Friday, May 10, 2013

Demo Friday: Confudizzled

Demo Frizzle!

Roshambo, the game, now with Kinect controls!
Question: does the world really need a cross between Parappa the Rapper and the Def Jam wrestling games? Someone thought so, and that someone thought enough of the idea to float some green past Snoop Lion (still not used to that) to licence his likeness, his songs, and pay him to voice 'act' for the game, then release the game with no fanfare on just about every online marketplace imaginable.

Way of the Dogg's existence is baffling. Music games have died out, their last gasp being Rock Band Blitz. Rhythm games don't come around much anymore, either, and when they do it is usually on a handheld. The game tries to leverage Snoop's presence as much as possible, but is he really a draw anymore? Was he ever? Clearly I am not the target demographic but I am not sure who is.

Here's the strangest part: the game is actually not bad. There was clearly effort put into keeping the core mechanic of pressing the right button at the right time interesting. Even in the first (and only) fight in the demo there were curves thrown that kept me paying attention. Way of the Dogg is less Parappa and more Gitaroo Man, just more thug life instead of fanciful and crazy. There just isn't a venn diagram big enough to get people who enjoyed both and are willing to pay money for the game anywhere close to each other.

Now I want to play Gitaroo Man again.


That's the second biggest monkey head I have ever seen.
Crash Course 2 is free. Sort of. It's free for a while, and in that time it is a reasonable diversion/achievement point generator just like the first game was. Your avatar runs from left to right, traverses ridiculous obstacles, collects stars, all while racing the clock and three other ghost opponents. Harmless fun, right?

The first hint at financial shenanigans was how much more difficult Crash Course 2 was than the first game. The platforming itself is more difficult and there are more random things on the course that can completely screw you. This translates to it be much harder to get first place. Why does this matter? Because first place nets you the most coins and coins are one way to unlock the next course. There are of course star scattered around the course to pick up but many of them are on alternate paths that cost, your guessed it, stars to unlock. Each set of courses also cost progressively more stars to unlock so it is a guarantee that you will eventually run out and not be able to unlock the next course.

Don't want to go back to previous courses and grind out more stars? No problem, the other way to unlock courses, and everything else for that matter, is with coins that can be conveniently purchased from the Xbox marketplace. I wouldn't call in insidious, because you can technically unlock everything without paying real money, but you need to be either very skilled or very patient. That is more time and effort than I am going to give to a game trying to sell me Doritos.

I buy enough Doritos as it is. There should be coins to unlock courses in the bottom of the fucking bags.

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