" They should have used their money to make another movie. "
Title: Evil Dead: Hail to the King by THQ
Format: Adventure/Thriller for PS One
Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.
The Hype: Chainsaws, Boomsticks, Deadites, fight with a weapon in each hand, travel through time while fighting evil, Bruce Campbell as Ash.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: It is often said that just because a game has bad graphics, doesnít mean the game itself is bad. This also works the other way around. Having good graphics doesnít make a game good. It sure does help though. I have to say I was surprised that the graphics in this game are as good as they are. I was expecting this game to be fairly low budget (like the movies) but it appears that the graphics people put a lot of time into this game. Everything from the characters and objects to the environment is very reminiscent of the movies. Ash, despite having a much blockier build, seems to move pretty smoothly through the creepy environs; of course if he wasnít smooth he wouldnít really be Ash would he? 4 out of 5
Sound: One of the shining points of this game is how creepy, yet hilarious it is. This is due in great part to the sound effects. Bruce Campbell actually did the voice-overs for this game so everything that your character says is pure, classic Bruce, "come get some." Unfortunately Ash is the best actor in the game, everyone else sounds a great more dry and uncaring than Bruce. But the sound effects in the game are very good. The objects that Ash interacts with are appropriate as are the gunshots, and chainsaw noises. And the voices of the undead that scream, or constantly repeat, "Join us," make the game quite creepy. 4 out of 5
Game Play: Well they say that everything has some fault right? Well this gameís fault is bigger than the San Andreas. One of the absolutely most important aspects of a game is its control; I mean you canít very well play a game successfully if you canít control it. This is a big problem in this game. The interface used to move, and attack and pick up items, is very unreasonable. One reason for this is that in order to turn Ash around, you have to hold left or right and wait for him to slowly get himself aligned the way you need him. This is very frustrating in a battle when a deadite disappears in front of you only to pop up behind you, or when you are trying to get the right line to get at a door or an item. And there is a simple solution to the problem that many similar games discovered long ago; make your character move in whatever direction you press rather than just straight forward (especially with analog control I mean come on people). Another problem is that the object interaction is pretty bad. Like many other games, if you want to pick up and item, you have to stand on top of it and press a button. The deal with this game is that the camera angles often make it difficult to determine weather or not you are standing directly over it making you try over and over again while deadites attempt to tear the flesh from your body. Also when you want to open a door or stand on a table you have to walk up to the object, stop moving, and then press the action button. If youíre moving it wonít work, this leads to a lot of missed doorways and tons of searching (those bastards stole and hour of my life awayÖand I want it back). And finally my biggest problem with the game play is that the deadites are too numerous, re-spawn way too fast, and are difficult (especially with the bad control) to dispatch. So if you get a chance to kill a couple (and they usually show up in pairs), you barely have enough time to pick up the health pack that they drop before two more pop up. And they cause way too much damage too. Now, its true, almost each one leaves a health pack (a big one if you use the special chainsaw death move) but you will consistently loose 1/3 to 1/2 of your life trying to fight them off. It wouldíve been better if they just made the deadites cause less damage and provide you with less health packs. 2 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: Here the game earns some more good points. There arenít really levels to deal with, but the environments are numerous, varied, and range from creepy to downright disgusting. Much of the game takes place around the infamous cabin and in the woods that surround it. There are many places of interest to visit, such as the scout campgrounds, the hillbilly house, and the church, and all of them look quite good. The hillbilly house in particular is one of the most disgusting areas in the game. Here you will find a couple rooms filled with blood and severed body parts stuffed in barrels, or hanging from walls. But again the problem with door and object interaction crosses over to the environment design. If they made it easier to see how close Ash was to an object the game would be much smoother. 3.5 out of 5
Replayability: There are many things that add to the replayability of a game. There are equally as many things that can detract from it. Unfortunately this game has a lot of the negative ones, the biggest being the control. If a game is a pain in the ass to get through the first time due to poor controls, what are the chances someone is going to want to do it again? Not good. Another detriment is that the game is quite long. It spans two disks, and each has plenty of game to play through. And in most cases, the longer a game, the less likely a person is to play it again, unless it is just plain fun to play or has an awesome story, neither really applies to this game. 1 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: After Ash came to the present time from his last adventure, he got is old job at S Mart back, and he even got himself a new girl. But as Ash said, "thatís when the nightmares came." Constantly creped out by his nightmares and memories of the evil he saw, Ash and his girlfriend decide to confront his fears by returning to the cabin where everything started (yeah, thatís a good idea). But shortly after they arrive at the cabin, the evil returns and steals Ashís babe. He doesnít have long to save her. He must find the pages of the Necronomicon to bring her back and banish the evil forever. Of course there are a few twists and turns throughout the adventure, certain tasks that must be accomplished to get to different areas, but these are mostly minor and donít add a great deal to the overall plot. True to the movies the story in this game is a kind of hilarious attempt (which in a weird way succeeds) to be creepy, but the game takes too long for the story to stay fresh. 3 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions are very thorough and easy to read. They tell you everything you need to know to get started, and even help you out along the way by introducing you to different enemies you may encounter. The problem is that you will probably never be satisfied with your ability to control Ash. This isnít because you are stupid; rather it is because the control isnít good. In essence the learning curve is indomitable. 2.5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: This game certainly uses a great deal of the Play stationís capabilities. There have been similar games that tax the Playstation more, but this game is close. There isnít any slowdown that Iíve noticed, and the load times (which arenít too numerous) are very reasonable. The biggest problem in this category is that the game takes up two memory card slots (thatís a bit too much to ask for a game of this caliber). 3.5 out of 5
|For those who are die hard fans, and want to have Bruce Campbellís baby (seek help) this game might not entirely disappoint you. For the rest of us it really isnít worth our while, there are just too many aspects of this game that make it a chore to play. Rent it, you may not find it as frustrating as I do, but you should at least be prepared.|
The Good: The graphics are decent, Bruce Campbellís actual voice, Chain-saw death moves, Boomsticks, Itís Evil Dead!
The Bad: Absolutely horrible control, too frequent monster re-spawn, no replay value, lots of "interactive environment" issues
The Overall Ugly: They should have used their money to make another movie.
What it's Worth: If you are a die-hard Evil Dead fan, $25.00. Otherwise donít spend more than $10.00