Crawl at me again!"

Purplepants McGee doesn’t want to die alone, shirtless.

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Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures

The Indy you once knew and loved is now dead.  Like, A LOT of times.
The Indy you once knew and loved is now dead. Like, A LOT of times.

For all the things that Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures gets right, it gets something fundamentally wrong.  It looks like Indy, albeit with the help of a Han Solo head-swap from Super Star Wars.  It even sounds like Indy, from the satisfying crack of the whip to Han Solo’s high-bit-rate voice samples, to loops of John Williams’ classic theme.  But it doesn’t feel like Indy.

Booby-rigged-tomb-raiding is the name of the game (or at least it was until Ms. Croft brought all new meaning to that phrase) – stealing treasure for The Museum [read: The White Man] and whipping natives and animals full of ill will (more on that later).  This videogame has all that.  Grappling and swinging across ravines with your whip?  No worries, you can tick that box as well.  What about running away from giant boulders?  Has it in spades (more on that later, too).

“Well, that’s all there is to Indiana Jones!”, you may say.

WRONG!

You’ve never been more wrong!  There’s one crucial ingredient to the Indiana Jones formula that is missing from this videogame, and I’m sure even George Lucas in his post-quality-filmmaking phase knows what it is.  In fact, given his repeated failure to emulate the success of Star Wars, Empire and Raiders in recent years, he especially would know.  The secret ingredient to Indiana Jones, my friends, is exactly this:

Dumb Luck.

Know this: for all of the unfortunate situations Indy finds himself in – situations that, need I remind you, he himself went looking for – he is incredibly, nay incredulously, fortunate.  He goes out looking for trouble, and instead he finds luck.  The man survived an atomic blast by hiding in the refrigerator – need I say more?

See?!  Lucky!
See?! Lucky!

See, Han Solo’s head isn’t the only thing Indy borrows from Super Star Wars.  It also borrows the series’ notoriously excruciating difficulty.  There is no luck to be had in his Greatest Adventures, dumb or otherwise.  Indy’s future tomb-raiding career (or indeed, his very life) rests solely on your near-Ikaruga-level-ability to memorise booby trap sequences with less than a third of the screen’s x-axis available to you to respond to said sequences.  Which brings me back to the giant boulders.  You’ll be seeing a lot of them.  As in the same single boulder, over and over again.  In fact, this one boulder will be all you see and no further.  Hit a trap and it’ll knock you back into the boulder.  Hit the boulder and you die instantly.  Rinse and repeat until you run out of lives, then use a continue, and complete the first level all over again to reach the boulder and die some more.  Yes, this is just the second level.

Referred to as the 'Infamous Boulder Chase' for more reasons than one.
Referred to as the 'Infamous Boulder Chase' for more reasons than one.

Okay, so I exaggerate a little on the difficulty.  I *did* get past the boulder eventually.  I switched the difficulty to ‘easy’ – which, as far as I can tell, merely increases the number of lives at your disposal – jumped like crazy, and finally, a few continues later, made it out of the Peruvian temple, MacGuffin in hand.

It's like those bastards knew!
It's like those bastards knew!

Still, it requires a masochistic spirit and an iron will to push on through, and you will come upon similarly frustrating situations on a regular basis (like, every second level).  Case in point: Marion’s tavern, which, true to the film, is burning to the ground.  Unlike the film, however, Indy must climb to the rafters, instead of, say, just getting out of the damn building, in what must be the tallest tavern in the known world.  Meanwhile a wall of fire climbs beneath you, ready to welcome you into its fiery embrace should you run into a rat and fall through the floorboards.

Indiana Jones in the hit movie, Firewall.
Indiana Jones in the hit movie, Firewall.

None of this feels as effortless as Harrison Ford made it look all those years ago, and that’s the problem!  Videogame Indy is decidedly unlucky, with no-one to aid him save for a handful of stubborn nerds with walkthroughs.

One thing they *do* get right, however, is the racial stereotyping inherent in the films.  It’s an interesting dichotomy having a white protagonist with a whip against anything other than white vampires.  A whip denotes mastery over the whip-ee, whereas being whipped denotes slavery.  Throw in several non-white antagonists, and immediately there’s a dichotomy of class and race.  Throw in a few animals, and you’ve got a whole bag of issues.  How did this go unnoticed by PETA, or N’Gai Croal?  Now, we all know that Indy hates rats, and Nazis.  Well, turns out he hates a whole lot more.  If you thought RE5 was bad, wait until you get a load of this Montage of Hate:

"I hate rats!"
"I hate rats!"
"I hate Nazis!"
"I hate Nazis!"
"Hate Arabs!"
"Hate Arabs!"
"Hate Gyppos!"
"Hate Gyppos!"
"Hate Natives!"
"Hate Natives!"
"Hate monkeys!"
"Hate monkeys!"

Indiana Jones hates you, and this game exists as proof of that hate.