Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 64: The Tick

How many ninjas can you punch before your hand cramps? If you don't know, play The Tick to find out. Strangely, despite being released after the mainstream success of the animated series, the video game is based entirely on the comic book series. What was a hilarious commentary on America's obsession with all things ninja in 1988 is badly dated in 1994 and looks like a cop out by the programmers who were able to populate an entire video game by recoloring one sprite.

There's no reason to mince words here. This game is a complete waste of the character. It's nothing but another mindless beat 'em up. In fact, the only remotely imaginative thing in this game, the ability to occasionally team up and fight back to back with Oedipus and Paul the Samurai (characters most kids playing this game, having only watched the cartoon, would have never seen before) just makes the game more difficult. Moving the large, slow, two headed beast of justice while fighting small, fast ninjas is a pain.

Almost no effort was put into the sprites besides The Tick and the ninjas. Oedipus and Paul are sloppily drawn and even more sloppily animated. Enemies like Sagin, the Red Scare and Clark Oppenheimer (again, characters most playing would be unfamiliar with) look like they were dropped in at the last minute when someone told the programmers there needed to be more to the game than punching ninjas. The Human Bullet (finally, someone from the cartoon) is so badly rendered that he appeared appeared four times before I realized what he was.

The Tick the video game is just bad. It's ugly and repetitive and, worst of all, it's not even a little but funny. Also, but focusing on the comic book for source material, it alienated probably 90% of its audience, who were looking for a game with Dinosaur Neil, El Seed and Thrakkorzog but instead got Running Guy.

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