So I had been going along working on a review for Rabbit Wants Cake, minding my own business, when, out of no where, brawny, cyborg-esque men in rainbow suits invaded my Kongregate homepage, boasting the chance to win an Xbox as well as The Bigs 2. Really, I've never won anything in my entire life, so I didn't think twice about it and went on playing Rabbit Wants Cake. These flamboyant meat heads weren't pleased. They gave me wet willies, tied me up at recess, and threatened to take me to Principal Stuffedshirt's office if I didn't play ball with them. Thinking of the horrific entendres of the phrase "Play Ball", I was at wits end and had no choice.
I don't remember much about playing Crunchball 3K (By DJStatika) but this is merely a mental trigger caused by whiting out periods of sheer terror from my memory. When I came to, after playing for a few rounds, I woke up with this terrible taste in the back of my throat and the inability to speak English, probably from all the teeth being knocked out and internal brain bleeding. So what exactly made this game so bad? Well, in all honesty, I think a better question would be "What does this game do right?".
Gameplay: 1.5/5 When you first start up Crunchball, you get to do some really fun things, actually. First, you get to name all the players in your team. If you look closely at my screenshot, I named my forward Trent ActionMandible. You also get to choose their individual stats and their team colours, as well as the formation they used in game. This drew me into the game a bit. I couldn't wait to run around a field with guys named Big McLargeHuge and Beef Thighmaster. Unfortunately, they lived up to every expectation I set forth for them and their really comical names. When you pick a formation for your team, first off, they should really warn you that you're really just picking a starting formation. After the initial scramble, your team will be about as organized as a bunch of toddlers on crack and espresso. I guess that's not even a direct metaphor because your entire team lunkers around like they have untied shoes and head trauma. What I really enjoyed was the fact that both teams had goalies with ADD. I could've sworn they were both off picking posies in the locker room as I scored goal after goal, or was being annihilated by the other team. I've also got a huge bone to pick with the rules of this game, but I'll talk about that in the Difficulty section. After you win a round, you get to "Upgrade" your team. There's better boots and weight training to get your team supposedly running faster or passing better. I didn't notice any difference at all from the upgrades. And what's this? If you don't feel sick enough from playing this game, you can use steroids or bribe your opponent. Oh goody! Sports simply aren't sports without chemical enhancement or tossing money around. Never forget that, kids.
Visual: 3/5 Sadly, this is the game's best feature. Maybe you were lucky enough to have one of these things, but Crunchball 3K reminds me of one of those old electric hockey tables from the eighties. You know, the one you had to put about sixty D size batteries into to set it up, and even then it worked like they were only half charged. The characters look like they're cut from scrap cardboard off of a Lucky Charms box (Not to mention that they all look identical), and the lines on the field represented the grooves on that hockey table more than an actual grid. Not that, you know... You actually needed a grid. However, the menus looked nice and were pretty workable. That's why this is such a good stat. As far as visuals go though, I have a hard time addressing lag. Some people have been getting serious lag issues and I can't imagine that making any sports game look pretty.
Audio: 2/5 The opening and menu screens had this great loop that kept reminding me what game I was playing. After hearing "Crunchball Three Thousand" spoken to me endlessly, I rejoiced at the mute feature. The in game music was just as dull and repetitive too. As far as sound effects go, you get this pretty dull "Ooof" noise every time you deck a player in the back of the head. Seeing as how they were dressed, I was expecting "That tickles!~" to come out of the mouth of every player on the opposing teams. Also, is the ball metal? It made this "Clang" noise every time it collided with a wall. No wonder these players have brain damage. If this is what future sports are going to be like, I say we take action now to save the heads of our children.
Difficulty: 1.5/5 Ah, okay, I want to make this clear right now: This game has no rules. There's no goalie's box, meaning that you can stand right next to the goal and shoot, making it ludicrously easy to win, or horrendously hard to defend yourself. Secondly, you can break the spines of players not holding the ball. Angry at how bad this game is? Go take your frustration out on Dean Johnson of the Hell's Rainbow's team until he gives you his lunch money. I swear no one will care, trust me. Finally, the AI is a serious train wreck. It seems like your opponents are being coached by Tom Landry himself and have the tact of a thousand General Tzo's, whereas your team's smartest AI player has the IQ of a cup of Cream of Broccoli soup. So really, it's you versus a bunch of lunk heads that can stop you at a moment's notice and could probably bash your skull in with the ball without the slightest reprimand.
Overall: 2/5 Hit the showers, Crunchball. And make sure you use extra soap. This game would be a heck of a lot better with some finer tuned AI, better looking character sprites, and some sort of rule system. I can't stand sports games that are just like the Thunderdome. Except with Crunchball, it's Twenty men enter, no man leaves.
Ah, finally. Back to Rabbit Wants Cake.
Play Crunchball 3000
One final note: I didn't slam this game to get people to stop playing it so that my odds of winning the contest were better. I slammed it because it was a really, really bad game. Play your three career wins and get the hell out of there. Enough said.