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Article - 'A Look Back Part 4' by Rowain

An item about Humour posted on Aug 9, 2004


It's back! This time I pick on Cutthroat Island.


A Look Back Part 4
By Rowain

In case you haven't read my Look Back series before, it's basically a humorous look back at some terrible games and movies of our past. Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed henceforth are mine, and mine alone. If you are in any way offended, please disregard this article. If you disagree, please, feel free to tell me why. Thanks, and enjoy the article.

A Look Back: Episode 3

Cutthroat Island for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Published by Acclaim

This is one of those rare instances where words don't do justice. Speech is pointless and powerless in the face of gross incompetence. I can say someone is the biggest dumbass in the world. They may be and there might not be anyone who believes me. In the end, however, they will prove it themselves, without ever having had me say it.

Thankfully, Cutthroat Island is really faithful to this fact. I've played and endured some terrible games to bring you this series of articles. And I must endure another one to continue.

Cutthroat Island (henceforth refered to as CTI) started out innocently enough. It opens with some cheesy scrolling text about pirates, while you are flashed with the view of a smudged ocean, and some guy on a rock with the wind blowing. It was on par with many cartoons of the 90's, which gave me SOME hope for this game.

Misplaced hope. The second after I chose Start Game, all my dreams of a decent game went down the shitter. I'll be blunt: the most enthralling thing about CTI is the ability to choose one ambiguously garbed pirate over another. One guy is wearing an unlaced white blouse. The other one is black and is wearing an unlaced black blouse. Both are exactly the same; it's more of a empowerment issue. Much like the modern office, CTI allows people to feel like they matter, even when they don't.

Not that anything can help this game. The basic premise is something about pirates and treasure, but it really boils down to slash, jump, slash, run, slash, die. The combat is so lame and repetetive that I'm surprised none of the inanimate onlookers fell asleep. Then again, they could have just been sleeping standing up, like horses. But I doubt that, I really do.

The graphics aren't much better. In stills, they look like cartoony renders of the movie that this is based on. In action, they become featureless blobs that bounce around in a formless, shapeless blob fashion. The swashbuckling action turns into one blob mindlessly and helplessly flopping around at two or three other blobs. It made me want to cry. That isn't good.

The music is terrible. It sounds like a cat trying to make a midi by screeching into one of those Yak Bak things from the 90's. Which it could have been. The sound effects are on par with the music - hitting a foe while he's blocking results in the same noise as hitting a foe when he's parrying, the difference being flesh and steel. Yes, some of the enemies are pretty buff looking, but I don't think slicing them directly in the arm would really make a loud metallic sound. Yeah, it's retarded.

The story? What story? Pirates, bad guy, swords, treasure. They are all connected somehow. Every character is a walking advertisment for gay rights.

Between the tight pants and unlaced blouses, I found myself questioning whether I was supposed to be aroused or disgusted. I chose the latter, and my sentiments spread to the entire game.

I could keep going. The levels are broken up into never-ending hack and slash battles, with cardboard civilians in the background, frozen in a cheering position. Every now and then you get a few sentences of text explaining why you're killing more faceless bandits and muscle guys, but the message is usually "go here, get this." Whoo!

Did I talk about the minecart levels? No? Well.. there's minecart levels. Yeah...

Here, some screens.

Here we see the titlescreen. Luckily, I played Captain Novolin before this, so I was only repulsed instead of violently ill.

Apparently, one of these fruits is a woman. Good, because I was starting to feel weird about jacking off to a man.

Not visible in this scene: the guy on the left is having some sort of excrutiating abdominal contraction. Or he's breathing. P.S: was I supposed to care if they got the treasure?

This screen speaks for itself. I nicknamed it "Jewish Monkey Race".


OK. I'm done. See you next week.