Universally panned in every review I've ever read, I felt undeterred and searched eBay for this coveted treasure.
In Samuel Beckett's frankly fucking depressing masterpiece "Waiting For Godot", the hopeless central charatcers, Estragon and Pozzo, trapped in a hostile limbo-like wasteland, resort to insulting each other... After exchanging swearwords, profanities and a variety of scathing comments about each other, the ultimate insult to be levelled is "CRITIC!"
"Yer fecking big CRITIC!!"
This was Beckett's way of replying to those who had poured scorn over his writing, because they had not 'got it', and often were so puffed up with their own smug sense of self worth, that they had missed the point of the work they were reviewing.
"Father Krishna!" I hear you cry "What the fuck is this? Some poncey, Open University, literary analysis, or a shitting games review for fucks sake?" (Ahem!) and to you I say, "Calm down oh reader...I'm getting to the point..."
It's the same with games reviewers.
Frankly I think a lot of games reviewers and 'experts' are:
a.) Up their own arse
b.) Overly critical of the genre
c.) Trying to score points with their smug sense of self satisfaction
d.) Very much in need of a good shag/An excursion away from their consoles and into the real fucking world....
The game is a Light Gun game for fucks sake! A port of an arcade blaster! A mindless 'shoot'em up'! A lovely psychedelic slaughterfest, with a thinly veiled plot... there's no need to 'wax lyrical' about the finer points of frame rates, the subtelties of pixellation, the nuances of character or the profundities of the moral lessons learned throughout it's sub-plot...
Before I get any further on with my my soap box rant let's look at the (admittedly) poo storyline...
(This is the blurb off the back of the box...)
'July 29, 2010. The beautiful city of Saronica is destroyed by the mysterious SMO. Agents, known as Subliminers, are placed throughout the city to opress the populace. Survivors form the Resistance and fiercely engage SMO forces in battle. The Resistance is led by the elusive Lily, who also makes a mean dish of macaroni and cheese. (I kid you fucking not... FK)
Segue to Agent Kou Yanami, tortured with doubt over his employer's policies. he seizes two pistols from SMO's arsenal and joins the Resistance forces.His pistols are the Crimson, ancient super weapons,. lily attempts to shelter Kou, from his dogged pursuers but in turn falls prey to SMO. Now, Kou Yanami and Lily's daughter, Yuri, set out to free her... and blow away any SMO Subliminers who get in their way...'
So there you have it! Not fucking revolutionary, but not that much inferior to the plot line of HOTD 2 for example... Let's not forget, the game is about blowing away monsters, skeletons, zombies, robots and hulkng behemoths wielding swords... How much plot do you need? Did Asteroids need a plot ? (A lone ship in a barren Universe... Astronauts Chad Thwackerman and his latent homosexual lieutenant , Charles Blanchefort suddenly discover they are facing a hail of meteoric appocalypse... ) PUR-LEASE!
Similarly, the use of text representation of character's speech, rather than spoken word? Is that a massive problem?
Did HOTD2 scour the acting world for the cream of vocal excellence...HELL NO! Did bad voice acting affect the game? NO!
The graphics, whilst not the best, are vividly colourful and imaginative. The game has a good variety of villains to plug away at. Like HOTD2 and Virtua Cop, there are innocent civillians to avoid, weapon upgrades and 'life-ups' to discover. At the end of the level there are Bosses to defeat (one with a blob of shite on the end of his sabre - known as (LOL) "The Sword Of Stink"!
The one problem I have with the game is a minor one and I'm coming to terms with it quickly.
The shooting method is totally different to Virtua Cop, HOTD2 or Confidential Mission.
On my screen (though not on the video on the IGN link below) there is a moveable target. You use the D pad on the gun to aim it at your adverasies. Reloading is acheived with the a press of the B button, which means having to use both hands whilst firing... ho hum!
There are a number of modes in which to play the game, Mission Mode, Story Mode and Bullet Mode, the latter involving slaying your many faceted foes, with the minimum amount of ammo...
I managed in two attempts on 'easy' option on Story Mode to clear two stages, earning me a place on the leader board, and got to input my initials. Go me! Longevity of gameplay is not an issue for me, I like the odd game that I can just pick up and play, revisit when I want to and leave if I want... This little baby fits the bill. I won't play it to death, won't obsess about completion, or feel that I've been undersold as a result. The only two Dreamcast games which have had me hooked in that respect are Shenmue 1 & 2 and Soul Calibur (Mission Mode). As a devoted family man (!) I simply haven't the time to devote lots of hours to gameplay, so a half hour of blasting away at monsters, or a quick spin in a Crazy Taxi, are the sought of things that can provide a short burst of escapism. Plus I have too many games which I've bought and never played meaning I can discover a 'new' hidden gem at any time!
So, all in all Death Crimson OX is a winner for me.... 'it does what it says on the tin' ...it delivers the goods... And I'll award it a generous 7.5/10 for overall gameplay!
However if you want to read harsher reviews (and also look at some great CD-OX video) you can do so here, here and here. For all the boring specs and details you can look here...
And remember people the best review a game can get is the one you give it... If you are unsure of a current game rent it... A duff retro purchase can always be traded at your local Gamestation for something you like better.
Oh and BTW I've just found out that Death Crimson OX is the favourite game of alcoholic flange flasher Lindsay Lohan! Who'd a thunk it!?
Good night dear children wherever you are...