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Crapshoot: The Hellboy game that earned a 14% review

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From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. And you know what this week is? It’s the long awaited 100th Crapshoot! (Fires cheap party streamer in air, eats single celebratory biscuit.)

Yes, one hundred Crapshoots. One hundred Saturdays filled with far, far too many words about insane horror, inexplicable edutainment, dreadful porn, random musical interludes, occasional light-hearted blasphemy, and oh, so very, very much more. It’s the PC gaming column that spits on your “tl;dr”, and about which it has been said “How could anyone drone on so long about Bloodrayne 3?!”

Clearly, this is a very special occasion for fans of both decimals and arbitrary milestones. But how to mark it? How else? Let’s dive into one of the PC’s most infamous duds, the sucking abyss that is… Hellboy! Hmm. That might have been more dramatic if you hadn’t already seen the title.

The legend of Hellboy begins long before its release, and the Guillermo del Toro movie that brought Hellboy to a wider audience back in 2004. In case you don’t know, the gist is that he’s a demon who was summoned from Hell as a child by Nazi occultists, before being brought up by a nice professor who found an odd parenting middle-ground by raising him as a regular child but still calling him “Hellboy”. I haven’t read any of the comics, so I may be wrong here, but I’m assuming that this was primarily to stop any awkwardness in the event of another demon having to refer to him by his full title as “World Destroyer, Great Beast, Right Hand of Doom, Son of the Fallen One, and Brian.”

Fully grown, Hellboy currently works for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, which I’m fairly sure is a hastily thrown together backronym created when the Professor accidentally said BPRD in a meeting and had to quickly cover for it. There he fights alongside other friendly freaks, saves the world a lot, and is no doubt proud to be played on screen by Ron Perlman.

You’d think all this would be perfect for a game. In the right hands, it could be. Unfortunately, the Hellboy licence fell into the hands of a company called Cryo Interactive, which mostly seemed to exist to torture adventure game reviewers. Their eventual demise was attributed to business reasons, but I maintain had to have involved some kind of stake to the heart. A silver one. Forged from the 30 cursed pieces paid to Judas, urinated upon by a virgin unicorn under a full moon and carved into serrated spirals.

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