Stick ‘Em Up review 1

dHere’s a quick way to know you’re old in regards to the world of video games:

You know what a “Vectrex” is and you’ve actually bid on one on Ebay.

[podcast]http://blastmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Stickemup_AudioQuickReview.mp3[/podcast]

Well, yours truly IS old, and HAS bid on a Vectrex, and thankfully I didn’t end up winning one, because that would have been horrible.

That’s because the “retro, vector-style graphics” of a Vectrex (and now, Stick ‘Em Up) are awful, brightly colored stick like figures and shapes.

Look, I know that Stick ‘Em Up is a cheap indie game, but in 2010 not even the stoniest stoner gamer should put up with these kinds of graphics. Especially after being spoiled in recent years with the likes of Modern Warfare and say, Heavy Rain. (Oooh that Madison. SO hot!)

OK, so “retro, vector-style graphics” aside, is Stick ‘Em Up at least fun to play?

Well, um… no.

If this is a quality indie game, count me out. (In the game’s defense, it currently has a 3.5 star rating.) See, not only are the visuals “retro” but so is gameplay. Stick ‘em up is basically running and shooting your way through each level (there’s 12! At 3.99, that’s just .33 cents a level! W00T!) until you reach the end and move on to the next one.

Yup.

That’s it.

Just your run of the mill, “run n’ gun” platform shooter, with ancient 2d graphics.

I mean, I knew going in that this game wasn’t going to be the next BioShock, but when you’re lacking in every other basic gaming department, I’d figure the developers could have at least strung together SOME lame plot.

The thing about most of the quality “retro style” games, is that they took a concept from the past, and improved on what made the original work.

An obvious example of a game that got this concept right, is Geometry Wars. Unfortunately, Stick ‘Em Up looks and feels like some kid’s first programming project. Now, I realize that’s a bit harsh, but what can I say?

I want to play a kid’s first programming project about as much as I want to be an English teacher being forced to read some slacker teen’s attempt at literature.

Stick ‘Em Up, also offers co-op and local multiplayer, but I’ll be honest here — I didn’t try either while I gave this game a go, due to the fact that anyone I pinged didn’t want to play the game, and nobody was willing to come over to my apartment to play me. I don’t blame them.

In closing, Stick ‘em up is a steaming pile that’s too short, with horrendous a.i., iffy controls (have I mentioned you can’t even duck?!) and annoying, “vector-style graphics” that torture your retinas after about ten minutes.

About the only upside that this game has, is that the “helicopter” (and I use that term loosely) that you get to pilot, sort of looks like the Death Star with rotors.

If that’s enough to make you want to part with 240 MS points, you’re a better (or richer!) person than I am.