Movie licensed video games come in two flavors: the common truly awful variety made just to milk out money, and the rare type that developers put their time and effort into and thus don't suck. Home Alone 2, the atrocity I am about to review, is in a completely different effed up league in itself. Not only is it a bad game, but it's complete ignorance to the actual plotline to the movie is incredible. It's five complete levels of psychotic insanity; devoid of little coherency or any logical explanations for anyone who has never seen the movie (though you totally should watch it).
Those that have seen the movie beforehand, however, will immediately recognize the events that unfold in the game (however ludicrous they're portrayed). We're first greeted with a cut scene of the hotel Receptionist calling up the goons from the first film, Harry and Marv, to catch the protagonist Kevin who was staying at the hotel with his dad's stolen credit card.
"It's simple: we kill the Batman."
The awful pixel artwork only gets worse:
Marv looks like he's deeply attracted to that pay phone.
After a few seconds of sitting through bad animation (or pressing START) we're sent right into the first level and OH SNAP YOU BETTER RUN, BECAUSE IT'S A CHASE LEVEL!
I-is that Spock?
Right now you're probably thinking "Oh, so this whole game is running away from people?" and you're absolutely....WRONG. In fact the doorman literally walks a few feet and then proceeds turns around as if to say "Oh! I left the oven on!" and repeats the process apparently until the end of time. So...he's just an normal enemy. Touching him results in a one-hit death, so let's leave him alone to admire the other enemies this game has to offer:
Yes, that suitcase is an enemy.
Wow, a...suitcase? A SUITCASE???? A suitcase that can hurt you??? A f***ing moving suitcase????? Holy s*** better stock up on something to fight those things, right? Running and pressing down on the D-pad to do a slide attack seems to do the trick, but that won't work against the push cart services or old grannies (yes that's an actual enemy), so you might need to find something you can fire from a long range...something like...a dart gun.
Also that face on the top left corner totally looks like a Taiko drum.
But it doesn't kill anyone, just stuns them, so I can dig it. There was dart guns in both movies. No big deal. A pearl necklace is also a weapon, and it's laughably the most powerful weapon so far: it trips and kills anyone who happens walk over the pearls you scatter on the ground....okay, I can...also kind of dig that. And to answer any possible questions you may be asking right about now, those things hovering in the air are health items and they're cookie and pizza slices. I know because a GameFaqs walkthrough told me, but I'm sure the writer was grasping at straws, because those items look nothing like food. (Also, I have a new fond respect for the internet for even having a strategy guide for this game)
Also did I mention there's a vacuum cleaner enemy? Because there totally is:
This blog feature writes itself.
As we continue our venture through hell- er, the Plaza Hotel- narrowly avoiding umbrella swatting grannies and demon possessed suitcases, we come across the receptionist desk and...wait, the receptionist is Chris Rock? How did I miss that part? And why is he throwing keys and...bombs in random directions?
Is there an alternate Death at a Funeral version of Home Alone 2 that I missed?
Oh silly me, that's not racist, the dev's just wanted him to be black that's all. Now let's put that behind and see what's happening in the News just around the corner! On second thought, if you are going to play this game (Also, why would you?) don't go into the News room, because this is what happens:
Literal interpretation of what happens when EggBeatr doesn't blog on time.
Yes, you get choked to death by Al Rooker. By a guy who you never see in the movie. In a room that didn't exist in the movie's hotel, or any real hotel on planet earth (A News room???). There is no way to avoid this man if you step foot into the room: you're dead as soon as you enter. You can't escape; he's just right there waiting for you. This makes Blaster Master's enemy placement look like well thought out programming. This is just a sad joke to an already sad game. But it gets worse. Suppose you decide not to go into the News Room - the man walks out from the News Room and FOLLOWS YOU like a zombie pedophile.
"And here's what's going to happen to YOUR scrawny dead neck of the woods!!"
After avoiding some more enemies (including mops), you come to an elevator door that will continually throw an endless stream of suitcases. In order to escape this room, you have to continually push up on the elevator button until the elevator door finally opens (I had to actually look this up, and it literally took me 10 tries to get it right). The insanity only increases as you arrive to the next floor up: go into ANY of the rooms and you'll meet a room service maid who will continually throw pillows at you.
Those pillows will bloody kill you.
If you're having trouble beating these new enemies, don't panic, the game will offer two new weapons for your psychopathic arsenal of deadly toys. The first is the Bell, which adds a flip attack to your jumps a la' Samus Aran until you're hit...because bells can do that apparently? The other weapon is called the Super Flying Fist, which is a BB gun- yeah no, it's a f*cking actual gun that kills anything.
