B1 Intermediate 924 Folder Collection
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So there were a couple great things to come out of the 1990s. One, the original Ninja
Turtles movie. Two, Emma Watson. And three, animation. In fact, animation had a major
renaissance back then, resulting in some of the best cartoons in half a century. And I
bring it up because, should you like those cartoons, you're gonna love stickin' it to
the man.
Also helps if you...like Maniac Mansion.
So this
thing was just released for the PlayStation 3 and Vita, and it's basically a 2D puzzle
platformer dipped in a little Rocko's Modern Life. In fact, while there's plenty of animation
this game's art style seems to tip its cap to...Rocko, in particular, seems to be a huge
inspiration. Everything from the slanted buildings to the surreal humor...even the fonts.
This game really takes you back to the ol' days of O-Town.
So if you're not as much of a cartoon nerd...what's Stick It To The Man all about? Well, it's
basically a game of problem solving. And style and satire, which is where the Rocko comes
in. You play as Ray. And one day, Ray gets hit in the head. When he wakes up, he notices
some kind of long pink hand coming out of his brain. Of course, no one seems to notice,
and Ray discovers he can actually use it to read people's minds.
And, like, steal their thoughts.
See, those thoughts...are actually stickers. In fact, the whole world is this...huge, interactive
sticker book. Each level gives Ray obstacles to navigate and people to help, and he has
to do that by putting the right stickers in the right places. So for example, early on,
Ray meets this poor bastard who's about to kill himself.
So you read his mind, and it turns out...it's over a woman. She dumped him for some guy
with better teeth. So obviously, we get to get this guy better teeth. And to do that,
we have to solve a series of problems that includes feeding some guy's arm to a crocodile,
changing the outcome of a dance competition and chatting with a kidnapping victim about
obscure NES games.
Then and only then can true love be saved.
Only it's not true love, because...I'm pretty sure she only likes him for his teeth.
And it's not saved, because...I mean, who knows what's canon, at this point?
Every level follows pretty much the same formula. Explore the scene, talk to everyone, figure
out who needs something and then figure out how you can get it for them. That usually
involves talking to other people, or solving another problem. At which point, you can grab
a sticker with your massive brain hand, and then stick it somewhere helpful. Because it's
like a book, the stickers actually affect the world. That's where the puzzle solving
comes in.
Figuring out which stickers change which situations.
And it's a lot of fun, but on the other hand...like I said, every level follows the same formula.
So in terms of actual gameplay, things can get stale. Especially if you get stuck. That's
when things devolve into just randomly trying to stick stickers on every spot that needs
one. So it does have that stretched adventure game logic sometimes. That esoteric feel that
can often make these games frustrating. But when it clicks, Stick It To The Man is incredibly
entertaining.
And for me, that's all about the presentation. The dialogue's fantastic, and again, the style
and tone really remind me of Rocko's Modern Life. Almost to the point where it feels like
a tribute.
In a sense, I guess...this is less an awesome game than just an awesome experience. The
gameplay's just a vessel for the dialogue and the art. That's the real attraction. So
it's basically, like...back around 1991, if Nickelodeon had done a cartoon inspired by
Maniac Mansion. This would've been the result. A beautiful and hilarious puzzle-type adventure
thing, Stick It To The Man is a great game that left me thinking
one thing.
That was
a hoot!
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CGR Undertow - STICK IT TO THE MAN review for PlayStation 3

924 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on November 21, 2013
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