Friday 17 July 2009

The Worst Games Brad Ever Played #1

Rob's off on holiday from E14 this week, which leaves you in my capable hands for Friday's article! I've racked my brains trying to think of a really shitty video game from my past - so here it is: Night Trap!

In the immortal words of Wikipedia: "This article is about video game. For the film aka Mardi Gras for the Devil, see Night Trap (film)"

Being the screaming Sega fan-boy that I was at the time, as well as the screaming horror fan that I still am now (I am also openly gay for Star Wars, but that's not relevant in this instance) - I played this game to death when I got it. It's only with the benefit of hindsight and years of wisdom that I'm able to look back and realise what a crock of bollocks it really was.

The plot goes thusly: a group of young college girls* are staying at the incredibly creepy Mr. and Mrs. Martin's for the night. Oh, and by creepy, I don't mean scary - I mean obviously-old-gay-guy-and-his-beard creepy. The Martin family appear to be an ordinary American family to everyone except the player. However, odd things have been occurring at this house. The five girls who previously stayed at the place had disappeared, like you do, so the "Sega Control Attack Team" is called upon to protect the new guests and find out what happened. Fans of acronyms will have just discovered the level of this article.

* the correct collective term is "a liketotally of college girls".

As the new wave of girls arrive for a slumber party (one of which is undercover SCAT agent Kelly, played by Dana Plato - the most expensive actor video games could afford at the time), and the vampiric "Auger" begin to invade the house. The player then triggers several bizarre traps scattered across the house. These traps throw up a cage, or open up a floor or whatever, and the vampires get zapped with a combination of dry ice and bad miming. As the game progresses, it turns out the old gay guy and his beard are vampires too. Shocked? You shouldn't be.

It's only now, looking back, that it becomes painfully obvious that the premise requires a massive leap of faith. So, there's this vampire family who make the Cullens look dangerous, and they keep inviting gaggles of cliched high school girls to crash out at their house, presumably with the intention of feeding them to the Augers. Their house is then fitted out with an array of hidden traps with the intention of kidnapping and destroying the Augers - so are they friends with them or not? In addition, this trap system can a) be hacked by just any-old-body and b) with a Mega-Drive controller.

The game consisted of a view of your command console. Down the bottom there were a choice of eight different rooms where the cameras were situated. You flicked between the cameras, either picking up on the plot developments taking place, or waiting for some Augers to come bumbling along, at which point you'd press the B button, and you'd be treated to footage of them stumbling (ie. definitely not intentionally walking) into your trap!

The main flaw with the game was that you either had the choice of a) watching the girls, and understanding whatever it was the writer thought he was doing when he threw this together, or b) hanging around, watching static shots of corridors and parked cars in case some Augers came along. You may think that this means that the plot was mere window-dressing, and that you could concentrate on going Snipes on some vampire-arse. Unfortunately, not. Every now and again the characters would "change the access codes". This meant that the password to control the traps was changed. If you didn't hear when they changed the code, then you were screwed, and could only stand by with, if not despair, then at least schadenfreude, as the vampires acted badly around some twenty something girls.

This had the side effect of the only true way of winning the game was through trial and error. You would have to make a list of all the places you had to be and at what time in order to progress through the game. We may not expect to be able to beat a computer game at our first go on it, but we'd like to believe that there is at least a slight possibility.

Of course, if you reached so far into the game, the biggest challenge came in surviving this scene. I always died around the 1:16 section:

Well, I say "died". What I actually mean is that by this point, I had usually slammed the power switch on the Mega-Drive to "Off", and booted this up instead.


  1. 'Oh, and by creepy, I don't mean scary - I mean obviously-old-gay-guy-and-his-beard creepy.'

    --- Oh, you mean Gandalf/Dumbledore creepy? Brrr...

  2. Pretty sure by "obviously-old-gay-guy-and-his-beard creepy." he meant beard as in not as in Gandalf/Dumbledore and actual facial hair.

