the wheel. Pick a letter. Answer in question form. Press the buzzer.
Choose a square. Walk away with a consolation prize. These are aspects
we recognize from game shows. And as game developers attempt to bring
the game show atmosphere to the video game world, there have been some
hits, such as You Dont Know Jack! and there have been some misses, such
as Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire. Unfortunately, Presto Studios
Whacked! falls into the latter of the two.
zany cast of characters, hectic battles, and an online capability,
Whacked! could have had the potential to be a successful video game. But
the biggest flaw that plagued its success was the inability for the
developers to follow through on the very thing that it relies on, its
game show theme.
begins with an introduction that reveals the games host, Van Tastic.
Van explains how the game show needs a bigger audience, and the best way
to do that would be to have contestants battle each other. The
motivation for these contestants is the elusive "Prize" that remains
mysterious until the end. The characters are then presented, and once
the player chooses one, the game begins.
is where Whacked! begins to go awry. The entire game set disappears, and
all the characters disappear, leaving your character alone in front of
three doors. Each door contains three challenges, and the player is free
to choose which door to enter, but in the end, all nine challenges must
be completed, defeating the purpose of choosing. And when I said "must
be completed," it means exactly what it says. There is no second or
third place in this game, so if you lose a challenge, youll have to
retry over again and beat it to proceed on with the game.
a general theme visually apparent in Whacked! the game becomes nothing
but challenges. When the player completes the arduous task of reigning
first place in the primary nine challenges, a new set of three doors
appear, and the challenges ensue. Completing a challenge not only
continues the pace of the game, but also rewards the player with a new
weapon, as well as a short commercial. These commercials are a mixed
bunch, with some being hilarious, while most others are plain stupid.
Frankly, the single-player experience is so tedious that, no matter how
great the "Prize" may be in the end, it doesnt make the effort seem
gameplay in Whacked! is reminiscent to that of Cel Damage. Players run
around, and for the most part, try to kill each other. There are a total
of six different challenges in this game. "Fragfest" and "King of the
Hill" are the most familiar challenges, where in "Fragfest," your goal
is to kill everyone in sight, and in "King of the Hill," your goal is to
stand in a designated area for an amount of time. In "Combat," the
players task is to be the first to collect an allotted number of stars
that appear on the level. In "Grab n Run," the player must hold the
gold trophy for an allotted amount of time, while avoiding a barrage of
attacks from your opponents. "Dodgeball" will remind everyone of their
childhood, where the only weapon is a dodgeball, but this time youre
out for blood. And last is "Chicken," where you must collect stars from
slaying flocks of chicken that bombard you. These six prove to be a good
variety of challenges, and will definitely be an interesting experience.
are simplistic, and should pose little problem. The left joystick is for
movement, the triggers are for sidestepping, the A and Y buttons are for
jumping, and the X and B buttons are for attacking. The primary attack
is weak and slow, and the ability to do a Mario-style butt-stomp is
available, but the weapons that you can pick up will most likely be the
weapons of choice.
carries a total of more than thirty different varieties of weapons. Only
an small batch is available at first, but as noted, with each challenge
completion, a new weapon is unlocked to unleash more carnage. Some of
these weapons include a Home Run bat that sends your opponent flying,
explosive Rubber Duckies, a giant Staple gun, Plunger missiles, a
Cactus, and a Freeze gun. There are other crazy additions to the game
that create more havoc, and creating anarchy is always fun.
levels are very unique, ranging from a ceiling fan to even the kitchen
sink. One of the best ideas for a level is located in the back of a
moving pick-up truck, with a police car behind it. While the car chase
ensues, players can jump back and forth between cars, and when the car
sways, all the characters fly in that direction. Still, the levels are
usually small in size, and whether that was a good call is a toss-up.
Its bad because it constricts the amount of area to run, and yet its
good because its usually difficult to spot your opponents. There are
the occasional hazards that occur during the level, such as the ceiling
fan spinning rapidly, or the kitchen sink draining, but the overall
details and intricacies of the level are generally pretty simple.
characters themselves are a colorful, zany cast. While there are only
four selectable characters in the beginning, there are four additional
characters, including the host Van Tastic that can be unlocked. Some of
the cast includes Charity, a child with bad dental hygiene, Lucky, a
rabbit with an attitude, and everyones favorite, Lucy, a sexy woman
with nothing but two censor bars as her outfit. (As a side note, never
in my life more than in this game have I wanted to be a pair of censor
Which is kind of sad
) Each character carries their own
personality, complete with a voice to say almost anything and
everything. Unfortunately, these characters have little, if any,
differences in ability, making the choice between characters solely an
The multiplayer capability is where a good chunk of the action should
be. This is because the single-player experience is nothing to write
home about, and the fact that taking smack to the computer is just no
fun. So inviting three other friends over is a good option, but the best
option is the newly-available Xbox Live capability, letting you chuck
Rubber Duckie bombs at your friend whos playing on the other side of
town. Although I havent had the opportunity to test it online, the game
alone barely lags, and most likely it wont lag over a broadband
connection. Even better, with the Xbox Live headset, you can choose
Charity, the little girl, as your character, and alter your voice to be
a deep husky male voice just to make your opponents think twice about
shooting that rocket at you.
In conclusion, Whacked! is a decent game. Again, what hurts the game
the most is its presentation. The game show theme was the glue that
would have held the game together. Gameplay-wise, Whacked! succeeds with
unique level and character innovation, and fast action. If you are
interested in picking up Whacked! for its single-player experience, I
would suggest you look elsewhere. If youre looking for an in-house
multiplayer experience, I would suggest Fuzion Frenzy. If youre looking
for an online multiplayer experience, I would suggest you try out the
Whacked! demo thats included with the Xbox Live kit first. If youre
interested in Whacked! just to see Lucy the naked wonder, I would
suggest waiting for BMX XXX to arrive; youll get your ya-yas there.
Otherwise, I would rent it first, or wait for this game to go on sale
before buying it.