Piss Drinking Isn't The Same Without Kevin Costner
Man Vs. Wild video game review crap
So, yeah, the winning team that brought us last month's Deadliest Catch 2 have come together once again to bring you Man Vs. Wild the Game. We should consider ourselves so lucky. I suppose they just wanted to cash in on his "popularity" as a real life survival expert despite the fact that he was discovered to be a fraud years ago and was found to have been staying nights at hotels when he was supposed to be in a desert, ate blueberry pancakes for breakfast after eating snakes for dinner, and tamed wild animals that were trained and brought in for him via trailers. Anyway, all those fake struggles for survival meant he was inevitably going to be given his own video game and, just like Deadliest Catch 2, it attempts to go for realism and desecrates that image with ridiculousness. Let's get this over with.
That's not mud...
When you create a video game based on a boring or fake "reality" show there isn't really any material to work with in order to craft a compelling story. Man Vs. Wild follows in the footsteps of Deadliest Catch and gives you, the player, different chapters in the form of different hellholes. Basically, the game just dumps you somewhere and says "There ya go. Get to the end of the level and we'll do this again." I suppose it's probably best this way, though. These companies have obviously learned from the SNES game Home Improvement based on Tim Allen's sitcom. If you've never played it, here's a brief rundown of one level: Tim Taylor fights dinosaurs. Remember when THAT happened in the show? No? Well, Bear Grylls doesn't fight dinosaurs, but he fights all types of wildlife with his bare hands like snakes and mountain lions. If they really wanted to make this game awesome they should've just gone over the top and have the guy fight and eat a goomba or something.
This would've been an interesting story! Who eats who first?!?
I remember, back in the 7th grade, I used to have a math teacher that graded our papers based on effort as opposed to whether we got the answer right or wrong. As long as you made an attempt to solve the problems the long way and showed your work without using a calculator, you'd get a good grade. Sometimes, depending on the game, I like to use that technique when critiquing a game. In this case, however, I feel the appropriate response would be to vomit all over my keyboard and force the developers to eat it! The 3D character model for Bear Grylls is so bad and creepy looking that it makes me wonder how he felt when he saw it for the first time. His skin looks like he's been decomposing for a while, his movements are very stiff and goofy to watch, and when the model tries to stretch or flex the joints seem to dislocate for a moment before popping back into place. I think using a photo of the man for the game's cover took up a large chunk of the funding which resulted in these piss poor graphics.
Notice how this trailer avoids showing too much of the game's graphics? There's a reason for that...
The environments are just as dull and boring to look at as Bear is. There are moments where you'll come across a cliff overlooking a forest and his voiceover kicks in to say something like "Look at this gorgeous view" or something to that effect. My response every time is something along the lines of "Super Mario 64 had more convincing trees in it" or "It's even more beautiful when I shut my eyes really really hard and start seeing colors and shapes everywhere." I never thought I'd find myself saying that I've seen better looking games on the Wii, but I truly HAVE seen better looking games on the Wii.
I didn't record this footage and that isn't my voice. Just FYI.
Since this is supposed to be a realistic game all about survival, let's have bear Grylls doing ninja flips over large gaps on mountains! Yeah, it happens, and it makes me laugh out loud every time. But you know what, whenever I'm stranded on mountains with no food or water I ALWAYS find myself doing super sweet ninja flips all over the place because that's how you survive in the wild! This is fact. The whole survival things comes down to four different types of gameplay techniques: doing tricks while skydiving (just roll with it), collecting crap, combining items, and quick time events.
The levels start out with Bear jumping out of a plane and doing different tricks while he plummeted towards the ground and this is apparently important for survival because, hey, if mother nature isn't impressed by your EXTREME SPORTS then she will smite your sorry ass of the face of the Earth. You pull off these tricks by memorizing a set of commands that appear on screen and then pressing them in the same order when the game tells you to. There's a bar on the side of the screen that shows you how close you are to certain death on the ground and when you should pull your chute. The worst part of this game is that if you don't unleash your parachute in time the games DOESN'T show you hitting the ground and dying what I would guess to be a pretty horrible way to go. You can't begin to understand how disappointed I was when I realized I'd never visibly see him die. The game immediately became a bore after I learned that sad fact.
