Aug 23, 2007

Game On

So, I actually had to work today and couldn't update as much as I wanted. Sorry. Bite me. Bite my job.

Anyway, in addition to movie reviews, book reports (coming soon) and the like, I will also be periodically reviewing horse games. It won't be a series, seeing as how there are, like, 5 horse games in the world. But nonetheless, I've taken it upon myself to purchase these games and play them and review them. I do this for you. Yeah, so there. I sacrifice it all to you.

Today, I am reviewing Gallop Racer for PS2. Except I am reviewing Gallop Racer 2003. For any of you who are horse-gamers, you know that I own the crappy version of Gallop Racer. I didn't know this until about an hour ago when I IM'ed my 11 yo friend. (Yes, all of my friends are, in fact, 11. This should not weird you out. In fact, how old are you? What? You're over 11?! You're sooooo overed in my book.) The following is not our actual conversation. It is edited for clarity:

krazzyforhorsez: im board

Me: Hey, I'm reviewing Gallop Racer for my blog.

krazzyforhorsez: OMG?! y didn't i know u had a blog

Me: Cause I'm awesome. And you're not.

krazzyforhorsez: ur buttugly and smelly

Me: Bite me. I can't help it that I'm so cool.

krazzyforhorsez: which gallop racer

Me: 2003

krazzyforhorsez: that is soooo last year

Me: Dude, what grade are you in? It was, like, so 4 years ago. What, are you like 11?

krazzyforhorsez: That's so mean i hate you

Me: Okay, I know you are 11. But dude why is it sooooo last year?

krazzyforhorsez: 04 is way better

Me: Dude, then why did I get 03? Why didn't I know this? Why aren't you clueing me to things? That's your job. It's why I keep you around.

krazzyforhorsez: whatever im still board

Me: read a book

krazzyforhorsez: y? all u do is play videos and get drunk

Me: OK I'm busy. I have to go now. Go play with someone your own age.


Yeah, so now I know that my version is sucky and Gallop Racer 04 is less sucky. But don't blame me for this review. Blame my little minions who aren't doing their job of keeping me informed. You know who you are.

Without further ado:

I love horse games, no matter how bad. I really do. Gallop Racer 03 is not horrible, but it's not really amazing either. In case you hadn't already figured it out, it is a horse-racing game. You are a jockey and get to ride horses and move up the ranks to becoming a super-amazing rider. I haven't actually made it to the very top rank yet. I tend to get bored of the game after awhile. Because even playing it nonstop for, say, a week on end (I was sick, okay?) it still takes forever to move up the ranks. Along the way you get to retire and breed your horses. Mostly, my horses seem to breed crappy babies that can't really do much of anything, but it still seems fun. Basically I like naming the foals. After that, I start getting a little bored of them.

It's a Japanese game, so of course all of the characters you get to inhabit look like weird anime figures with giant eyes. My favorite is to choose the hyper-masculine guy and dress him in pink and purple and make him look as gay as possible. My joys are fleeting. Whatevs. And then, you have to take this super long tutorial that is run by a talking horse. I don't know why. I don't ask. Basically it's not really a game that involves much skill. You just have to be able to have quick reflexes to press the right button at the right time. You can win the majority of the time, if you can press those buttons just perfectly.

The horses are a little jerky looking and strange. In all honesty, they are the same horse with different colorings. I don't know why I play this game for hours or days on end. Nothing I am saying here is convincing as to why it is cool. But if you're a bit obsessive like me, you can't just quit something you've started. You have to see it through to the end, goddammit.

But honestly, the insane music sort of lulls you into a trance, from which you will never return. It is like a 30 sec loop of these vaguely smooth-jazzy horns that is INCREDIBLY CATCHY AND HORRIFYINGLY IRRITATING. All at once. And it never ends. Once in awhile another loop pops up during a 'special' race and you actually find yourself missing the smooth-jazzy horn loop. It's a terrible addiction.

But the real reason to play this game is really for all the weirdness. You don't get to name any horse that you don't breed. They come pre-named and often they have the strangest names. It must just be some random name generator that comes up with names like Sky Cancer and Foot Eater. I'm not kidding. Those are real names of horses I rode in this game. And overall, I kind of love the random voice-overs of the announcer that pop up every so often. There are two of them - a sultry Japanese woman who comments on your win after the race, and the Moviefone-ish race announcer who, without fail, will baffingly yell at you "Show your guts!!" I don't know how to do that Movieone guy. Please stop yelling at me. But sultry sex-kitten lady, I likes. She croons, "What an impressive victory." or "Ooooh, what power." or my favorite "A perfect victory, showing world-class...."and then, they cut her off randomly. Every single time. I wish I knew what world-class thing I was showing.

In brief, I heart this game. There is no reason to. But mainly, it's a horse game. And that's all I need to know. I have a sickness, I know. I will have to buy Gallop Racer 04 now, though. I hear you don't have to take the stupid tutorial every time you start the game and you get to negotiate with trainers to ride their horses. It's kind of the best when this game introduces any characters or random people talking, so I'm so there.

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