I have played some truly terrible games since I first picked up a controller. Sometimes a game isn't really awful so much as it’s a disappointment. While not “bad” per say they just fail to live up to my sometimes unreasonably high expectations. These games usually promise to introduce interesting new game mechanics, have a unique setting, or simply be based on one of my favorite franchises. One of many such games is Evil Dead: Hail to the King for the Dreamcast.
Evil Dead: Hail to the King is a survival horror game that takes place eight years after Army of Darkness. Now before you start questioning how this could possibly happen because of how the last film ended you need to know that the game assumes the original theatrical ending is the one that really happened, not the Directors Cut version. You control ash as he hacks, chops, and shoots various deadites and other demons. Should be the ultimate game right? Unfortunately, it is far from perfect.
Even as a group of poorly textured polygons Bruce Campbell is a badass.
The main issue lies in the controls, which are like a slower version of Resident Evil. Combat is very stiff, which is made more frustrating by the fact that enemies often swarms you and respawn quickly. The graphics are far from pretty, models are blocky and texture resolution is low. This can make finding items difficult, there are also plenty of moments where you have to walk around a room mashing the search button until you find the necessary item to continue. Baby, you got real ugly.
On the positive side the story is pretty good for a licensed game. The music and sound design is also very nice, successfully setting the mood. Most importantly, the humor that you would normally expect from the Evil Dead franchise is fully intact. Bruce Campbell provides the voice for Ash and delivers the one-liners and other humorous quips that make Ash such a great character. My favorite part of the game is in the Aqueducts, which has a large metal door that is kept locked by a ridiculously complicated puzzle. After looking it over and giving the player an extremely detailed description of how to solve it Ash simply pulls out his shotgun, blasts the puzzle and strolls through the door.
Showdown at The Bad Texture Towers.
In the end it comes down to clunky controls and inferior visuals versus decent writing and great voice work for Bruce Campbell. Unfortunately the bad aspects outweigh the good and you’re left with a below average Resident Evil clone. Not a terrible game, but if you were looking forward to it like I was, it’s a huge letdown. I ask you though how can a game with such an awesome commercial possibly be a disappointment?
Greatest commercial ever:
The game’s intro:
Writing about a game that I don’t absolutely despise almost makes me want to take it a step farther and start writing about games I actually like. Especially games that it seems like only I enjoy, like Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. It would be a great opportunity to give some games, which I feel are underrated, some long overdue time in the spotlight. Or I could just start writing about DOS games again, whatever’s easier.
Other games that I regret:
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