Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Worst Game Ever. Period.

I love bad games for the same way I love bad movies. Everything about it - from the terrible design, terrible writing, terrible acting, terrible sound etc. It never ceases to bring tears of laughter to my eyes, as well as lessons on how to actually not make a movie or video game.

Much like bad movies, there are really two types of bad games. Games that are so bad that they're good, and games that are so bad that they're horrible. But I like to think that there's a third layer to this - games that are so bad that their very existence makes people question their sanity. This is the latter. Say hello to Plumbers Don't Wear Ties.

Everything mentioned in the this cover? It's in the game...for better or for worse...

Back when the 3DO was at least relevant, there were five 'adult' themed games released for the system (don't ask me about the four others, I don't know of them). Plumbers is one of these. Despite it being advertised as a romantic comedy and having a reputation for being a porn game...it's the furthest thing from it. Why you may ask? Well, first off, it's not at all pornographic. That is, unless you count two of three shots of a woman's nipple, plenty of shots of her sideboob and arse, as well as a few shots of male arse. Though my favourite part? This is all censored, meaning you have to enter in a code if you actually WANT the uncensored shots. And before that scene actually starts, you are given a warning about the scene, telling you that if you're underage, to close your eyes until the music ends. Don't believe me?

Though that's not the half of it. As a romantic comedic, it's godawful. But that's just the start. Let's go through the game a little more first.

Here are our two "star crossed lovers". John, a plumber who runs a company known as "plumber on a bike":

And Jane...a daddy's girl who wants to find a man. Oh, and she has a job interview to go to:

Now, there's one other character in the game that serves some role, the Narrator. You're going to grow to hate this guy, because he'll constantly interrupt to tell you what to do next and how you're going. Though usually, he's there to tell you how much you suck. He's also got a penchant for wearing a chicken head.

The intro sequence to the game sets up the experience you wish you was only a dream. Aside from the toilet flushing and obviously early 90's Kirin Entertainment logo (this was the only titled developed by the company), we're greeted with an FMV sequence of two bre...I mean Jane, or as she prefers to be known as, "Microwave Jane". And no, I didn't make this up. Why Microwave Jane, you may ask? Cause she warms up faster than any girl, and jokes that she's so hot, that not only did the fire chief wrote a new code to make her wear a smoke alarm between her thighs, but the coastguard also noted that she was so hot she made tsunamis in her waterbed; as well a few other jokes about her being hot that are so incredibly fucking stupid that I'm not even going to type them out and save your your IQ, time and dignity.

Anyway, the sequence is to let you know just what the game is about. The goal is to get Jane together with another man, and sets you and your "hot little mouse" (her words, not mine) on to the task of doing so. She lets you know a few other things like how she doesn't do one night stands or other acts of prostitution, but we don't care. Hell, the camera doesn't even care. At one point, the camera starts focusing on Jane's breasts. Once she's done talking, the shot zooms out in a pretty cheap effect (every shot in this game does it), and we're not only greeted with a title card, complete one of the more recurring elements of the game - some of the worst music you'll ever hear:

I shit you not. This is the title screen.

We're also greeted with our first choice.

This leads to the first actual problem with the game. While it does feature a lot of audio, it comes at the expense of the game. I'll explain this further in a minute when we actually start the thing, but here's the first example. You get a person reading out a description of what each button does, but you can't actually move your cursor until the audio clip ends. It's especially the case when there's three items on screen - you have to listen to three audio clips before you make a choice, and any more of them again should you decide to change your mind. Oh, and one of them is read by an Asian woman who clearly hasn't been in an English speaking country for long. I'm half expecting a "love you long time" drop.

Anyway, if you're still with me, let's actually start this game.

The title sequence kicks off with someone singing the concluding portion of the US National Anthem...then we get a slideshow of NASCAR-esque stockcars driving about and what not. Looks like Kirin took the line from Prince's Lovesexy "when I touch it racecars burn rubber in my pants" literally. Oh, and for some apparent reason most of these shots have been applied with a negative filter, and a whole bunch of other filters. Furthermore, we see some random shots of a panda in a go kart, pasted in with the other photos. What kills me is that the panda looks obviously cropped in, with plenty of space from the picture it was copied from.

It's like someone at Kirin discovered Photoshop for the first time in the process of the applying the negative filter and adding in the panda thought it was the coolest fucking thing ever, and decided that Photoshop was that cool, to use it for as much of these shots as possible. And yes, the music is still garbage. Anyway, after the slideshow, we're introduced to John...and suddenly, we see the proper game.

Now, before we start the game proper. I ask you to go back up to the games cover. Based on this, you'd think it's an FMV game. It's perfectly understandable and to be expected. I mean the start of the game was an FMV, and it was released during a time where FMV games were at their peak. Hell, the front and rear covers basically show what appears to be FMV. With that established, allow me to deliver to you a megaton.

That intro you saw earlier? It's the only FMV sequence in the game.

As for the game itself? Well, It's a slideshow.

And it's not just a small portion of the game either.

The entire fucking game is a slideshow.

With voice over.

And minor forms of interactivity.

