We are introducted to this game show-turned-video game known as MTV Remote Control by a flying MTV logo, and what appears to be a plethora of Mexican Jumping Beans in a typical ADD-inspired late eighties/early nineties MTV presentation. Following this display, you are taken to a character selection screen, where your choices include a balding man with green sunglasses, a woman with black frizzy hair and a ghetto hoop, and a guy named Susan who is staring off into space with a very Keanu Reevesesque look on his face. For the purposes of this review, Susan was chosen to be my character.
The players are introduced, and we jump right into our game. The categories are all represented by a one-digit number, ranging from 1 to 9, with no other label to tell you what these numbers stand for. They’re useless to anybody curious as to the categories of questions in MTV Remote Control. They could have just had pictures of the various breeds of emu for all good that the numbers do. While making your decision, a frighteningly animated man I like to call Uvula (for his “real” name is unknown to me) stares at you, with an arm propped on his podium to signify that he means business. In the background of this mess is the MTV logo, scattered about in an orderly fashion, with the actual background color ever changing. All in all, it provides for a very seizurish mood.
The questions themselves, once you are informed as to what they are (which is only achieved via picking one at random and hoping it happens to be your expertise), range from using the Brady Bunch to inquire on physics, to The Bill Cosby Show. Not exactly the most difficult of trivia, if you grew up in the eighties. If not, you’re screwed. The entire game is focused on pre-1990 television, and unless you either grew up in that era, or happen to be a huge fan of pudding, you’ve got about the same chances of doing well in this game as you do of passing a test for which you have not studied – you’ll be the party that rocks the party if you’re a good educated-guesser, but if not, prepare to be lightning-bolted.
Ah yes, the lightning bolt; your punishment for lacking knowledge of Batman. At seemingly random intervals within the game’s timespan (it occurred approximately three years into it for me), lightning rains down from the heavens, decimating the contestant in last place. That seems a little harsh to me. If I were selected to be a contestant on a game show, and the consequences for losing were death, then I’d find a safer game show, perhaps Win Lose or Draw, or Card Sharks. MTV Remote Control is no Card Sharks, I can tell you that much.
The final round of MTV Remote Control is an odd matching game, where Uvula distorts the names of various pre-1990 television shows, to the point where one would have to have a degree in soap operas in order to get them right. Not really though. He changes one word in a television title, and you have to chose, from a list of words, which goes in its place. You go head-to-head with the other player (this is assuming that you’re not dead), and whoever gets the most matches wins. I matched all but one, and that one was only because I paused to write on the idiocy of this game.
Five out of ten is really pushing it here. It took me two tries to figure out how to buzz in and answer the question. The buzzing in itself is not so tough, just press the A button. Answering is another story – be it my non-responsive NES controller, or be it a shitty game – the B button does not always work. Sure, you may know the answer, and sure, you may push the button – but this guarantees nothing in MTV’s Remote Control.
The flashing lights almost caused me to roll around the floor and flail my limbs about in a helter skelter manner, but other than that, the graphics are peachy keen. Sometimes it’s difficult to decipher the gender of the various characters, but they all at least look like people. That’s way more then can be said for many an NES game.
Imagine the chorus to a song you despise greatly. Reduce that song to seven seconds, and set it to an endless loop. If you’re not stark-raving mad by the first minute, more power to you. I didn’t last so long in this game.
The game can be amusing for the 20-somethings out there that actually have an ounce of an idea as to what Uvula is talking about, but for the majority of GameCola’s readers, MTV Remote Control will be a collector of dust, brought out every once in a while to show to your friends just how bad television based video games can get.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just a bitter, cynical teenager who gets his fancy tickled by locating faults… Maybe I just like finding faults in things. But when you’re playing a game show-based video game and out of no where, the host decides that it’s time for a commercial break, because this game is based on a TV show, dammit, and TV shows have commercials, and you realize, “hey; that’s not funny enough a thing to waste time with,” well then… you lose your train of thought because the sentence is too friggin’ long. MTV Remote Control is no fun! Boo!
Unless you happen to be a big fan of the TV show, MTV Remote Control is not for you. Even in that case it’s probably not, but I’m giving fans the benefit of a doubt. Maybe they can see something that I can’t, who knows. All I know is that this game’s going to be in pristine condition, sitting on my shelf. It’s not going to get enough play to damage it in any way. Don’t bother with it unless absolutely necessary.