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Game Over Online ~ The Ripping Friends

GameOver Game Reviews - The Ripping Friends (c) THQ, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher The Ripping Friends (c) THQ
System Requirements Game Boy Advance
Overall Rating 40%
Date Published Wednesday, December 4th, 2002 at 06:11 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

The 'Ripping' part of this title is about beating people up. The 'Friends' part is about four guys from a television show who are beating people up. The 'The' part means this is a licensed game about four guys from a television show who are beating people up. However, upon playing the game without actually watching the show, I'm not sure if the game makes the show look bad or this is just a dreadfully poor translation of a good television show. Regardless of the above, this is a poorly constructed title that seems like a "rip-off" more than anything else.

You select one of four protagonists from The Ripping Friends cast and push or prod them along screen after screen beating up bad guys. I'm reminded by a Jackie Chan exposť on the different epochs of martial arts movies. This is one where people surround your protagonist as you gleefully pound each one into submission. Then after they fall down, they sometimes get back up as if the game ran out of graphical space to render new ones.

This happens ad infinitum, or more accurately, ad absurdum. Not only does this fighting title have poor controls, it also has simplistic controls. Now, if you think about it, how can a game have simple controls but also manage to be poorly implemented? That's because despite the game being simple in punching people (not more than a button or two), it has problems registering taps on the Game Boy Advance buttons. We're talking about one or two buttons together, like moving diagonally with a four-way direction pad. Let's not even talk about executing your one and only special move.

Throughout The Ripping Friends, you'll also find a few power-up weapons. Using a gun, for example, renders much of the game simpler but it also makes you more vulnerable as you're less agile toting a weapon. If you manage to avoid moving yourself into a crowd, though, you're well on your way to clearing this title in record time.

With only seven stages going, the developers are certainly pushing it when it comes to quantity of content. I wouldn't call any of it depth of content. That's where the mindless horde of enemies comes in. They effectively eat away time, prolong the levels and generally try to make your life difficult by testing your patience, rather than testing your eye-hand coordination skills. That they also keel over and spring back up is a plus for prolonging the game.

Understandably, many people will chastise me for being ostentatious about my expectations and demands from The Ripping Friends. They will say, for $29.99 US, you won't get much value out of a title. THQ has pushed out impressive titles before. They have a wonderful Sega license that they used to their advantage this past year. I'm just not sure why this was included in the lineup, because all things considered, it is a blemish.

The Ripping Friends could have worked if the television's humor actually made its way into the game. As it stands now, it sheds no light on what the television show is about. Of course, since I haven't ever seen the television show, maybe it was so vapid it actually had no substance. But in that case, why impose it on a game that is so utterly deficient, it needs that subject material to offset its insipidness.

People tend to treat handheld titles as timewasters. In the case of The Ripping Friends, it is a very good timewaster because not only does it waste my time, it also wastes yours, your friends if you choose to play multiplayer, and the developer and publisher as well. In retrospect, I find it is good at one thing. It's good at wasting time. After my critique, let me sincerely hope it won't be wasting yours.


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