4 March of the Penguins Is a Ridiculous Lemmings Knockoff
You probably won't recognize this cover without the 99-cent stickers.
Possibly the first game ever based on a French nature documentary, March of the Penguins was released on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in 2006, a year after the original movie grabbed an Academy Award and broke box office records across the world. The movie, if you haven't seen it, is about the brutal conditions this flock of penguins endures in order to keep their breeding cycle going. Now imagine you're a room full of programmers who have been told they need to make a child-friendly portable video game out of that concept.
The first level, "Journey to the Breeding Ground," has you guiding the lovable penguins to the remote, magical place where they'll make sweet penguin love to one another (aka the other side of the screen). They are marching nonstop, in the most literal sense, and it's up to you to place objects in their path that will alter their movement, like fun trampoline tents, ice slides, ramps, and other elements that suggest the programmers watched a very different, much more insane movie than the one we remember.
Honestly, Morgan Freeman's "WEEE!" and "BOING!" sound effects are pretty dope.
The main game is basically that over and over again, with mini-levels peppered in that have you guiding your penguin baby-daddy through a maze of eggs and other tedious penguin-related bullshit. Overall, the implication here seems to be that you're playing the role of an unscrupulous filmmaker jerking some birds around to get the shots he needs for his pretentious "documentary."
When an underwater level is your high point, you're in trouble.
We're not saying they should have taken away March of the Penguins' Oscar for endorsing this shit, but they could have at least downgraded it to a Golden Globe.
3 Pimp My Ride Becomes a Bizarre GTA Ripoff
When you think about it, the idea of making a game based on a reality show where a rapper puts flat screens in the trunk of your beat-up Oldsmobile isn't completely without merit -- Pimp My Ride is already a pretty ridiculous concept, so how could the video game industry possibly make it worse? It can't be done. Unless, that is, they didn't actually make a Pimp My Ride game and just put out a shittier version of Grand Theft Auto starring Xzibit.
Which fits well with the shitty everything that stars Xzibit.
The game exposes the disturbing source for all that money Xzibit spends in bouncing-car mechanisms and fluorescent paint jobs: He gets it by violently crashing into other cars until they literally explode money. That's what you do for the bulk of the game -- just crash into everything you see until you collect enough money to buy upgrades for your client's car.
Unfortunately, there's no option to buy this guy a punch in the dick.
But what about the side missions? They had the good sense to rip off that part of GTA too, right? Sure, here's a cool-sounding one called "Ghost Ride the Whip," let's see what it's ab-
Whelp. Out of nowhere and without warning, your character starts doing break dance moves as your GTA knockoff turns into Dance Dance Revolution ... but, like, a pimpin' version.
Finally, you present your hard-earned murder money to the auto shop and can upgrade a few random parts for your client, who turns out to be suffering from an extreme case of facial paralysis, in addition to other problems.
"Yo, you havin' a seizure?"
But hey, it's pretty cool of Xzibit to give back to the community and help out disabled people like that, right? Not really, because the clients' cars get added to his collection, for some reason, and you can take them out for joy rides whenever you want, crashing into shit to your heart's content. This game actually teaches you that not only do crime and vandalism pay, but they're faster than direct deposit.