Game Enthusiast 9: Retro Review

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I originally posted this review on IGN.com on 2003
I am very knowledgable on video gaming and I know why the game industry crashed, and it was NOT solely E.T’s fault. it was many things all happening at once. But jesus it sounds better to say “E.T. destroyed Atari and video games!!” than to say “Well, it was a combination of atari’s over-production, and new compe….blah blah blah blah blah”. Besides, the game really is that bad. I have played it, I own it…I actually bought the game for 50 cents so I could say “I have played it” so there is creditablity behind my bashing.





Lets get some things straight 1st. Howard Scott Warshaw had like 6 weeks to get this game playable, that is a pretty amazing feat. some games could take that long just to get to boot let alone run. so I don’t blame him for this game. He’s also made Yar’s Revenge, which is a kick ass Atari game so he obviously has the skill involved to make a good game. the problem with this game was the fact that Atari spent over $20 million to get the rights to make the E.T. game, when they should have spent all that money on making alot of way better games. Instead it was all spent in vain of making the game that is by most the worst game ever created. it’s one of those games where you do not even have to play it and know it’s bad. it’s so bad that the remaining stock of E.T. carts that Atari couldn’t sell (along with some other stinkers) where crushed and buried in the middle of the desert.. that is how bad it was!… nobody wanted it!.
alright, Lets begin my journey. 1st off I had to go online and look for the manual to find out what the hell I was suppose to be doing. I’m no retard with a controller, I picked up Warcraft and Mechwarrior for the PC without instructions and did very, very well. But this old Atari game had me stupified!. am I suppose to walk aimlessly and fall in the holes?… how do I stop losing points!?. how do I get more?!… Jesus help me!! So, heres the what the Manual told me. The basics of the Story is E.T. comes down with his “friends” to run some tests on the primitives of earth…and some “aliens” (humans) scare his friends away… so E.T. has to run around and find parts for his intergalactic Cell phone…. now the game. Presentation: Well, crap. There really isn’t any. Theres the opening scene of E.T.’s face on the much known and used musical score…and, thats it. You just press reset on the atari and the game begins. Theres, really nothing left to same about it…. Graphics: I really can’t say much about the graphics either, Atari VCS (Atari 2600 after 1981) was a fairly basic system that was pretty limited.. but in terms of comparing the graphics to other atari games of the era I guess they where good, not much color though, just green and gray.. Sound: Again, there was only an assortment of beeps coming from the Atari with ALL games for the 2600, so this section is also extreme should in saying that it did well with the limited sounds that could come from the Atari, I guess the opening music sounded pretty good? Gameplay: Oh Jesus help Me…. ok, for anyone reading this I’ll talk about the “gameplay” (a term I’m using very loosely) Alright, E.T. starts off with a certain number of “energy points” (which I can’t remember, but it’s really not important) with each step you take, each fall, each stretch of your neck, you will lose these points….so, put it this way. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO YOU ARE CONSTANTLY LOSING!. Now, the whole point of the game is to get three piece of your space phone right?… Well, those pieces are all at the bottom of the holes, that if you fall into…will get you more lost points, then to get out of the hole you have to stretch your neck and “fly out” or whatever, he floats out (which in turn loses you even more points) you have to find all 3 pieces before you lose all of your points. there are FBI agents who, when they take you away, will also take away your har d earned pieces and they’ll apparently put them back in the holes…why? I don’t know! scientists take you away also, but let you keep your phone junk.
But wait theres more, what “worst game ever” would be completely without bugs!… “Enter the Matrix” had them, and so does this buried treasure (nice pun huh?) when you fall in a hole, your more than likely to fall in it again with no chance of moving to keep from falling!. thats a fun bug huh!. the manual even points this one out under it’s “helpful hints”…. well, how about some time to code it better huh? The manual basically tells you exactly how to defeat the game, when it tells you exactly what to do that should be a red flag that “this game might suck!” Lasting Appeal: Well, This game probably has scared me in sensitive places…for life, not only because I chucked it against the wall and got some shrapnel from the explosion, but deep places….where I was all warm and fuzzy inside. where I thought video game companies loved me and didn’t just want my money…. thats something I can never get back…and it haunts me. I wake up with nightmares.
My Score——- 0.9
+++They are no longer making them! – – god awful controls – -You are constantly LOSING!, there is no END!. – – Lacks everything a game should be. (Fun, goal, reasons,)

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