Review by clarkisdark

Reviewed: 04/06/06

Starsky & Ouch!

There's something about a $2 price tag that really grabs my attention. Perhaps it's the fact that it's a $2 price tag! And for that, I'll buy any video game. I would even buy Elf Bowling for $2, because that's money I'd spend on a package of Great Value cookies anyway (which aren't that good and are filled with fat). But there are those times when even $2 feels like a big rip-off, and that's exactly my take on this impulse buy of Starsky & Hutch for the Game Boy Advance.

The first problem with this game--and trust me, it's a big one--is its visual presentation. 3D racers on the GBA rarely look good, but even Stuntman, a game I completely tore apart, looks better than this. Starsky & Hutch plays like one of those really shoddy NES racing games. It comes complete with serious pop-up issues and objects that float around on the screen in such a way it's hard to tell where, exactly, they are. Playing this game makes me sick. And I'm not saying that as a "hardcore gamer," either. I'm saying it really makes me sick. Ten minutes of this vibrantly grainy material, and I can't eat.

But like all those old NES games, we somehow found a tolerance for their bad graphics and learned to love them (and still do, in some cases). However, Starsky & Hutch really doesn't make up for its other shortcomings. Underneath that coating is a boring game. Each "mission" times you to do some menial task, like drive to the gas station or chase the bad guys around town or disarm all the bombs (by running them over? uh... okay). Now I don't need very much to enjoy a game, and objectives like this could be fun under the right conditions (such as some Burnout-like carnage). But Starsky & Hutch isn't fun.

Along with the terrible graphics, this game is hard to get into, because it plays so horribly. The controls are so sloppy, it feels like you're driving a broken bumper car. Such over-responsiveness makes it nearly impossible to turn without spinning around in a full circle. And because the graphics are as they are, it's difficult to see a turn until you're right on it. There's really no way to anticipate it. You have to learn how to recover quickly from every wreck-- or just give up. I'd say just give up.

Starsky & Hutch is a bad game. It wasn't worth $30 when it first came out, and it isn't worth $2 now. I may just be overreacting now that I've been spoiled by Nintendo DS games, but Starsky & Hutch really has nothing going for it. The graphics make me nauseous, and the controls are frustrating. The mission objectives could have been fun in a slicker package, but here, they are just painful. The whole thing is painful. Stay away. If you see a bargain bin filled with copies of this game, burn them all. You'd probably go to jail afterwards, but it'd be worth it.

-- Sickening graphics
-- Terrible controls
-- Not very exciting
-- Not very good, period

Score: 1/10

Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

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