"...and a Happy New Year!"
To think this game was playing innocently enough 30 minutes ago (It took me a long time to get the elevator down), but wow, they've gone and turned it into a Dirty Harry Jr. Not only am I convinced that THQ only watched portions of the first movie where Kevin was shooting the BB gun at Buzz's sports figurines and thought "That's probably what the sequel is totally about; let's make the video game based around that blind assumption", but they went with the idea thinking it was a legitimately good idea. Why go to all the trouble making all these character models and weapons if you're not going to use them in the game? It gets even crazier as you head near the end of the stage in the basement level...or a kitchen...as you ride a conveyer belt emitting steam, or mayonaise or something.
While this guy walks like an Egyptian and throws targets at you.
And now as we near the end of the stage- HOLY SH*T WATCH OUT FOR THAT SUSHI!
This is probably racist, I'm not sure.
You probably think this stage can't get any dumber, but that's only because you haven't seen the final boss. Oh yes, it makes even the suitcase elevator not-a-boss look like...ah, normal?
Yeah, this is racist.
Okay, I get this is a video game and they were trying to set themselves apart from the film, but how do you explain THAT??? It's Chef from South Park in a furry costume. The hell? A chef boss may seem appropriate since you're in a kitchen and all, but how can you explain that dog nose? Either this is supposed to dedicate the loss of some developer's dead dog, or some erotic role-playing is going to take place. Haha, oh silly me, they can't be the reason! Haha...
Anyway, in order to beat this boss, you'll have to slide into him whenever jumps down, which the game in turn keeps hit count by taking off layers of his clothes...okay, maybe that role-playing theory isn't too far off.
The boss is now suddenly Pedobear with diabetes.
After a few more hits the monstrosity to man is defeated (the boss, not the game), his hat pops off revealing a pizza 1-up item if you defeat it, or die if you touch it, because the developers hate you. We're then treated with a cut-scene which is literally the last point of the game where it actually follows the movie.
Well it's a step up from that Al Rooker.
Wait, is he referring to teen pregnancy?
Surprising spoiler alert: Kevin escapes the captors by pinching Ms. Oppen-sexy-style over there, and now we're unfortunately back to playing the real game. And I guess it doesn't need to said that there is no Duncan's Toy Chest stage, because that would've been "weird". Guess we have to make due with the rest of the game. (yes, I'm crying inside)
At least the next stage (The Streets) isn't as batsh*t insane. I mean sure, it has more thugs lined up on one street corner than Miami, and certainly New York, but hey, it's a video game. Yeah, they actually made a pretty decent stage here...platforms...street lamps... they've outdone themselves. Yup, this is pretty normal. Normal, normal, normal. Hey look, a sewer, let's go in it and-
PIGEONS. F***ING. ENEMY. PIGEONS.
P-PIGEONS?! IN A SEWER?!?!?! PIGEONS?!?! PIGEONS?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?! AND WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY DROPPING, THEIR OWN BLOOD?!!?
I'm just...just wow. Bad Eggs is cancelled guys, I can't do this anymore. How do we continue playing video games after this? Pigeons...PIGEONS?!?!?!!?!?
Okay, breath EggBeatr, you can do this. Breath, juuuuuust inhale. Now exhale. Just get through it; you only have to play this game once. ...Okay, I'm good, we'll go on. Please excuse my mental breakdown, they only happen twice a day.
So that was Stage 2 in a nutshell. There's no more I can say about it, because that's how it goes.
I'd like to say we're done with the insanity, ooooh you know I would, but as Stage 3 (House) would say to you if it could talk: "Haha, no f*ck you". As soon as you step foot into the "House" stage you're met with the two crooks, Harry and Marv, and wait at the precise moment to spring a trap on Marv. Translation: cut a string to send a "10 Ton" weight crashing on top of his mortal head.
You know, using guns seemed a lot less violent.
And that's pretty what you do the entire level: kill Marv over and over like an immortal Kenny each floor with pre-set traps.
That wallpaper killed 5 people alone.
But sometimes Harry gets in your way, and you have to roll a stick of what appears to be dynamite under his feet- tripping him to death, because that's how you totally use dynamite apparently.
As the Smash Bros. fanbase would tell you: tripping sucks.
Probably the worst part of the stage is the wooden platform beams that are just the right length apart to send you falling to your death if your jump was just a little off as the developers laugh maniacally at your pain.