  3. SCAT Agent Kelly.. dead spit for Chris Morris in one of his many roles.. perhaps as SCAT Agent Kelly

  4. sorry scrap the above comment..... i mean Commander Sims.. the bloke at the beginning.. *points*

  5. Yes, I realise that 'Anonymous'. What I did, you see, was take what Brad originally said and used the word ironically for humorous effect.

    It's called a pun, or play on words.

    It's nice that they let you have Internet access at the Home For the Irony-Challenged, though.

  6. TO be fair, Paul, if I didn't know you personally and couldn't hear your tone of voice in my head whilst reading it, I would have come to the same conclusion.

    Let's all just be happy what "Beard" has a Wikipedia article.

  7. Since when are you in the business of defending moronic/patronising comments from pillocks who can't even be bothered to put their names to what they've said? Don't tell me you're THAT bothered about your hit count that you'd rather piss off your mates than scare away the odd troll? Jesus wept...

    Good job you keep me supplied with hard drugs and oral sex, or I'd be seriously worried about our friendship!

  8. You know, I walked away to do something else and got a sinking feeling in my stomach that this could get ugly, so I'm back to be serious for a moment (yes, folks, I CAN be serious... I just don't choose to be very often) and break this minor genital wart on the penis of blogging down into its component atoms for the sake of clarity and not hurting anyone's feelings more than they actually deserve to be hurt. A few points:

    1. For my original comment NOT to have been ironic, I would have to be some kind of congenital idiot who was totally incapable of working out what Brad meant by the word 'beard' from the context.

    2. I am clearly NOT such an idiot, and I think it is (a) stupid, and (b) actually rather rude to assume somebody is an idiot without evidence. 'Anonymous' was guilty of this rudeness. Tsk-tsk.

    3. It bugs me when people don't sign their comments on the Internet. Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't want people to have to show their full name, address and National Insurance number on their posts, but anonymous commenting, I think, is quite rude as well, so I was feeling ungenerous towards good old 'Anonymous' for that reason. This lead to my response to his comment sounding a little harsher than I perhaps originally intended. Even so, I was only rude via the art of comedy, which is the raison d'etre (or at least part of the raison d'etre) of this site. That deals with my original response to 'Anonymous'. I'm sure he or she is a lovely chap or chappette who just didn't think his comment through properly (rather than somebody who always likes to assume the worst of his fellow human beings and treats them all with a large, soggy dose of patronisation on general principles) and I wish him or her no harm.

    4. To move on to Brad's reply to my reply: while Brad qualified his statement with 'if I didn't know you personally', he still put himself in the 'automatically assume the original poster is so stupid they can't work out the meaning of a word from the context' camp by saying that if he DIDN'T know better, he would have assumed that to be the case. Naughty, naughty, Brad: you mustn't be so harsh to your fellow carbon-based lifeforms in future.

    5. To move onto my original reply to Brad's reply (this may be getting confusing, but I'm sure you can follow it if you try... look! I'M being patronising now! It's so easy to slip into, isn't it?): Brad and I have been best friends for a very long time now and it is clearly established that we hate each other. That's just the way it is and Brad and I wouldn't have it any other way. I can understand how this might seem confusing to anybody who doesn't know us personally, but now I've illuminated the issue, it shouldn't cause anybody any further misunderstandings.

    6. How bored am I that I am bothering to write this? Very.

    7. A small addendum just for Brad: I hate you.

    8. I know Rob is on holiday from E14 this week, but just in case he reads this when he gets back and feels left out: Rob, I hate you too. Now get back to work, you CSI-obsessed slacker!

    9. To sum up: It was all a big misunderstanding brought about by people's general lack of charity towards their fellow humans and I love you all really. Even the ones I hate.

    10. I don't seem to be capable of being serious even when I try to. Bugger.

  9. Robocop vs Terminator was a brilliant game you I had hitherto totally forgotten about, wish I still had my old consoles :(