Saturday, 13 July 2013
Actually now that I think about it Half-Life 2 would've probably been the smarter choice, but screw it I've already loaded this up now. It's too late, I'm on the title screen.
Despite the title this isn't actually another McDonalds tie-in game. Instead it's apparently inspired by legendary 80s TV series MacGyver, that everyone on Earth seems to have seen but me. Unfortunately all I know about the series is that the lead actor went on to play that bloke on Stargate originally portrayed by Snake Plissken, so any direct references will be completely lost on me. But I'm totally expecting to be combining things with things to do other things.
Oh, by the way here's a WARNING of my own: this is a puzzle game, so I'm inevitably going to end up spoiling some of the solutions for you (you know, assuming I actually manage to solve any of them), so continue at your own risk.
Actually they all look like various different versions of McPixel himself, yanked out of the timestream and lined up in a pink hallway in ascending order of age, so I suppose he'll only really be hurting himself here. And that I have no problem with.
My self-imposed mission now is to complete Chapter 1 no matter the cost, as only then will I allow myself to turn the game off. That should give me enough exposure to the gameplay to get a good idea of what kind of game it actually is.
CHAPTER 1: ROUND 1 - EASY COME, EASY BOOM.
music just got serious, so I'm pumped to go get something done somewhere.
Okay I guess I'm starting on this island then. I suppose those icons on the bottom refer to the levels I'll be playing through. The one on the bottom left does kind of look like an island maybe.
Oh shit, I only have 20 seconds to complete this level? I'd better go click on something.
Ah, that's no hotdog down there, that's dynamite! With 14 seconds on the clock I jump into action to extinguish the fuse.
And then he slams the bun into his face and explodes. Nice job hero.
Alright, I think I have an idea what to do next time...
This time I seem to be in a hospital, with a doctor, an axe, and a man with a stick of dynamite stuck up his ass. Well I'd try chatting to the doctor to discuss his soon to be fatal condition, but that'd only trigger a swift and pointless kick to her groin, so I'm going to have to be more imaginative here.
A FEW LEVELS LATER.
Okay think McPixel, THINK! What do we have around us? A locker, a trophy, a fire alarm, a blonde girl and a kid in a cap. Well the locker would be an obvious place to look for the bomb, so it's obviously not where I'm supposed to click; I only get one action and simply finding the bomb solves nothing.
Squirting ketchup in McPixel's face doesn't seem to be the solution to this puzzle, so I'll have to cross that off the list. This is like a classic point and click adventure gameplay boiled down to the simplest form: trial and error, using everything on everything until something eventually works. At least everything's in the same place so I don't have to do a lot of tedious wandering between areas.
So I suppose I have to complete three levels without making a single error in between to get the full set and fill all my boxes. Right, I'll get on with doing that then.
THREE PERFECT LEVELS IN A ROW LATER.
miracle of youtube.
Sorry, but it's going to take me a lot longer than 10 seconds to figure out what it wants me to do here. Bonus round FAILED.
I think I'll just leave this Nyan Cat tune on a little longer though...
MANY LEVELS LATER.
The trouble is that to unlock the window I'll first need to attain gold in all of the 18 levels I've just completed, and you don't earn gold in this by completing levels quickly...
I don't mind there being some kind of award for finding every gag, but locking off a quarter of the game until you've worked though each of the levels and systematically clicked on everything in every way they can be clicked seems a bit harsh. Surely if people really want to see what happens when they use the false teeth on the bomb they'd do it anyway without being pressured, and probably enjoy it more.
Anyway, I've gone through the first three rounds of chapter 1 and failed in all the ways that it's possible to fail, so I'm finally ready to climb out through the special window into the wondrous unknown.
CHAPTER 1: SPECIAL ROUND - CINEMATIC EXPLOSION.
In case you're wondering what you're seeing here, I'll walk you through it. To beat the level I had to stick a lightsaber up McPixel's nose, so that the blade shot out of both nostrils simultaneously and he was able to achieve flight by flapping it up and down. Then he was able to grab R2D2 with his legs and fly him (and the bomb within) safely off the Death Star.
I mean holy shit, that has to be the dumbest solution to anything I've ever seen in a video game, and I've played Gabriel Knight III. Vader's face says it all really; THIS is the closest we'll ever get to a Star Wars point and click adventure game. It's a tragedy, a total tragedy.
SOME TRIAL AND ERROR AND ERROR AND ERROR LATER.
There's a decent tutorial explaining how it all works on the official website and user designed levels can be submitted to the developer himself to be added to the game as free DLC.
Hotline Miami using an actual chicken, this is your big chance. Personally though I think I'll politely excuse myself and then make a run for the exit. If I play this any longer I might be in danger of damaging my brain or gameplay experience.
Good point and click adventures are often about the 'aha' moment where you finally figure out the logical solution to a puzzle and get to feel smug. McPixel is the opposite of that. It basically seems to be about seeing what happens when you try stuff out, until you stumble across the one slapstick gag that completes the level.
But I've got a healthy appreciation for dumb humour, so it actually made me smile. McPixel himself is one of the nastiest protagonists I've ever seen in a game, only capable of interacting with society through unprovoked violence. I mean he starts out by shoving an elderly man out of his chair and then drop kicking a baby and that's just on the menu screen, so it's a pleasure to watch everything he does backfire on him.
As a game it's terrible, which isn't a huge shock as the original 6 level version was made in just 48 hours (graphics and all) for the 21st Ludum Dare competition, but I'm giving it a gold star anyway simply because I wouldn't mind playing more of it. It's pretty well made, it's got a lot of unique character and imagination, the dramatic music perfectly suits the action and keeps the pace up, and I honestly found it funny. Sometimes.
It's an interactive experience!
Anyway that was McPixel. Comments are welcome etc.