Review by Rick L
"Like a face-slapping, blood-curdling scream."
Yeah, so I decide to be a glutton of puishment and review some of the old stuff again after having written the reviews for it oh-so-long ago seeing as how I was an immature idiot under the influence of Seanbaby and wanting to bash games for the hell of it.
So now we decide to get back to Home Alone by THQ. The game is basically based on the movie, and if you haven't seen the movie, then I absolutely wonder what kind of rock you've been living in. And it's only natural that games based on movies aren't usually all that great back in this era, and THQ just goes and runs their games through a pile of manure a few times before they put them out on the market or do something to make the game strange and suck-tastic.
Now the premise of the game is a little iffy, but it does follow the high point of the movie. Kevin has to keep the burglars, Harry and Marv, at bay until the authorities arrive. You have twenty minutes to do so. Simple, yes? Well the first problem is that it's twenty real time minutes. These aren't game minutes that tick by like in Super Mario Bros, and thankfully this game doesn't go in Double Dragon timer units. So you do this in Kevin's house since they're the ones trying to break into your house/get you, since you went and made them angry with doing stupid stuff.
While we're on the subject of Kevin's house, the house doesn't really look all that bad. Graphically, there's a lot of areas that look pretty good. However, there's a lot of bright, plain colors which just don't work in a video game house, and would certainly never fly in a real one. Secondly, the characters for Kevin, Harry, and Marv just do not work. I don't recall Kevin wearing some kind of a white shirt, and just when did Harry ever wear red pants and a red long-sleeve shirt, and Marv with the same thing, only green? First of all, it's Christmas. It's freaking cold out there. I know Harry and Marv aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but they actually wear warm clothing in the winter! Secondly, are these even Harry and Marv that you're trying to run from? Seriously, the only way you could recognize them as such is by knowing that Harry is short and Marv is about the height of a Christmas Tree. Marv does have a beard and such, but still, these guys just look like a couple of generic oafs chasing a half-generic Kevin around a half-generic house.
So now you have your gameplay. You'll be hearing the same thirty-second song looping over and over again, so that will be the first thing to make you lose your sanity. The one thing you'll also immediately notice is that Kevin is slow as dirt. You get to make him tip-toe or do some kind of psuedo-Monty Python silly walk all around the place as you get chased around the house by "Harry" and "Marv". The second thing you'll also immediately notice is that "Harry" and "Marv" are ridiculously fast. You'd think they downed about five thermoses full of coffee and ate a dozen candy bars before they even decided to go after Kevin. Now for this game, this just does not work the slightest. It's just way too easy to be caught by the super-powered buffoons and I guarantee the first time you play this, you'll be lucky to survive for a minute and a half. It gets worse when you're on the stairs because the stairs cut Kevin's speed in half. The burglars have no trouble homing in right towards you and just catch you this way. And to help things in this game even more, as soon as Harry and Marv see you, they get even FASTER and practically go "Geronimo!!" right towards Kevin, leaving you no chance in hell to escape. Kevin's house also has a lot of dead-ends. You see where this is leading, yes? One bad path choice and Kevin will be slapping his face faster than if he had a swarm of bees trying to sting his face all to hell.
Lucky for you, there's traps to thwart the burglars! At least for a moment or two. They all work the same way. There's no creative spider trap to crawl on their face and suck their brains out, no marbles to go throwing at them, no plastic explosives to blow them to Kingdom Come, no. All the traps in the game are represented by squares which "Harry" and "Marv" just touch, turn toward you, and fall like a couple of loonies. Even the sounds of seeing birds on a cartoon is represented while they perform something like temporary nap time. It doesn't matter what the trap is, or if they'd even go falling down by a logical sense if it were used on them. They still trip and fall.
So basically, this is all you'll be doing for twenty minutes, if you can even live that long in the game. Most of the time you'll just be getting caught within two or three minutes, then getting to see the "Oh no!" screen, then going back to the beginning. You'll question why you can't just run out to the neighbor's house and call the cops or ask someone to whap them with a shovel or something, but no. The only other house you get to go to is Kevin's tree house.
Now, after playing this game again, I learned a few things.
I first learned that burglars are some of the fastest creatures on earth. Outdone by cheetas and anything that can run wickedly fast. Whatever their secret is, it should've been given to Kevin because the kid should be faster than the adult, not the other way around. I also learned that all dangerous things are block-shaped.
So when it comes to Home Alone, I think I'd rather get some friends over instead. Getting burlgarlized is more fun than this repetitive piece of garbage and if you actually see the burglars, you don't have to put blocks on the floor to thwart them. You can actually pull out some Kung-Fu. But if they catch you, they'll probably do more than look at you with a dumb expression and you slap your face and scream like Kevin.
Rick Rating: Like when I'm asked Coke or Pepsi, I say "No.", and you should do the same.
Date of first review: 4/18/2002
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/18/02, Updated 01/02/06
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