Sunday, 9 January 2011

Review of Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch


Mark Leung (also the creator of the popular College Saga youtube sensation) is a complete genius and has the most thorough understanding of internet psyche I've ever encountered. Well it's that or he's seriously wrong in the head. Either way it feels like Revenge of the Bitch is designed to annoy half of the people in the world while making the other half chortle for hours on end.

Quick though! Let me tell you what this game is: it's an JRPG parody, a game that pokes fun at everything that is Final Fantasy and you can't help but admire the sheer bravery and persistence that it must have took to create it. Or perhaps the motivation came from the need to insult just about anything and everything to do with the world and the internet. I'm still not quite sure...

Similar to Final Fantasy and other large scale rpg games, you walk around a world, a parody of our own no less and fight battles against evil creatures (such as bunnies, hamsters, sheep...) in turn based form. Not Active Timer Battle unfortunately (my personal preferred battle system) but closer to Final Fantasy X's turn based system, it's one of those things you need to have a go at to understand fully. The big difference being that some abilities can take several time units to cast/perform in which time the enemy may have finished you off.

The system isn't badly implemented, adds some tactical thought (if you're able to think tactically through the madness that is Mark Leung Revenge Of The Bitch) and it helps that it's a familiar system. Newcomers wouldn't have much trouble though as everything is tutorialized (which probably isn't a word) and pointed out in surprising detail. It would have been nice to have a more active "camera man" with some sweeping shots during attacks and even when selecting moves, the static views were fine but a little dull.

The abilities and moves however were as far from dull as could be! My favorite standard attack came from the character known as Ines who had a violin that turned into a bow and arrow (seriously cool.) Worst attack had to go to her step mom Elsie with her strange head over heals skating blade attack.

As far as the enemies go, well the cute little lambs had some kind of "Cute attack" which lowers the defenses of some of your characters which was ironic (or something.) The endangered but dangerous pandas you fight throw bamboo at you and leprechauns are tricky to hit! And...well I could mention the attack from the baboon but there are no words...Really there's far too many standard enemies to mention in all, but some of the special enemies were especially fun to take on.

Goldman Sex, A C3PO type robot with a humping fixation gave me a laugh. After running through a cave of money counting R2D2 type robots he appears as a "bubble" (read dot-com bubble or other financial fad) that the girly characters you're with throw money into (that you never get back! And thus completes the metaphor) before he appears and tries to face rape your team. Lovely but as the move is anything but graphically detailed, the attack comprising of a "thrusting" of the hips, it's hardly anything that I would complain of (although I'm sure many others would!)

Some of the quotes during battles got a bit repetitive and annoying. It might have been better if the characters didn't always have to shout something at the start or end of a fight, then it would be more of a treat to hear their victory chant or motto. The enemy sounds also got irritating, especially those cats and their spooky, eerie and unforgettable...sometimes I still hear it at night....

Ahem, so yes, the battles are good enough fun and it's not the very old random battles that we used to get with Final Fantasy style games. As you walk through the world, insulting everyone, the enemies are all in plain sight and will often attack you if you get too close. You can run away from everything but you'll need to gain experience to be able to take care of the later bosses as per any JRPG. If an enemy is about to attack you however you can gain the upper had by preparing a stance which ensures you will be the first to attack them in the battle system.

As usual the biggest problem with an RPG title such as this is the grind, grind, grind that you need to go through to ensure your characters will be able to face their next foes with enough power to continue. I'm surprised the creator didn't put in some kind of short cut or at least some kind of joke involving this. It did get tedious and I have to admit switching the game to "Windowed" mode so I could get on with other things while the enemy attacked.

Trying to pull apart the threads of crazy thought that make up the plot it's difficult to see if the story is any good. In many ways it's very traditional in it's "a dark power is threatening the world" sense but on the other hand it's consistent use of over the top satire and characters that continue to stay completely in character throughout. Mark especially continues to be a complete arse at all times and never learns any kind of moral lessons at all....yay!

The very best parts of the game for me however have to be the filmed cut scenes. This is something that gamee have lost over the years in favor of scripted sequences and in some cases we've lost out, but Mark Leung has returned this greatest of gifts to us! These are seriously laugh out loud funny, it seems like everyone involved really got what the idea of the game was and it was very much like watching the shouty dialogue of an old kung-fu movie.

Ok now for my confession, I've not yet completed the game! ooh, shock horror! I'm over 10 hours in and it's just too long with all the grind for me with all the other stuff I need to do for now. I'm sure it's far longer than this and I will continue to play it when I can and update this if any of my views change over the coming weeks.

So far it's been a blast though, probably one of the most imaginitative and funny games you'll play in a long time. As long as you're not Irish, an animal lover, Chinese, Japanese, a robot, Canadian, a vegetarian, called "Justin Bieber", part of the banking system, a pirate... or if you're just stupid.

[Score: 80 out of 100]

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