PO'ed (PlayStation) review
"Fun story. My e-chum EmP and I spent an afternoon looking at some dumb old PlayStation games, trying to pick one to lie about and build up as a lost classic. We ended up choosing PO'ed, though the fact that I'm the only one actually writing a review of it shows how reliable the man is. We'd go on eBay, the plan was, since the game only sells for a penny (even when the auction says that it's in GREAT SHAPE L@@K LIKE NEW and promises overnight shipping). We wanted to build PO'ed up as a cult hit D..."
Fun story. My e-chum EmP and I spent an afternoon looking at some dumb old PlayStation games, trying to pick one to lie about and build up as a lost classic. We ended up choosing PO'ed, though the fact that I'm the only one actually writing a review of it shows how reliable the man is. We'd go on eBay, the plan was, since the game only sells for a penny (even when the auction says that it's in GREAT SHAPE L@@K LIKE NEW and promises overnight shipping). We wanted to build PO'ed up as a cult hit Doom clone that the gaming press unfairly ignored back in 1996, even if it wasn't that hot. Lying is fun.
We decided to take it further when we saw that there was a review competition on HonestGamers where you had to review a game so good it deserved a perfect score, or so bad that you'd give it a 0 if only that weren't verboten. We couldn't just make PO'ed good. We had to make it a 10 out of 10.
Actually, we didn't. A 1/10 was the other option for the competition, and our master plan fell to pieces when I finally played PO'ed and found out that it just fucking sucks that bad. There's lying, and then there's lying. Bit of a surprise, really, since we took a shine to it for a reason. You play as--stop me if you've heard this one before--an interstellar chef whose ship has been overrun by goofy-looking aliens and who fights back with various culinary products. Really. Just take a look at this story excerpt:
"I've got my frying pan to protect me. Look at my soufflé... flattened by a walking butt. I'm not angry. I'm PO'ed."
Let's be clear: I wanted to like this game. Three weeks after shelling out a penny for it, I pulled the scratched disc out of the torn case and totally expected the best of Doom and DMT meshed into one less-neat-than-advertized little package. It's just that I was wrong. The very first room of the game is, I imagine, supposed to be a control room for the ship. Either that or a kitchen. Three different floors interlock via ramps and narrow catwalks, which I suppose is impressive considering how geometrically challenged 3D PlayStation games can be compared to their N64 counterparts.
Then you realize that none of the floors or ceilings in this entire game have textures. Each floor of the control room is just a solid pane of black, without even a line to mark off the edges and stop you from falling. I guess you could avoid stepping over the edge by the color contrast... if each floor wasn't the same damn color. Textures aren't the new black; black is the new textures! Just walking around in PO'ed grates on your nerves, and it isn't helped by the fact that the controls are incredibly slippery. Good luck navigating those ill-defined catwalks when you can't even stop on a dime.
The second map starts you off on a grid of cubes, all of which vary in height. The trick here is that the sides of them are different shades of yellow, and ones with a certain shade of yellow let you wall-jump as high as you'd like until you reach the top. Inexplicably, that ends up changing to the ones that have an odd mechanical seam on the side. It's unfortunate that jumping in this game barely works--I got stuck in a tiny pit on the first level for a couple minutes--because if it did, this part could have aspired to only be fucking stupid. Meanwhile those walking butts mentioned in the story excerpt are stationed all around, flinging chunks of shit at you to complement the machinegun fire you'll be taking from their less juvenile buddies. Of course, you've still only got your frying pan and some awful throwing knives; even Doom had the courtesy to start you off with a pistol.
Reach the teleporter that you think might end the pain and you're plunked onto another catwalk half a mile above the grid. Good news: you finally find a gun. Bad news: you're instantly surrounded by buttmen, and you can't help but get knocked back down and have to start everything all over again. By which I mean going back several weeks and picking a better silly PS1 game to play in the first place.
On the plus side, you'll eventually go from being a maniacal chef to a maniacal chef with a jetpack. But since PO'ed is the sort of game where it's hard to even jump over a ledge, I'm sure you can imagine that its interpretation of a fun-to-use jetpack and my interpretation of a fun-to-use-jetpack differ.
PO'ed is the worst kind of crushing fist-fuck disappointment. It's a Doom clone where you're a pissed off chef flying around on a jetpack smacking monsters with a frying pan and that makes it sound awesome, but it's a worthless and practically broken game with no redeeming features beyond its concept. You just stop seeing the humor in things when you're stumbling around visually incomprehensible levels doing silly jumping puzzles and dealing with controls that couldn't give less of a shit if you stumble right off a bridge to your demise.
sethpackard (52763 ), if you're reading this, I want my fucking penny back.
Featured community review by mardraum (May 03, 2008)
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