From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett Crapshoot, wrote a column about rolling the dice to bring random, mysterious games back to light. And you know what this week is? It’s the long-awaited 100th Crapshoot! (A streamer shoots a cheap party in the air, eating one festive biscuit.)
yes one a hundred Crabshots. One Hundred Sabbaths filled with too many words about crazy horrorAnd the Inexplicable educational entertainmentAnd the horrific pornAnd the random music breaksAnd the Occasionally a lighthearted rowingAnd oh, so much more than that. It’s the PC gaming column spitting on “tl;dr”, which has been said to be “how can anyone Drone for a long time around Bloodrayne 3?! “
Obviously, this is a very special occasion for fans of decimals and random landmarks. But how do I define it? And How else? Let’s dive into one of the most infamous fail computers, the sucking abyss… Hellboy! Hmmm. Perhaps that would have been more dramatic if you hadn’t already seen the title.
The myth of Hellboy began long before its release, and the Guillermo del Toro movie that brought Hellboy back to a wider audience in 2004. In case you didn’t know, the gist is that he was a demon who was summoned from Hell as a child by Nazi occultists, before he was… His upbringing by a gentle professor found a middle ground of parenting by raising him as a normal kid but still called “Hellboy”. I haven’t read any of the comics, so I might be wrong here, but I suppose this was basically to stop any embarrassment in case another demon had to refer to him by his full title as “World Destroyer, Great Beast, Right Hand of Death, Son of the Fallen and Brian”.
Fully grown, Hellboy currently works in the Paranormal Research and Defense office, and I’m pretty sure he was hastily thrown together when Professor BPRD accidentally said in a meeting and had to quickly cover it up. There he fights alongside other friendly freaks, saves the world so much he is no doubt proud to be played on screen by Ron Perlman.
You thought all this would be perfect for the game. In the right hand, it could be. Unfortunately, Hellboy’s license fell into the hands of a company called Cryo Interactive, which appears to exist mostly to torture adventure game reviewers. Their final demise was brought back for commercial reasons, but I insist It was To include some kind of stake in the heart. Silver. Made of 30 cursed pieces paid to Judas, a virgin unicorn pissed on it under a full moon and carved into toothed spirals.
Basically what I’m saying is that I didn’t like their games that much. They weren’t good.
I can try to describe the many ways Hellboy came into the legend of computer games, but I don’t have to. Demonstrating the kind of misplaced confidence that people usually jump off of Niagara Falls while flapping their wings really hard, Cryo produced a demo that has been known to collapse experienced game editors into laughter. It was made for a platform in a demo called ECTS, but the damned code also made it onto covered tablets and still float around Like a twisted mass of particularly nutty poo.
The demo showed four parts of the game, and this is the second. The only things I added were the title screen and the fade in. Everything from the sound quality to the fade translated to… the rest… just as it happened on screen. If you feel any sympathy on the grounds that a lot of games are in poor condition prior to release, remember while that’s true, this was a demo meant to promote Hellboy, and there’s a reason companies don’t let people watch games like this. The reason is “Duh!”
That was two minutes! Two minutes!
Immediately the kind of joke that would take Duke Nukem the best part of a decade to live, at this point the game simply vanished. All concerned seemed to have woken up in cold sweat after a night of drinking absinthe and poaching raw chicken, and looked to see Hellboy on the next pillow, and yelled and screamed and shrieked and Screamed. Like nuclear waste buried deep in the earth, the game was quietly placed on the shelf in the nearest box, so that it could never be seen or talked about again.
Well, at least until the movie came out, when someone from Hellboy’s homeland decided it would be a waste of a good idiot Not to put on the shelves. However, it wasn’t quite a big release, with the name changed from the original “Dogs of the Night” to “Asylum Seeker” and copied – as best I remember – it’s no longer a place of pride anywhere at all.
I remember that PC Gamer only got a review copy because an attentive reader spotted it on the shelf, on holiday I think, and alerted the editor to its existence. It slipped back on its generous review of poorly by 14%.
The sad thing is that the end game is not as funny as the demo. Oh, that’s bad. it’s a shameful Bad, and while I’m going to cut the people who’ve worked on it some slack on the grounds that it makes sense to blame slaves when the kitchen floods, anyone responsible for actually launching it should take five minutes a day just to stare in the mirror and cry over their childhood dreams.
It’s dark, boring, completely lacking in fun or personality. It’s everything the game should avoid, and the only saving grace is that the CD likely You will not catch your hands and blind you to hatred.
But there’s a difference between bad and worthless comedy, and Hellboy sits with leeches instead of clowns. It’s the most uninspiring kind of game you can’t give a crap about, from an early puzzle where you have to decide which of the four rocks should be on three pillars with no clear clues except trying everything until you finally get it, to making an audio commentary from an unconnected crew Not only a phone, but cut annoying lines while they sleep. Not into a microphone, mind. What do you think about this, Daikatana?
The plot is that two BPRD officers go missing while exploring a cemetery for some reason, and Hellboy and his partner, Sara Notworthcaringabout, are sent to investigate. His voice is less terrible. She doesn’t simply walk with an exaggerated hip swing, but rather appears to be a deliberate attempt to use her breasts as siege weapons against any invisible elves who might be around.
Anyway, it takes about five seconds before she’s caught, which results in Hellboy reaching a fearsome shelter (“asylum seeker”, geddit?) for pretty much no reason except that it’s potentially evil. My favorite part is the early section where Hellboy faces the most terrifying threat ever… a dark corridor! Try to go down to him as he is attacked by what you can see clearly Nothing at all , making him feel like he’s clumsily hitting his toe and risking death by doing so. Hail Hellboy, The Great Red Wuss.
What really stands out are the monsters. For starters, they include this guy:
For some reason, Hellboy seems to keep running with them during their coffee break, because they absolutely don’t care about doing their jobs. In the first two chapters, you run into many little boss level monsters (and a few zombies, but they can be excused from being idiots), and in all but one, you can simply bypass them.
This exception? The silly guy in the last shot, who appears and runs away in the same cut scene. It’s supposed to be a preview of the upcoming horror, but no. More premature ejaculation is followed by, “Sorry. Put my pants on and I’ll get out of your hair.”
Even when you get to the scene from the video above, it’s frustrating. Everything is basically the same, although the nurse’s face isn’t animated like a crazy nightmare anymore, and the nonsensical dialogue has been cleaned up at least a bit since running it through Google Translate. Everything else though, that’s the norm.
And then I stopped playing. However, that’s about 30 minutes more than I think any of the testers have given it to, or from the looks of it, anyone on the Internet less than someone who wrote Wanderlust, one man in Poland bore it for a while. let’s play, And the-
Wait a minute. It can’t be the boss! This is the shiny monster from Half-Life!
So here it is. One of the PC’s greatest failures, in all its awful, awful glory. Is it really as bad as everyone says? Hell, yes. Is it so bad, is it good though? Not in his wildest dreams, even if there were some inadvertently funny moments, and the kind of scenario that really shocked me seeing the development team was American rather than European.
I apologize for that banter from Google Translate earlier. to google translate.
And here we are. A hundred crabshots. If you’ve been reading it from the start – thanks! If not, there are as many as 99 of them to read, and you might like a few of them. If you have any favorite games, or games you want to see in particular in the next 100, post them in the comments.
Finally, as a special pseudo treat, here’s a second Crapshoot of the week, from a game that gets thrown around a lot, but I always don’t qualify for being so well known. In these ultimately meaningless days, though, it seems only fair to break the rules for not only the adventure you’ve been clamoring to cover from the start, but one of the best-selling games in PC history.
Special Bonus Crapshoot: Myst