Back in my youth (I seem to open a lot of reviews with tales of my childhood. Perhaps someday I’ll just full-out tell you the story of how I got my tongue pierced when I was 5 years old.), my dad was the guy who kept my education in line. He’d make sure I had all of my homework done every single night before I could lose myself in the gaze of a TV connected to my Nintendo 64. Mind you, my father, at this time, was in a phase where every night he would come home, stressed from work, and take his frustration out on the home gym. When you’re 8 years old, there’s few things scarier than your Dad banging weights away in the basement, while you’re at the kitchen counter, trying to remember what eight times seven is before you’re summoned to his dank and smelly basement and demanded to regurgitate your multiplication tables, on pain of losing Nintendo privileges for the night. A fate worse than death, truly.
My father, sweat dripping down from his forehead, would turn to me with a look in his eye that said, “You’d better know three times seven if you ever want to hug your mother again.” (That’s likely not what he actually had in his eye, but you try having my father at the age of eight. It’s goddamn horrifying.) He would ask me a math question. If I got it right, hooray! The world is safe, the princess is back home, and I have a date with a lady namedSnowboard Kids. Otherwise, the sky turned to black, the grounds were set ablaze, and everything right in the world was quickly set wrong as my father would jet his finger to the stairs and tell me to study more. Once again, I may be using hyperbole just a little bit here. It was twelve years ago, and all I have are my twisted childhood memories to tell the story. Time would pass, and eventually I would learn my multiplication tables to a T, after months of staring at a piece of paper with a graph that has numbers on it.
The moral of the story is: WHERE THE HELL WAS THIS GAME WHEN I WAS A KID?
It’s an idea so basic that it has to be genius. Math Sniper 3D could have saved my life when I was in third grade, but it just had to fall into my lap twelve years too late. I’d be angry, but I guess it’s revenge for not going to church since the 1st grade, eh, God?
Here’s the skinny. You’re a sniper, and you’re near the front of a building. On the top of your sniper scope, there’s a math problem. The people that are flocking out of the building have numbers on their heads. One of them has the correct answer. That person is an enemy agent. You need to shoot that enemy agent. With your sniper rifle. And a pinch of magic. In the head. And that is Math Sniper 3D. Not even in a nutshell—that is the entire goddamn game. Shoot the guy with the correct answer to a math problem right in the face. Crotch shots don’t matter here; it has to be in the head, or it’s no good. And if you shoot the wrong guy, God be with you. The game’s instructions ask you to “Please don’t shoot good agents.” They asked you nicely and you ignored them. There’s a special level of hell for you, my friend.
I tell you, if I had this game when I was a kid, things would be a lot different. I could have actually been good at first-person shooters if I had my grubby little hands on this game earlier. I would have been that cool kid on the block with Math Sniper 3D on his Nintendo 64! I’d have been the talk of any birthday party I attended. I wouldn’t be going to college for musical theater; I’d be at West Point right now taking Sniping 101, while working to get my degree in Mathematics. I’d be frickin’ butch. But no, I had to get it today, when my brain is only meaty enough to get the satisfaction of screaming “BOOM! HEADSHOT!” every time I got six minus two correct.
In my thirst to learn everything I could about this wondrous, wondrous game that I did not have to pay for, thanks to the extremely good looks that got me on the GC staff in the first place, I paid a visit to the GameFAQs forums to see if I could share in the glory that is The Reverend Math Sniper 3D with my fellow gaming brethren. What I found was a single topic titled “This game is awful.”, with two posts. The first said “Anyone else agree?”, and the second said “It’s a community game. What did you expect? Lol.”
HOW DARE YOU.
HOW. FUCKING. DARE. YOU.
This game is greater than anything your puny little minds could come up with in whatever life-expectancy you have left times seven. Which is really short, because I’m on the way to your house right now with a pitchfork in one hand and a bottle of Vicks VapoRub in the other. You can Lol all you want, Shaneomook_212, cause in the span of the next 17 seconds, your head will be placed on my holy trident of recreational gardening. It’s holy because it touched the hard drive that contained my review copy of Our Lord and Savior, Math Sniper 3D.
On a side note, I now own a holy Xbox 360, a holy pair of swimming goggles, and a holy Issue 147 of Nintendo Power. The one with Pokémon Crystal on the cover. If you’ll spare me a second, I’d like to read a passage from the holy book:
“Mario leaps onto a platform, landing face to face with a tottering Goomba. A Koopa Paratroopa hovers a few steps beyond. From out of nowhere, Mario pulls out a yellow cape and snaps it at the Goomba, then jumps up to punch the Koopa Paratroopa in a flurry of coins and fists. Mario leaps to a grassy ledge and is suddenly attacked by… Team Yoshi?”
-Nintendo GameCube: Action! 147:23
Truly, this is the word of Our Lord.
Putting my serious cap back on, though, I find two major gripes with this game. The first is the real lack of challenge. I know that sounds weird and all, but you can only have addition, subtraction, and multiplication in a game at a time, with no mix of the two. The integers in problems only go from 1 to 9, with no decimals or fractions in sight. Why couldn’t we get some diversity in the mix? Maybe you could give us one component to the problem, and the answer, and we have to find the other component. Maybe we could have more than one integer in a component to a question. Maybe we could throw some AP Calc questions in the mix so that I have an easy go-to method of assisted suicide. It’s the simplicity of this game that leads to my other major issue.
Exactly who is this game for, anyway? I hope it isn’t actually for kids that are still learning their multiplication tables, and are in that phase where they might go through their daddy’s gun box and find the revolver, wondering how to make it go boom. (And if you don’t think kids seriously do that, watch the local news from time to time, asshole.) I hope it’s not for people my age, either, because, let’s face it, the questions are way too simple to actually call this a learning tool, and there’s so many other ways to distract me from going to my Ballet 101 class this semester. My guess is that it’s the sheer novelty factor of having this game that makes it worthwhile. I can (because I am this kind of guy) one day bring this game up at a party, and have a good laugh with my drunken brothers for about ten minutes until we get bored and move on to getting headshots without fear of education.
It’s not pretty to look at, it presents no challenge, and a game lasts about two minutes, with extremely little customization in the gameplay. But it’s a game about shooting the guy with the correct answer to three minus one, and I think that, in the end, that’s all that really matters.