Review by Pegboy

"It, well, lacked a few things.........."

While I was browsing my local video game store's NES selections, I happened to chance upon the title California Games. I remember thinking, ''Why not give it a shot''. To bad I moved away before I could return it. I don't mean to just dis the game like that, but it really is pretty pathetic. Let me explain:

Graphics: 4/10

Even for it's time, the game's graphics were just dull. The absolute lack of detail was enough to make you want to turn it off. I don't know how to explain it, maybe, repetitive is the word I'm looking for. There was never a real change in the stage scenery, for example, the SURFING mode of the game, nothing ever changed except for when the wave caught up to you.

Sound: 5/10

The music was sort of tinny in my opinion, but was probably the best part of the game, although it wasn't all that good. Sound effects were limited and boring. They didn't sound real.

Controls: 2/10

It really doesn't deserve a 2 for several reasons. First of all they were just plain awful, but also because of the fact that there is NO control in the HALF PIPE mode, I mean absolutely none. I honestly do not believe that there is no way to control the person, there's probably not even a guide to tell you how. Looking at other mode controls, it was hard to get movements correct, like the timing was late or something.

Gameplay: 2/10

It just didn't keep me interested. There is no point to the game, such as a championship, and it gets boring very quickly. But, two things that remotely entertained me were the BMX and SKATE modes. In BMX, you start on a set course filled with obstacles and try to finish as fast as you can. SKATE mode may or may not end, I'm not sure (I never made it anyway), but I played it only to see the different things on the sidewalk as you advance through the course. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Replay Value: 1/10

It doesn't make you really want to come back to it again.

It could serve as a friend repellent, though, if you know what I mean.... ''Hey guys, wanna play California Games?'' (Everyone but you exits)

Overall: 2/10

It lacked the quality that many other NES games had and it is generally overshadowed by all of the other greats and classics that the NES has. IMO, you shouldn't waste time with this game, but if you absolutely had to see for yourself, go with a rental.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/02, Updated 11/26/02


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