In video games, you mostly play as the good guy, and though I know there are a few exceptions, most of the time if you play A bad guy, you’re not THE bad guy. Take Manhunt for example: though you murder people, you are taking down someone who does much worse, so it could be argued you’re still “the good guy”. There are also games like Mortal Kombat where you can chose a bad guy, Sonic Adventure 2 that had a bad campaign or any number of games with a morality system. But naming a game series where you unambiguously play as the villain is doable in two syllables: Rampage. So for the first review of this October, let’s start off with the latest in this monster mash of a series, Rampage: Total Destruction available for the GameCube and PS2, but I’ll be playing the Nintendo Wii version.
Rampage is a series where you play as giant, Godzilla-esque monsters to destroy cities. You can climb up buildings, hit them, jump on them, whatever. And you get more points the more destruction you cause. However there will be policemen, SWAT members and other people shooting at you (they’re hard to notice sometimes, but the damage does add up). This game adds new elements (such as the Rampage meter) but the series hasn’t changed much at its core. Simple? Yes. Fun and satisfying? Oh yeah!
New to this game (I believe) are the missions, power ups and unloackable content. The missions are optional tasks (such as “eat X amount of skaters”) which you can do for either extra points or a power up. The power ups are abilities that your monster can learn. Note: you’ll need to earn it for each monster (something to keep in mind, since they have unique stats). For unlockable content, what could be better than more monsters? Some are really cool, like the Shark or Bull mutations, while others are simply hilarious, such as the Poodle or Worm. By the way, the Wii version has the most creatures.
Of course, talking about the Wii, I always feel the need to mention the controls. Despite being a really simple game, you HAVE to play with the Wii-mote nun-chuck (you can’t even use a GameCube controller, despite there being a version for it). You also need to shake the Wii-mote for some actions that could have been assigned to a button. It’s a minor complain, but I would have just liked the option.
On the issue of the graphics and audio, this game is nothing special. The GameCube and Wii versions look quite similar, so I don’t think they put effort into upgrading the graphics. That being said, the look is still pretty smooth, but some textures look flat. The frame rate isn’t that bad either.
The audio… is kind of lame. The music is nothing much, but it’s good destruction music worthy of an action movie based on the same subject. The sound effects are very “stock” and sometimes goofy, but the common ones do their job. But I think my biggest issue is the voice clips: every now and then a random citizen will pipe up and give us a line. But there are too few, so it becomes annoying to hear some of them over and over again, and some are just hack jokes.
Rampage Total Destruction is not the deepest game ever made, both in terms of gameplay and story (just something about pop turning people into the monsters, but who cares?) and it feels kind of like a budget title (I’m not sure if it was or not). However, Rampage: Total Destruction supplies one thing a lot of people are looking for in a video game: stress relief. After a hard day’s work, what can relieve the tension better than turning into a giant Lizard and leveling half of San Francisco? It’s also kind of game that a gamer of any skill level can play, and with the multiplayer, it works well if you’re having a Halloween party and just want to goof around with friends. I also need to mention that the two first Rampage games are included on the disk, so if you’re a fan in general, this might be worth picking up just for those. The game is pretty shallow, it can be annoying with its bad jokes and farts and if you play one person, you might get bored of it quickly, but when you’re in the mood to just smash something, this is the title you should be reaching for.
I give Rampage Total Destruction 6.5 levels out of 10.