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SummaryFun, but overall disappointing. "Do U", huh huh huh
The GoodThis game is a sort-of-semi-sequel to Viacom’s 1995 release ‘Virtual Stupidity’. I say “sort of”, because it’s developed by a different company with a slightly different engine and such, but the overall game-play and design is pretty much identical.
While Virtual Stupidity is technically a different entity game-wise, the overall design is so similar that it’s impossible not to draw comparisons between the two. “Do U”s premise has potential – the disgusting duo go on a school field trip to the local College, planning to “score with College sluts”; and must get eight sign-off marks to show they’ve completed tasks in various parts of the College in order to go to a College party (where, they hope, “the College sluts” will be).
The game on the whole is well drawn and animated, and generally captures the character’s looks much better than in Virtual Springfield, where they didn’t quite look right in places. Here they are drawn slightly bigger, which helps, and overall they resemble their TV images better.
The backgrounds are well drawn, and moving between most of the locations, the player is treated to some nice looking (if rather pointless) first person 3-D animated sequences (entering / exiting the room, etc).
As with the TV cartoon, creator Mike Judge voices both of the disgusting duo, their teacher Mr Van Driessen, and several of the other characters (which is just as well, as the game would be pointless if someone else voiced them). Also, there’s the inclusion of Stewart, the kid who idolises B&B no matter how much they bully him, who was the only main regular character from the TV show not to appear in VS.
There are some genuinely funny moments, and it’s always amusing to hear the meddling moron’s inane comments if nothing else (“Dammit, I really thought we were gonna score this time, I really did”).
[Slight spoiler] The paintball shoot-out towards the very end of the game is great fun (and again, well animated), but more would have been nice, and after a game that rather lacks in things to do (see under Bad), it is kind of too little too late.
The conclusion of the game is amusing, wrapping things up well, and would feel right at home in one of the TV episodes.
The BadWell, after a promising start to the game, things at times begin to get a little dull.
One of the main let-downs is that there are too few many characters. There are some excellent characters in the TV cartoon, and it’s a waste that more of them aren’t used in this game. Brainy student Daria (“Diarrhoea, cha-cha-cha”) is most the most noticeable absentee in the game’s setting; and any of the show’s numerous other re-occurring characters would have been welcome and livened things up a bit more.
After getting off to quite a good beginning, the story isn’t all that well paced, especially as the game progresses, being very much “find X object to get use with Y to get sign-off mark for that room”, and nothing much new really happening.
The last few stages of the adventure really begin to feel rather dragged out and uneven.
The majority of point-and-click adventure games are of a somewhat linear nature, but “Do U” really suffers from this, often just being a case of randomly trying to use objects in the right place until you find the right one.
The aforementioned paintball shootout, and a sequence hanging on to the back of a garbage truck, tipping out all the rubbish earlier in the game are the only real breaks from the game’s routine nature.
One of Virtual Stupidity’s merits was that it had variety, with several mini-games and various things to do. But even without comparing “Do U” to VS, things still feel sparse, and – especially given Beavis and Butt-head’s inane, daft destructive nature - there’s not nearly enough things for them to get up to and interact with.
Some adventure games are so absorbing that you just cant stop playing them; this one, on the other hand, I found better played in shorter bursts, as things can start to get a little boring if you play for too long at once.
Although the dialogue for the two dim-wits is great, I did notice that a number of the lines were reused in a number of places within the game, and a number of them have noticeably been “cut and spliced” to patch things here and there (especially noticeable after VS, where just about ever line of dialogue was specifically recorded, without need of editing).
Whilst the graphics are good (maybe even better than VS in many places), characters do look a little “sketchy” at times, especially as they move to the back of the screen, and the thick black lines they’re drawn in don’t help this.
Game engine-wise, the save system isn’t too hot. You get ten save slots, and it automatically saves with the room name, not letting you type your own title. This means that if you save game from two points within the same location, both save slots are given the same save name, which is particularly annoying when you later return to load where you left off playing from, as it doesn’t even default to the most recently saved game.
But worse still, it doesn’t really save you’re exact spot – when you resume playing a saved game, the duo re-enter the room, no matter where you saved them, so you often have to go through repeated dialogue and actions as a result.
Oh, one minor thing that didn’t feel right to me – when you are moving around locations, you are presented with an arrow marked with “exit” – even if you’re ENTERING a place. A small thing but it really felt wrong; a simple arrow that glowed on exits would have been more adequate.
The Bottom LineThis game has some funny moments, but – obviously – just how much the game will appeal to you much depends on how much you like the TV series in the first place.
“Do U” has some good points, but it’s not developed enough, and the lack of characters and variety of things to do strains things in places. There are some laughs to be had, but this one will only appeal to more hard-core Beavis and Butt-head fans.
I’m a big fan and enjoyed playing it, but if you haven’t played Virtual Stupidity, I definitely would choose that game over this one first – better produced, more satisfying, more variety, and more fun.