These things. Are on every floor.
What's worse, you need to jump into one of these pits in order to catch a key in midair and reach the next floor. If game developers built real houses like this the world wouldn't survive for 3 minutes.
"I don't want to live on this planet anymore."
After you reach the roof
we come to a brick throwing mini-game we shimmy on down a rope and get chased by Marv. Yes, the whole fourth stage is a chase level. And it gets weirder once you see it in action.
Suddenly the game has turned into Resident Evil.
As if the game can't get any crazier we end up with a chase level that's clearly an unreleased Resident Evil Gaiden game. Kevin is clearly Leon, Marv is walking like a corpse, the setting can totally be Racoon City, and just look at that rat with red eyes! Things are also possessed by the way, from flying newspaper to the downright baffling flying pizzas (Remember when they were 1-ups? Well they're enemies now. Thanks, Dominos!). There's also a falling safe at the end of the level that's just there for the sake of...you know, I really don't know why it's there. It doesn't hit Marv, and it's way from striking distance to you, so I imagine it was an obscure reference to Wile. Coyote they just inserted for good measure.
Or a reference to how hogsh*t crazy THQ is.
I have no idea if it was intentional or not, but they definitely made a zombie level, and damn, it's actually the best level in the game. That's more than I can say about the, get ready for it, the final stage (which is just called "Tree"). You begin the level by grabbing a drat gun, shooting Marv with it, and then frantically jump up the tree.
"Keeeeeeeeevin, I'm your biggest faaaaaaan!"
You don't get a Super Flying Fist at all, because who wants to use the most powerful weapon in the game on the final boss fight, I mean really? -quoted from no one that exists.
Anyway, Marv will eventually follow you up the tree, so you better watch your st- SWEET JESUS WHAT IS THAT?!
Whether that's a demonic yodeling Christmas tree or a giant facehugger, humanity is doomed.
Wow, I never seen the Rockefeller Christmas tree up close, but I know it doesn't look like that. And no, that is not the final boss, the two goons are, so don't worry. Although, how are you supposed to beat two seemingly immortal kidnappers? Well it's easy: PLOTHOLE PIGEON WOMAN HO!
Or the Pope. You decide.
Yes, the pigeon fanatic Susan Boyle look-a-like from the movie appears out of nowhere to sprinkle Christmas cheer in the form of pigeon feed throughout the land. It's as if the Dev's said "Oh snap! We forgot to mention her!", so now she's just hovering in the air as if it gave her appearance justice. Well you better use it to your advantage! Pressing up on the D-pad will prompt a "HELP!" text box which in turn makes Ms. pigeon woman throw pigeon feed to anyone who's under her. After three pigeon feed has been tossed on one of the crooks, a pigeon will appear and knock that mother out of the screen.
Pidove used Aerial Ace! It's Super Effective!
Repeat the same process with Harry and you win the game. That's the final boss fight. As if the game wasn't done with it's mindf*ckery, we're met with a final clip showing what appears to be Gollum reuniting with his parents.
"We'll kill them at night, and take back our precioussss."
It would do no justice for the narrative (there's a story?!) if there wasn't any dialogue, but luckily THQ provides...
"Join us Kevin. Join us IN HELL."
And as to reward us for playing the video game adaption, we're treated with a clip of Harry and Marv that wasn't in the movie. Spoiler: no one cares.
Huh, just noticed Harry had a perm.
CONTINUE?! YOU MEAN THERE'S MORE?!!? AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!
Home Alone 2 taught me many things. One is that you shouldn't avoid a lot licensed movie games because they're bad, but because they could be a brain rotting, confoundedly inaccurate, and filled with so much political incorrectness you could stick your finger into it and come up with something clung 4 inches around it. The second thing it taught is that if you were to compare this game with Home Alone 4, it would make the movie look good- and that's not a good thing. No, the state of licensed video games is worse than I thought. This game doesn't deserve to even be a Rom (the method of how I played it).
Verdict: Everything about this game screams something on such a different wavelength than the movie it's incredible. Just looking at the game's cover only proves this game was originally going to be about Kevin the midget zombie slaying cop on a violent rampage against humanity:
Even Harry disagrees with this cover art.
But before this game is thrown into the incinerator of the possible Apocalypse tomorrow and erased from existence, I think a good name change is order: Grand Theft Alone 2 (Zombie DLC Included). There, I believe I just saved humanity.
What I'd rate it then: 1.5/10
What I'd rate it then: 1.5/10