Reject Review – Doritos Crash Course 2

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There are few games built around advertising that don’t force their product down players’ throats, and Doritos Crash Course was one of those precious few. Think Total Wipeout minus Richard Hammond’s lack of comedic delivery and you’re about there.

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Reject Review – Gangsters 2: Vendetta

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Gangsters 2: Vendetta is a Russian doll of revenge plots.

When some mobster dude has your mobster dad killed, you seek justice by becoming a mobster and killing all the other mobsters – starting with that bastard who orphaned you. His name is Ward “Bullseye” Coley and he’s one mean mother. Your name is Joey Bane and you have a sneer like an anus sucking a lemon.

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Reject Review – Dead Island: Riptide

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Dead Island was a glitch-ridden shitload of fun and Riptide could have advanced that loveable formula. But it added the one thing that undid everything: Water. It added fucking water.

A trivial addition, it may first seem. A harmless new terrain packed with pockets of splash-happy fun with your friends. There’s boats, too, for zipping around the swamplands and flattening the undead. How we laughed as their bodies ground against the hull! How we cackled as their armless remains flailed in our wave trail! We felt unstoppable.

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Reject Review – Command & Conquer: Renegade

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It starts off as comically bad and ends as some kind of punishment from god. He has looked upon gaming and he has seen our endless parade of FPSs, our fetishisation of macho caricatures, and he has delivered this unto us. Look upon his judgement, mortals, and weep for your salvation.

This is Command & Conquer: Renegade, and it slew Westwood Studios just as it has slain your belief in a just and decent world.

Back in 2002, Westwood Studios were riding high. Their little strategy game had blossomed into a megahit with a star sequel, and a veritable chorus of voices were crying out for an FPS set in the universe. Sadly, every single soprano, tenor and baritone came from a studio executive, because this game fucking bombed.

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Reject Review – Armored Core: For Answer

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When From Software set out to make the thirteenth Armored Core title, they hired a creative director with a serious grudge against gamers. I’m not sure what Dudebro McFPS did – murdered his puppy? – but this guy wants revenge like a less emotionally stable Inigo Montoya. His master plan was to create a game the player could never fully grasp, that they struggled to make work, and that they weren’t sure if they were enjoying or not. Whether there were multiple people in on this scheme or whether the mystery director asked his team to make a good game and then pulled a Jason Jones, we’ll never know. All we know is that someone out there is getting sick kicks from knowing people are playing and have played this game, and if he knew that I inflicted this mess of convoluted controls and brown textures on myself for the sake of an eight-hundred word complaint, he would fucking wet himself.

Whilst you may expect a game like this to have a threadbare plot which justifies the shootbanging, it’s far worse. The game is written by somebody who cares. This rookie writer’s desperation for me to appreciate their self-proclaimed work of art is palpable. It leaks through the incessant babble of a ‘future voice’ (with obligatory slightly-robot-but-vaguely-human-tone) trying to establish an expansive backstory and complicated lore. The League of Ruling Companies, The National Dismantlement War, The LYNX War – three events and entities that create Armored Core’s lore, and three events and entities they cannot make me give a shit about.

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Reject Review – AMY

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AMY is a game that crawled out of the 90s, looting cliches from the surrounding graves of the Survival Horror Cemetery as it shambled its way out and back to market. “Tight corridors? I’ll take that.” “YOU ARE DEAD screen? Eh, it can be adapted.” “Key card puzzles? Great!” Classic Resident Evil’s grave was unrecognisable once it’d finished, despite Capcom’s graffiti still marking the headstone. AMY intended to plunder these graves lovingly, throwing together all its spoils to create the perfect pastiche to the classics of survival horror, but the well-meaning thoughts didn’t co-operate with its half-dead hands. While skipping fences it also managed to stop in the Action Horror Graveyard and grab Dead Space’s back-mounted health-light.

This amalgamation of 90s cliches is presented under the premise of a comet hitting Earth and causing a zombie apocalypse within seconds. I’m unsure as to where they dug up that idea from, maybe it’s their own creation, but it’s stupid. Lana and Amy, the two main characters, are on a train, Amy is given her Christmas present early so it can be used as a mechanic a few hours later, and then a comet hits and everyone is zombies.

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Reject Review – Singles 2: Triple Trouble

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Singles 2: Triple Trouble turned me into a Pickup Artist.

I was clicking away, trying to persuade the fella I was courting to allow me further than a kiss on the cheek. What’s the problem? I thought. Do I need to give him more presents before he’ll give up the goods? Is he holding out until I get a better sofa? I’ll tell him how pretty he is again.

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Reject Review – Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII

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MadCatz are a peripheral company. They make controllers, fightsticks, headphones, and other third party pieces that break way within three months. In 2012, they decided to make a game. MadCatz should not make games.

Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII is a flight simulator whose title is longer than it is. You’d have expected it to master the fundamental element of its premise. Nope. Planes control like a wheelie bin with a propellor. Maneuvering my reticle would send my Wildcat into a nose dive, or assault me with the shaky-camera effect. At points I was worried that the sides of the screen would slice my pilot in half and then rattle the bits around the cockpit.

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Reject Review – Might and Magic VI

RRM&MVIMight and Magic VI is a game composed entirely of fetch quests. You go on six fetch quests for the items required to unlock another four fetch quests which will, eventually, allow you access to a fetch quest. I’d love to see the planning room for this project:

“Okay, Steve, we need you to go and get an old lady’s groceries. Then, with the money she gives you, catch a bus to the home of a guy who delivers The Yellow Pages for a living. If you bring him a newspaper he will let you look through a spare copy for a freelance programmer. When you get to his house…”

And then, after procuring the wine, flowers, French Chef and Barry White CD needed to make the programmer’s girlfriend forgive him for forgetting to feed her goldfish, Steve sat down and wrote the game plot.

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Reject Review – Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

RRRaccoonEvilIt was dark. Very, very dark. I fiddled with the brightness until the symbol that should “barely be visible” was practically staring me down. But it was still dark. Not the kind of dark where you’re put on edge for fear of something pouncing out of the shadows, but the kind of dark where you can see fuck all and you’re bumping in to the zombies rather than killing them. It’s not helped by all six playable characters being cloaked in black, the weapons are black, it’s always night, and… everything’s black. We complain about Greybrown shooters, yet here I am, asking for a bit o’ brown.

Anyway, Operation Raccoon City – another four-person co-op romp given to the guy without even one friend who’d put themselves through this with him. You’re an Umbrella agent out to recover some research and eventually stop some classic Resident Evil characters you wish you could play as. Obviously your squad gets caught up in a few scraps along the way, but standard and set-piece battles alike are pretty uninteresting.

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