Now, I haven't a problem with low interactivity in games. Hell, series like Myst and Ace Attorney are examples of games with very low interactivity but there's always something redeemable about them (like fantastic music, writing, character etc.) Hell, visual novels pride themselves on having little to no interactivity. But that's fine, because usually there's some great art or writing and what not. As we have firmly established earlier, Plumbers does not have good writing. Furthermore, it looks cheap, has terrible audio (at times, it sounds like the actors are TOO close to the mic) and the worst part? It gets worse. And it doesn't stop getting worse.

There really isn't much to say about the plot. I'll go through it, because really, this game makes me want to kill myself the more I talk about it. John and Jane's parents both want their children to get married and what not. They end up meeting in a parking lot, where after an awkward meeting, Jane goes to a job interview. It turns out her boss, Thresher, is a pervert, and will only give Jane a job if she strips for him. She goes along with it, until she learns that it's being videotaped. then runs out of the room. Thresher, pissed off, grabs a letter opener and plots to stab her. She runs out into the parking lot, where John has apparently been THIS WHOLE TIME.

All three have this chase scene, which looks more like a fucking series of vacation shots than an actual chase scene, until they end up in an abandoned building. Thresher then offers her a shittone of money to sleep with him. She refuses (she can accept, but the scene is terrible and awful, and it's not the proper ending) and goes with John. They then end up happily ever after. As they ride off into the sunset, Jane also refuses to believe that John's a plumber because, well, plumbers don't wear ties.

Good. Fuckity. God.

Though that's not the end of it. You want to know the biggest problem with the game? Amongst everything else? There are no alternate paths. There are no alternate endings. There is only one possible thread you can take. And should you divulge from the path, you'll get given a game over scene..but you can go back to the previous decision point and then choose the right scene. No matter what, it's impossible to lose at the game, and you're going to get the same ending each time.

But that's just one thing. Let's take a look at some of the other more idiotic elements present in this...game.

During the job interview sequence, you're given a bunch of choices. You come across one, where it says that Thresher takes advantage of the situation. The audio clip here? It tells you that you need to be over 18 to play through this bit. And it's required to hit this option to continue as well. Hitting any other option sends you to a game over screen. From here, you get another choice to make. Here's the image in question:

Look at the text that it tells you - "she rejects the disgusting proposal" and "she'll do anything to get the job?!?!". Those images don't make much sense - because if she declines...why would she take her top off anyway? And sure enough, if you DO pick it, she still gets part of her kit off, then after a few minutes, realizes his disgusting proposal and runs out of his office. Without much of her top.

The score is also another element that doesn't work at all. Mainly because for the most part, the only score you get is in the negatives. No, I'm serious. Here's how the score roughly is shown on screen.

Score: -100000

You may be wondering just how badly you need to mess up in order to earn such a score. Well it turns out that's just gotten during regular gameplay. Since you can't really get off the path and what not, your score is always really going to end up the same amount. It also doesn't look like a mistake either, because the hyphen is so close to the numbers that it suggests negative value. Let's move on, the stupidity is killing me.

Later on in the game, the narrator gets attacked by some random woman in a Karate Gi (later a dress), whose role is, and I cannot believe I'm writing this, A TAKE OVER ARTIST, WANTED IN THIRTY STATES FOR HIJACKING FICTION. Oh, and she doesn't do anything useful either, she basically plays the same role as the narrator, complaining about how bad you've been going. The next, and only other time she returns, she reveals to be a feminist, complaining about why Jane shouldn't sleep with her boss.

Makoto, she ain't.

Then the narrator returns and kills her with a toy gun, which then results in about a minute of a gray filter being placed over the screen with copy/pasted bulletholes and gunshot noises going off. There's no blood. There's no violence. It's unbelievably stupid. LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS GAME. Oh, and to top it off, there are sounds of DOGS APPLAUDING.


The ending also features one of the stupidest moments in gaming history. As the game ends, it then randomly cuts to an outtake. Literally, the dude messes up the line and the next thing we here is the actor, the director and the crew laughing about it and saying they're going to leave it in. Then the next thing we hear is the line being said correctly...and the thing about this that sucks? He messed up one word, and it wasn't even that funny. Like everything else I've just said, I'm not making a single shred of this up.

What kills me is just how this game got certified. While it's been documented that the 3DO was one of the more open platforms to develop a game on, I find it hard to believe that someone at the 3DO Company, the people responsible for ensuring that games get certified for public release and what not, thought it was a good idea to let this game be released to the public. If you tried to pull this shit out on today's consoles, there's no way it'd happen.

Though there is some good to come out of all of this. YouTube user Hormone1944 (who I gotta thank for the YouTube links I've used in here) has not only uploaded most of the video, but created it in such a way that you can effectively play the game. Gotta love technology.

But in all seriousness, this is easily the worst video game ever made. If you can even call it a game. I can't sum up the sheer amount of stupidity present in this game. It's baffling to think that people actually created this, and not think for one second that they're creating the single worst video game ever made. ET and Superman 64 might be awful, but at least you can actually play them. And hell, Big Rigs, while it's an unfinished product, is clearly much more playable than this garbage.

Though that has to say something. When your game is less playable than the unfinished mess that is Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing, then you know you're onto something horrible.


FarmerShane said...

I saw this game for sale in a store before i was a collector -- man I wished I had bought it.

Zurahn said...

Congratulations, you just put in more writing time than the entire development of that game.

On a related note, I hope they play this on Broken Pixels.