Thursday, April 30, 2009

Warriors



I was originally going to review a game that puts you in the cockpit of a Russian bomber and then asks you to apply the same skill required to fly the actual thing in order to play for more than ten seconds. But I've forgotten the name of it (if you know what it is, please do tell) so I've had to resort to plan B. Warriors is one of those games that straddles the middle ground of my own personal tastes - it's not awful, it's not great, it's a little weird and is overall largely irrelevant.

By the way, I know what you're thinking. This is either a Flash version of the Warriors video game, which itself was inspired by the Seventies cult classic movie, or - if the fantasy-style lettering of the title is anything to go by - some kind of medieval hack 'n' slash epic. But I'm afraid unless your answer was "A game about cats," you are greatly mistaken.



Yeah, that's right, cats. Why? God knows - I certainly didn't. But here's what I did learn from the instructions: each cat belongs to a different clan. Your goal is to go through each clan's territory and catch a certain amount of prey there before the timer runs out. Pressing down on the right arrow key will make you run faster, while pressing the up arrow key will naturally make you jump. While in the air, press the Space bar to attack and hopefully catch a tasty treat.

It's all very simple and it doesn't take a cat lover to get the hang of it. You get to decide what clan you want to join, though I doubt it really makes much of a difference. I went with the River Clan, because once you go black you never go back.



So here we are, running across the level, chasing down rabbits. It all looks pretty nice, though the animation is either clunky or non-existent. You have to hop over dogs who are out to maul your ass while also trying to grab rabbits from the air. This isn't very hard - as long as the prey is in your general area, you can catch it. What annoys me is how often these animals will wait until you're right on top of them before they make a move. Because they're so close, you can't react fast enough to catch them before they're gone, which can start to grate after the fifth or sixth time in a row.



Anyway, from there we move on to the next level, where you have to catch... frogs while avoiding... badgers.

What?

Why is the cat trying to catch frogs? Cats wouldn't want to eat frogs! And what did they do to piss off the badgers? Regardless, stay out of their way, because those little buggers are tough!



OK, fish. Yeah, I can understand fish. And trying to avoid rivers, since cats hate water. Sorry, I'm still trying to get my head around frogs and badgers. Those two things just don't go together!



The final level is the territory of the Thunder Clan, which reminded me of Thundercats. Man, I loved that show. I even had a Lion-O action figure with swiping action. That thing was badass! Pretty much the opposite of this game!

But at least I'm hunting birds, which means jumping is a necessity. The main enemies here are foxes, which I admit are probably the meanest of the bunch. But to be quite honest, no hazard is any more dangerous than the others. You have a five lives in every level and infinite continues, which is pretty nice of the developers. I think if you didn't have the option of continuing from your last level I'd hate this game a whole lot more.



As it stands, the game is somewhat boring, but with only four levels to play it doesn't outstay its welcome. There's no real reason to play Warriors, unless you really love cats or you really have to know what the point of a game like this is.

And, crazy as it may be to believe, there is a point. Warriors is an "advergame" (a new word I discovered today) designed to promote a series of books about several clans of wild cats and the numerous goings-on within their intricately-structured society. There are eighteen books, six Mangas, one "Deluxe Edition" and two guides.

As former pro wrestler Ron Simmons would say, "Damn!"

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