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Scary Game vs. Pepsi Ranger
Scary Game
Download: 140 KB
Pepsi Ranger
Review # 11 for Pepsi Ranger
Them's Fightin' Words
    Normally, the format of reviewing a game may include giving a brief descripton of the story, but in this case, there isn't really a story to describe. Kyle, an eighteen year-old guy, who is still living under his parents' authority, really wants to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night, but can't because his parents won't let him. But, being the defiant eighteen year-old that he is, he decides to go trick-or-treating anyway. So, the game begins with Kyle finding one of four different costumes to wear, and then setting out to get as much candy as he can in under a half an hour. In the half hour time, he must play a multitude of mini-games to earn candy, and hide what he's got under his bed so that he can go out and fill his pockets with more. Of course, if he's still out in his costume when his parents get home...

Anyway, there isn't a story, so now to get on with the fun part of the review. This game is most definitely unique as far as RPG games go, but I guess that's because it isn't really an RPG. Instead, it comes off as something one might find on a game console back in the early 80s--with better graphics than the blocks from back then. To elaborate, this game utilizes the classic challenge that games of old used to have, which is to try to get the highest score possible. Obviously, points and RPGs don't go together like plugs and sockets, since the only challenge requirement an RPG has is to finish it, so the fact that this game relies on a point system is very refreshing, and adds replayability to boot. Add to that the ten or so different challenges for the "hero," and this game can pass off as one of the most creative games to be made from the OHR engine. For this reason alone, the game is a must play. Of course, this game has already reached high-popularity status, so most people have already played it. But, it's still worth another play. Not to mention the added plus that the game also allows the player to choose one of four different costumes, instead of just one, making it more than just a standard run-through-it kind of game--it makes it versatile. The only thing I hope the authors would do differently for an update (if it's ever updated), would be to allow Kyle to go out as himself, and see what kind of response he gets. Otherwise, very clever.

Even though this game does not need a story, one of the things I found most disappointing from the near beginning is that there isn't any other trick-or-treaters to interact with. When I first saw the chain of ghosts hovering around the lower-left corner of the neighborhood, I thought I could talk to them, or at least mug them for their candy, but I couldn't do any of that. Instead, they would just go through me. In fact, the only other people that I found in the game were the kids that had to be frightened for their candy in Scary Guy's special game, and the old guy that Kyle stealthily eggs, who happens to be carrying candy, even though he hates kids. I guess other people can be interpreted as being present whenever Kyle talks to somebody through their door, but it's just not the same when all they want to do is sell him stuff, save his game, or tell him he already visited their house. Even though the game is good as it is, it really needs more substance if it's to be awesome. But, even if it does not receive any kind of update, now or in the future, all the mini-games (each with some clever plotscripting) keep it a worthy download and one worth holding onto. However, I would still like to see this game shine as something more than a holiday game that people will break out for the season. I would like to see multiple neighborhoods, wussy trick-or-treaters, thirty year-old bullies, ghosts with some kind of psychological complex, and mini-quests that go deeper than the basic plotscripting games to name a few additions. It really doesn't matter what's added, as long as there's more. Without the other characters, this game feels l onely. Actually, the lack of details inside Kyle's house and out in the neighborhood make it lonely too. Maybe that's why it's scary...nah, probably not. Whatever additions are made would be most welcome, and I certainly hope that some or many will be made. Otherwise, the game is quite impressive.
Final Scores
Graphics: 6.5/10.0
Graphics are mostly irrelevant for a game like this, but it still manages to deliver something good. It's nothing special so-to-speak, which is ironic for a game about candy, in that it's not quite on the level of featuring candy for the eyes. But, the characters and settings are discernable, and the few details it offers are fairly well rendered, so the graphics can be considered to be pretty good.
Storyline: 3/10.0
The storyline is about as thick as Pac-Man's, but it follows through the game completely, so it's still good. More would be nice, but it's not at all necessary.
Gameplay: 5/10.0
Believe it or not, with all the cool plotscripting available, the game's execution is a little on the poor side. A player can appreciate the hard work put into designing the mini-games, but several of them have slow response times, and some seem to be too random when they shouldn't be random at all (like the candy that goes the other direction just before the claw grabs it). There probably isn't much that can be done to make it better, but what it does manage to pull off is still playable, and the player can overlook the limitations because it's still the best of its kind on the OHR.
Music: 4/10.0
The music is one of the weakest elements of this game (as far as important elements go). Only a few places offer music, and most of it isn't awesome. I did enjoy listening to the egg-throwing music, and the Pumpkin Racer has a nice groove, but the rest of it is either too much like a carnival (which may be appropriate, but still annoying), or is non-existant. The silence of the neighborhood got on my nerves after awhile. It needs something catchy, even if it's ripped.
Overall Grade: B+
Final Thoughts
    This is not recommended for anyone looking for an actual RPG game, but is recommended to everyone who wants something with solid replayability. The only thing it really needs to make it better is more stuff and more gameplay. Otherwise, it's a quite good game.  

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