The things you'll be collecting are rocks, sticks, leaves, or whatever else you need to use to survive one particular challenge. Combining items is a kind of subsection of collecting since you'll often be combining things you've collected to make something else you need that triggers a context sensitive area in the game. For example, you need to make a grappling hook in an early part of the game and to do this you need to take a rope from your parachute and combine it with a sharp rock. Exactly how this creates a reliable grappling hook is beyond me, but I suspect a bit of alchemy might be involved. You'll also be collecting what the game calls "spirits of adventure" which look like clouds of piss floating around in the wild and collecting this lighter-than-air urine gives you experience points which increase Bear's stamina... just like in real life!
Quick time events usually come in the form of your epic battle against nature itself. You'll fight all manner of ferocious bloodthirsty beasts like... beavers. Seriously, you get attacked by a beaver at one point and Bear Grylls picks it up and slits its throat. I'm not wildlife expert, but I'm pretty sure beavers aren't particularly dangerous unless you making a living in the I-hate-natural-dams industry. You already know how these quick time events work: press a button at the right time and you avoid injury or death. The funny thing is that it seems like mother nature has something against Bear's dick because every time he falls over on the ground during an attack the animal begins attacking his sack like it somehow offended them.
Cue the Final Fantasy battle theme...
Bear's survival techniques are both disgusting AND hilarious, though. He's got three bars in the HUD and they represent his stamina, his thirst, and his health. Naturally, to refill stamina you have to eat the animals you go around murdering like snakes and the beavers or by making a crunchy snack out of insects you find living in old logs which ends with Bear throwing up everything he just consumed if you eat poisonous ones. The best and most vomit-inducing survival technique has to be the thirst quencher because one of the ways which he fills that bar goes like this: kill snake, pee in snake corpse, drink piss out of snake's corpse, rejoice. I never in my life thought I'd see a game where you refilled your character's overall health by filling a poisonous corpse with your own urine and then drinking it from the freshly killed snake. Why do you have to piss into a dead snake, Bear? Why can't you just piss straight into your own mouth if you HAVE to drink your own urine? Just get it straight from the tap, you moron!
Unlike Deadliest Catch you are actually in control of somebody and yet the game STILL sucks! Running around is pretty easy, but the response time leaves something to be desired. For being a survival expert, Bear Grylls makes really wide turns which can sometimes cause you to run into something you wanted to avoid. Climbing rock faces is pretty easy, but sometimes you'll hit a random unidentifiable spot that he'll just drop from and lose health once he shatters both of his ankles on the ground. Don't worry, incorporating individual body injuries is a tad TOO realistic for this game, so he'll easily brush off a drop like that and resume his awesome ninja flipping while climbing a mountain. The cursor in the minigames is FAR too sensitive and it'll take you a while to get the hang of the whole bug-catching thing since the little reticule flies off at the slightest tilt of the control stick.
Well, they were able to get the real bear Grylls to do the voice work for the game, so that has to count for SOMETHING, right? Well, no not really. In fact, he seems so far removed from the game that I have my doubts that he's ever even seen the damn thing. Any time he speaks it feels more like he's talking out loud to himself and slowly losing his sanity. There should've been a sanity meter just to make things interesting. Nothing he says has any weight to it and it might be safe to assume that the man thought he was stepping into a recording booth to do voice work for an instructional video: Snake Killing and Piss Drinking!
You honestly don't need me to tell you this game is terrible. If you're a real gamer than you know what you're in for as soon as you read the title. If you're a casual gamer (the type that bought a Wii and got Redneck Jamboree because you thought it'd be a good time and lack taste in good games) then this just might be the best game you'll ever play especially when you consider most of your other choices! I think the most interesting thing about this game has to be its wikipedia page. Really, go look it up and read the description. I think one of the people that worked on that game wrote the information because it gives the game a lot more praise than it actually deserves! Real geo-mapping my ass!!!
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