This classic GameCola article was originally published in November, 2005.
Okay, as no one probably noticed, I missed my review last month. That’s because it’s taken me two full months to work up the courage to review this landfill. I’ve had dreams about three-headed clown monsters with grizzly bears for arms and chainsaws for teeth that frightened me less than the thought of picking up the controller to play this game.
Now, for this round I’ve gone back to my diary-type review, only this time I’m actually going to pause the game as I play and write down what I think. So, without further ado:
Wednesday, October 12 (6:15 pm): So, I just popped in Creature Shock and watched the opening movie. Wow. CG has come a hell of a long ways since ’96. It’s a basic story about the future and man sending out people to colonize other—okay, you know what I really noticed? My ship is bright yellow and has numerous stick-like apertures branching off it that are rounded at the end, so it looks like it has a bunch of turkey legs poking out everywhere. We cut to a female in an all-purple jumpsuit with hips wide enough to have birthed Grimace. I mean, this chick is seriously disproportioned. She’s got HUGE perfectly round breasts, an Eddie Munster haircut and—those hips. I shall call her Professor Gargoyle Face. Anyway, there’s more to the opening, but let’s just do this: Imagine a super-long arm holding a pencil just emerged from your TV and started poking you continuously (but softly) in the eye with the eraser-end. Annoying, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like watching these shit graphics. I’m just going to go ahead and skip telling you about the first level. It’s basically a shooter from behind your ship, and good Jesus almighty is it ugly. Your ship looks like the ass-end of Pac-Man (again with the yellow) and the enemies look like what your little sister finger-painted in pre-school last week. I pass this abysmal level and take a break.
Wednesday, October 12 (6:43 pm): So my ship lands and a CG scene unfolds, showing my hero-guy (what happened to Professor Gargoyle Face? She’s been captured!) and the eight polygons that make up his character model exit the ship. My guy stops at the bottom of the ramp and the view suddenly shifts to a first-person Virtua Cop kinda thing, where the screen is locked but I’ve got a cursor that I can move around. Let me tell you this right now: There are dead giant furry sloths from five million B.C. that had no arms and no legs that moved faster than this goddamn cursor. Either giant purple gorilla-men or rhino-men are pulling themselves out of a pit right in front of me. They are polite enough to wait for my cursor to cripple itself slowly over to them so I can blast them back to hell. Despite how slow it is, it’s apparently pretty powerful. I quickly mop up the screen, and as I blow the last one back down the pit I snarl “have a nice trip” in my best Clint Eastwood voice and then drink a beer. That level was a bit better. I’m done for the day.
Saturday, October 15 (2:00 pm): After the stationary shooting gallery scene, this thing turns into Myst. You move a cursor over a doorway, click, and then watch FMV stream you into the next room from your point of view. I quickly discover how tiring this is. Every once in a while, your cursor will freeze and then it’s back to shooting gallery until the creature is destroyed, then back to Myst. I wonder where Professor Gargoyle Face is?
Saturday, October 15 (2:24 pm): God, how long do I have to click through these fucking hallways? I’m getting tired of shooting bats and what appear to be giant tapeworms. Yay! The level 2 boss! It’s CG and looks exactly what would happen if Rocksteady from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Greedo had a baby. As it flails around it eventually shows you its weak spot (usually a little green blob under its chin or some such thing). Ha ha, now that’s cute! Since this game was originally made for the PC, they thought you’d be using a mouse! But since I’m not, my SLOW ASS cursor can’t keep up with how fast the monster is moving. I die. I’ll have to re-do the whole level. Re-click through the entire second level. I’m so pissed I’m actually going to watch the Home & Gardening Network with my wife in the living room because I just can’t stand being in the same room with this thing right now.
Sunday, October 16 (1:00 pm): I passed level 2 and went on to level 3. As my hero, in his ridiculous space-suit and freaking giant helmet, starts for the door my game freezes immediately. I wait a minute but nothing happens. I hit a few random buttons, then start mashing on all of them. It sits for another few moments and then goes black and starts screaming. It sounds like what would happen if you shoved a half-baboon half-fire engine into the World’s Loudest Car Alarm and then used a pillowcase full of broken glass to beat it to death. I hit power. I unplug it. I blow under the lid. No matter what game I put in, the power light just blinks. Creature Shock just killed my Japanese modded Saturn. I am not making this up. I’m supposed to be quitting smoking, but apparently Creature Shock works for Camel because nothing in my life has stressed me into a cigarette faster than this game. I’m going to my balcony to smoke. It is officially 1:22 pm on October 16 when I pronounce my beloved Saturn DOA. A moment of silence, please. The review will have to wait.
Wednesday, October 26 (5:45 pm): I just got back from some local Portland used game shops and picked up two extra Saturns. I’m mother-fucking ready for you, Creature Shock.
Thursday, October 27 (6:05 pm): It took me 47 frustrating minutes to pass the last flying stage. Forty-seven minutes of dying .3 nanoseconds before the end of the level and having to start the whole thing over. I think—I’m starting to lose it. Did I go right here or was that the hallway back there that looks exactly the same? But I did it! I got the password to level 5! It’s 426─wait, who’s asking? No! It’s my code, I earned it! Professor Gargoyle? Is that you?
Saterdy, Octamber 29 (9:62 pm): I find myself contemplating questions as I endlessly restart and play through the same levels over and over—like, who play-tested this game and told someone it was fun? Why do the character models give me night terrors? Who thought it was a good idea to mix Virtua Cop, Myst and Space Harrier together and throw on a lame-ass sci-fi plot and sell it for $50? I─who’s there! I know I heard it! Kinda…starting to scare myself a bit, but hold it together Travis…
Frunday, Jastamber 18th (55:2): how long—heh heh, how long have I been here? Oh, hello Rock-Greedo! Have you seen Pac-Man?
Teh heh! Click down the hallway, click through the door click here, click there shooty shooty! Oh, cursor’s too slow re-start stage! clickety clacketly click
shhh! she was just here— the Professor—she’s trying to kill me with her hips…how could any one game be so boring…I…can’t seem to stop sobbing. i just wanted to pass level 5, but I can’t do it. Tell…Franzen, if anyone finds this…he can go to hell for making me play this game…