Game Progress from Hell--32X Fighting Game Edition
January 10, 2016

Can it be? Is it true? Has Joe really begun work on a Brutal: Above the Claw review? Yes, I have.

Before I go much further, I'll give you the tl;dr on what I thought about the game: it's a bold concept, but it sucks. It starts you off with a huge disadvantage where move sets are concerned, only gives you three continues, and expects you to claw your way to the top. Your character starts the campaign off without any special moves and has to learn them as you advance. The first special you obtain is a useless taunt. A frickin' taunt! Meanwhile, the computer schools you even on the easiest difficulty setting. I know this was the developer's attempt to shake up the versus fighting genre, but their bid didn't pay off.

Mortal Kombat II on 32X is about what you would expect, except that you need the six-button controller for it to play properly. Worse, you actually have to go into the option menu and tell the damn game you have a six-button or else it will register it as a three-button. Failing to do this removes high punch entirely, preventing you from executing the classic uppercut and a whole score of finishing moves. Otherwise, it's as solid as any other version of the game, though I think the soundtrack should have received a bump up.

Culpa Innata has been the comedy event of the year. I've played some bad point-and-clicks, but this one takes the cake. Well, I'll cut it some slack: the interview system is cool. Perhaps I should describe the game for those not in the know: it's a dystopian sci-fi story where you play a "detective" solving various crimes. This requires you to interview the occasional pedestrian who might be involved with the crime. The catch is that you can only ask so many questions of one person in a single day, so you had better make your questions count.

Did I mention that the voice acting is laughably bad? The protagonist, Phoenix, often sounds like someone reading a Hallmark card with a pleasant, rosy voice. This is true even when she describes the most mundane stimuli in her world. There's another character I've interviewed named Alethia whose defining characteristic is that she's "young." In Culpa Innata, this translates to being so sugary and obnoxious that you want to push the character into traffic. I interviewed the hell out of her at one point and then returned for a second round of questions, but Phoenix said, "I think I've taken enough of her time. Besides, she's probably brain dead anyway." OOHHHHHHHH! Shots fired!

And what could be better than questioning a janitor and hearing him deadpan the line written in the above screenshot with a blank face? Yeah, buddy, I hate it when a thousand corpses stink up the place. Pricks.

The game sports a few puzzles that are at least semi-decent, so it's not a total loss. Where p&c games are concerned, though, I've played much better. Still, it's not everyday you stumble upon a game with acting and a script that's on par with Tommy Wiseau's The Room, a dystopian setting, and vague references to Ayn Rand. That's it: I hereby dub this game Atlas Roomed '84.

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Feedback
pickhut pickhut - January 12, 2016 (07:20 AM)
I was curious about the bad voice acting and went to YouTube for a clip. Yuaaaggghhhh. I was blown away how the music continued to swell while the deadpan acting marched on.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - January 12, 2016 (10:30 AM)
Baha! Yeah, the acting is awful. I think the janitor going crazy at the beginning of this video is my favorite so far. That and Phoenix implying that Alethia is stupid.
pickhut pickhut - January 13, 2016 (12:09 PM)
I'm getting an almost Deus Ex-vibe from these conversations. Except Deus Ex did it better... seven years ago.

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