|I can feel a voice inside me, a small piping sound down around
my spleen that asks me not to give Darias Inferno from MTV a bad review. This voice squeaks like an adenoidal teen and
claims this game is harmless. That its
good hearted and, while not up to par with other titles, still provides enough good times
to warrant kindness on the part of the critic. Instead,
Im going to channel my inner Harold Bloom and decry Darias Inferno as
shameless shlock and an insult to anybody willing to shell out their allowance because
kindness, in this case, would be tantamount to marketing a product in bad faith. There is enough advertising in this game already.
The games winning features depend on your interest in MTVs
animated show Daria about an angsty teen with a monotone wit. The television program itself is funny, and I get
the impression that Daria is the outsider wise-ass who older, trying-to-be-trendy folk
wish they had been in high school. While MTV
does good work on the series, the computer game spinoff is a disaster.
Darias Inferno begins with Daria in English class. Her principal bursts into the room and announces a
variety of items have been stolen and, until they are returned, everybody is in big
trouble. Daria then falls asleep as Mr. ONeill
drones about Dantes Inferno (get the pun) and has a dream in which she must
travel through the five levels of teenage hell the high school, the mall, etc
looking for the principals missing goods in order to ascend into paradise.
The game consists entirely of
navigating hellish zones and solving puzzles while trying not to be bumped by hordes of
Darias pimply enemies. Touched too
often and Darias irritation meter goes off, which puts you back at the start of the
level. Sound simple? It is. The
whole shebang can be completed in about two hours.
This wouldnt be so bad if the controls were decent. Instead, the super-mouse, which both uses items
and moves Daria, is shoddy and unpredictable. Sometimes
youll use an object designed to ward off a personal space intruder and sometimes youll
just walk right into them. Since the puzzles
are easy to solve, the only challenge in the game comes from avoiding the wandering souls
who annoy Daria, and, as these encounters are frustrating and unfun, the game itself
rapidly skates downhill.
graphics are not-bad in that they theyve come straight from television. The shows stars do all of the voice acting
as well. If everything in the game is like
its television counterpart, I have to ask myself why Im simply not watching the
cartoon? Darias Inferno amounts to
little more than an advertisement for MTV and its programming. The game, while containing the charm of the
original (although listening to Darias quips for more than a half hour got
annoying), has only the most basic game elements. In
other words, its not a game but a lame product tie-in. I cant recommend Darias Inferno to
anybody as youd be wasting your money as well as your time and your patience. A game ought to be more than a two-hour attempt by
a company to flood you with its other merchandise. Some
type of challenge ought to be involved and Darias Inferno offers nothing to
stimulate the motor and mental skills of anybody above four. If you like Daria that much, watch her in reruns.