Special Two-Part …of the Month of the Month: Unknown and Underappreciated starring Ape Quest, PAIN, Rumble Roses, and Samurai Western. With special guest star Savage Skies.
Part One: Downloadable Games
Do you remember that commercial that came on the other day for that amazing new 9$ (That’s right, the dollar sign is after the 9. My mind says nine dollars, not dollars nine, and I’m tired of mindlessly lending my support to bullshit that is, quite frankly, OUT OF ORDER) game that you can only get by downloading it from the PlayStation online store? If you do, you probably also shit your pants every time you see a cop driving down the opposite side of the highway, because you are sure that he noticed the 15 dollars (15$) worth of marijuana you have stashed under the passenger seat, and it’s only a matter of time before he spins around and skids through the grassy (get it?) median to come after you.
There was no commercial. Cheap downloadable games do not get advertised, and based on recent statistics (g50 Stats Inc., LLC), they are almost completely ignored by most of the gamer population. Most of the non-gamer population doesn’t understand how games work if you don’t have a CD.
Despite all this ignorance going around like pregnancy rumors at a high school, there are some downloadable games that are very much worth checking out. The first to be mentioned is the one I’ve also given a full review to this month: Ape Quest. I won’t go into much detail, partly because I’ve written that full review I just mentioned, and partly because it isn’t as fun as the next game: PAIN!
PAIN is the next-gen Savage Skies. There is no reason to devote any time to playing this game solo, except to unlock the extra characters to use when playing multiplayer mode. This game is a blast (literally) to play with friends, though. The premise is that you have a giant slingshot aimed at a city, and you shoot annoying people out of it. As simple a premise as, say, riding around on giant bats and eyeballs and shooting laser beams and lightning bolts at other flying mythological creatures. Simple, yet endlessly enjoyable (unless you play for more than like 40 minutes, but you really should move on to Rock Band by then, anyway.)
This simple yet enjoyable theme brings me into our next phase, which will henceforth be known as
Part Two: K.I.S.S.
If you’re anything like me, you took some advanced classes in late elementary/early middle school taught by a funny and kind yet easily annoyed teacher who was obsessed with Pinky and the Brain and would constantly utter the phrase “Keep it simple, stupid.” If you had told me then that I would be using this phrase in an article for a widely respected online publication, I probably would have been confused and asked you what you were talking about, and then, after several minutes, accepted the fact that it sort of makes sense and I could see something like that happening, even though I couldn’t be sure that it actually would, since there’s no way you really could be from the future, but here I am.
I bring this up because it seems to me that the games that end up being the most fun are the ones that take a simple premise and put something together without trying to make some sort of grand epic that inevitably gets morbidly boring after the 100th hour, when you’re searching for some ultimate material with a 0.1% chance of being dropped by a monster with a 10% chance of spawning in the first place. First up on my list of games with simple premises that are awesome because of it is Samurai Western.
Samurai Western is about a samurai who finds his way to the wild, wild west, where he runs around dodging bullets and cutting dirty thugs and hobos in half. You power up your weapons by collecting coins that pop out of the corpses of the hobos you cut open (as blood spurts out of their chests like Diet Coke Mentos fountains, as always it should), and you unlock everything in the game by beating stages and setting high scores. There’s no block-pushing or material gathering; you just slice up thugs and hobos. Sounds good to me.
Next up is Rumble Roses. All-female professional wrestling. Yes, that does sound like something only a pervert would enjoy. However, it is even better than it sounds. All-female pro-wrestling would get boring fast if it played like one of the Smackdown games, which are all pretty worthless. However, Rumble Roses is actually fun to play. Unlike in actual pro-wrestling, the women wrestlers in Rumble Roses know how to do pro-wrestling maneuvers. There’s everything from piledrivers to 1857s (3 x619). The controls are very simple, as well they should be in a game that supposedly follows the K.I.S.S. principle, and the game ends up being something I keep coming back to instead of spending my time playing games that I didn’t get for 5$ at GameStop.
BONUS Part Three: The Reckoning
The title of this phase represents one final thought. These K.I.S.S. games also keep the titles simple. Ape Quest is a game about a monkey on a quest. PAIN is about flinging people into traffic and giant bowling balls. Savage Skies is about flying around and killing things. Samurai Western is about a samurai in the wild west. Rumble Roses is about women who rumble. (Yes, it could have just been called Women Wrestling, but Rumble Roses alliterates while still being simple. Double points.) It is not necessary for a game to have a pretentious title that is essentially meaningless, such as “The Darkwar Chronicle: Elegy of Apocalypse.” Just pick a simple premise, make a simple game, and give it a simple title, and you could end up with gold.
Or a piece of shit; there’s a really high % chance that you’ll come up with a piece of shit, actually, which pretty much negates this entire article…. Oh well, it’s not the first time I’ve done that, and it certainly won’t be the last. These games I mentioned are all NOT shit pieces, though, so go give them a look-see if you’re looking for a 5-10$ game that will keep you coming back for more instead of a 50-60$ game that you’ll get bored with before you even finish playing it once.
Oh crap, I forgot to segue into my catch phrase.… Eh, forget it! If you know, POST!