Sunday, May 6, 2012

Daredevil (2003) Gameboy Advance

Rating: 0 out 5 billy clubs that can’t be thrown because this game sucks

Plot Synopsis:  Kingpin is framing Daredevil to make it look like Daredevil is being paid by Kingpin to take down Daredevil’s rouges gallery.  I think, it’s pretty weak and stupid and lame.

The Good:

-A ton of unlockables including alternate skins for Daredevil, Elektra and Bullseye (classic and movie version), movie stills, level select and biographies.

-You fight pretty much everybody Daredevil has ever fought in the 90’s.

-You get radar sense... kind of.

-It’s based on the movie?

-There’s one level that takes place in traffic, that’s pretty cool.

The Bad:

-This game is incredibly boring, you have a 3 hit combo and a button for your billy club.  You can’t throw the billy club unless you find a power up but that sucks because your thrown billy club is weaker than your striking billy club which makes the power up useless.  There’s also this weird spinning dropkick you do randomly and there is a two hit combo with a billy club strike, but really, what’s the goddamn (Batman) point.  That, however, is it and this game is between 3 and 5 hours, so you better learn to love it because that will be all you do for that whole time.  There’s no strategy, not even with bosses.  The bosses just have a larger life bar then the basic bad guys and they have no real dependable pattern like a Mega Man boss and the stages aren’t really set up to take advantage of them.  It’s just a game of punch face until one of you dies and who dies is pretty much random.

-The fodder is terrible, they don’t fall into you’re 3 hit combo pattern.  They fall down in the middle of the combo and get up in the middle of another volley of boring, powerless punches.  When they stun there’s a few invincible frames, when they get up, there’s a few invincible frames, when you throw a billy club there’s a few invincible frames, when they sneeze they’re invincible, when they stub their toe: invincible.  The enemies have a lot of invincible frames is what I’m saying, which totally destroys any rhythm you may achieve.  Of course the enemies take advantage of this and beat you mercilessly.

-There is no give and take with the combat where you feel like you are in a fight.  You are either getting pounded by the bad guys and not getting any shots in or you’re doing the pounding and they’re not getting shots in.  So involving yourself in combat is either incredibly frustrating or incredibly boring.  There’s also no way of doing crowd control effectively so you have to force them into either one on one combat or getting them all lined up on one side and hitting them all with the same combo, which is impossible because they will all go through their invincible frames at different points leading to you eventually losing control and getting beat.  And if two enemies get on either side of you forget it.  You’re done.  You’re done like dinner.  You’re done like dishes after dinner.  You’re done like desert after the dishes after dinner.  Stick a fork in you cause you are done.  You’ll fail is what I’m saying.

-The guys with the guns or weapons or the Molotov cocktails are especially cheap.  Guys with bats have you beat on range so you have to advance, back up to avoid the attack, then advance and start hitting them with the combo.  Of course if you stop paying attention, get bored or hate yourself (all three could happen at any moment while playing this game) they take advantage of their invincible frames and wail on you without mercy when you pause between combos.  If you do start in on them you have to finish them or they wail on you without mercy, so expect to stand there and hit them probably 6 or 9 times.

-I’m pretty sure enemies can only take one hit at a time.  I didn’t notice any dependable amount of strikes taking them out which leads me to believe that they take a hit and are invincible for a hit before taking a hit again (or are invincible for some or most of your combo).  Which means they’re taking MAYBE 2 out of three hits, unless they fall, then they’ll be taking less.  This makes me wonder why you’d even put a 3 hit combo in.  But when the same enemy type can take either 3 hits or 12 and there doesn’t seem to be a palette swap to justify it, this tells me there’s something fishy with your hit detection.

-The game is cheap, cheap, cheap.

-The radar sense is stupid, stupid and dumb, it just changes the color scheme and allows you to see otherwise invisible items. 

-If you don’t care at all you can just run through the whole level.  That’s what I started doing in a misguided attempt to see the whole game.  The only place where this is less possible is in the sewers but you can still run THROUGH your enemies for the most part taking only minimal damage in the process.

-The sewer levels (that’s right, levels, as in more than one).  They frequently put a burning barrel in the cramped corridors you have to travel, with the ceiling so low you have no choice but to get burnt.  A few times I was able to manipulate the double jump to get over them without getting hurt but mostly I ended up getting damaged to some degree.  A few times I got caught between the barrel and the ceiling and burned to death.  That happened because there’s one placed after a gauntlet of enemies, so you have to take them all out while receiving a minimal amount of damage or you die trying to jump. A. Fucking. Barrel.

The Ugly:

-It’s a one button beat ‘em up.  Some games can pull them off, this one can’t.  Not even a little.

-The level’s are soooo long, they’re multi part for no real reason and they just go on and on and on.

-It’s a password save system, what the fuck?  There were battery saves for the GBA back then, it wasn’t made in the fucking Stone Age, it was 2003 for god’s sake.  But it’s unwieldy, hard to memorize, overly complicated and stupid, stupid and dumb.  The only good thing about it is that by using one password you unlock everything and can skip all that pesky game playing and just be done with it.

Final Thoughts:  I had high hopes for this game. There isn’t a lot of info about the game so I really thought this would be a buried gem that would be fun despite all the odds against it. But this game is terrible; it’s just a generic button masher that’s related to Daredevil, really, in name only. They changed the skins of the main characters but this could easily be “Kung Funky’s Punchtastic Repetitive Cheap Ass Journey” and you wouldn't even have to change it that much. In fact that may have been the working title. They just pulled a Mario 2 on us and it released coincidently with the movie.

I really wish I could tell you to give this game a shot because Daredevil doesn’t get enough love as it is but don’t, don’t encourage anyone by buying this game.  Don’t encourage Marvel, don’t encourage the producers (who are probably long out of business), don’t encourage the makers, the writers, the programmers, don’t encourage the poor bastard who’s simply reselling his copy.  He should be punished for having this in the first place and continuing to own it is punishment enough.  Avoid this pile of pixilated vomit at all costs.  Unless you’re like me and have a compulsive collecting problem, cause that’s the only reason I bought it.  Also because it was $0.01 on Amazon.

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