posted 12/2/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Emile Durkheim had a theory about deviance; he stated that deviance is an integral part of our society because it allows for social change while giving us a barometer of what’s good and bad. Translated into today’s video games, crappy games are a necessary part of the industry because they allow us to fully appreciate what we have. Just how bad is Drake? Well let’s say it makes me appreciate the gaming masterpiece that was Superman 64.

I’ve played plenty of bad games in my time and I thought I had seen the bottom of the barrel. Trudging through endless 989 Sports debacle after endless 989 Sports debacle has toughened me for the worst in video gaming, but nothing prepared me for Idol FX’s Drake of the 99 Dragons. This game had the potential to be really bad-ass but instead it’s ass, just plain ass. Love games where you’re losing health without even knowing it? Love shoddy cameras that get lost in tight areas? Like to look at uninspired characters and pre-rendered cinemas that look worse that most of today’s engine-rendered graphics? Then you just might be a candidate for Drake, the worst game to come out this year and quite possibly the worst game to come out in this millennium.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to like Drake especially after all of the neat marketing props that the guys at Majesco spewed out. From the start it was apparent that the guys at Idol FX were going all out with this one, even going so far as to make up a comic to coincide with the game’s storyline. It’s just that the ideas don’t really pan out in the scheme of things. It actually has some pretty neat gimmicks sprinkled within it but the gameplay is so horrid that it brings down the entire package. Games are supposed to be fun and leave us satisfied and happy, not piss us off and instill hostile tendencies within us. Forget about Grand Theft Auto, Drake is ten times more likely to set me on a rampage. With its shoddy visuals, broken gameplay, horrid controls and “I’d rather watch paint dry than be succumbed to this flaming turd” mission structure, it’s not hard to see why.

There’s a paper thin storyline that’s as lame and impractical as the rest of the game, so at least it sets the tone for what you can expect. You’ll assume the role of Drake, a member of the Hong Kong-based 99 Dragons. When the game begins the entire clan is murdered and its priceless artifact has been stolen. In a manner that isn’t clearly explained, Drake is brought back to life by some higher beings. Afterwards it’s up to him avenge the death of his clan while retrieving the stolen artifact. Now you have to ask yourself, what kind of pansy-ass clan of assassins gets wiped out this easily? And why would you want to be a part of said pansy-ass clan? If the storyline wasn’t bad enough you’re forced to succumb to the game’s broken and uninspired gameplay as well.

Basically the game consists of wandering into one blind ambush after one blind ambush. Walk through a door, get shot about 50 times, witness absolutely no signs that you’ve been shot, watch the camera try to follow the Drake like a heffer at an all-you-can eat buffet and you have an idea of what it’s like to play this game. Repeat this scenario about 50 times, add the words “Game Over” to the middle of the screen and you’ve now saved yourself 40 bucks that could have been spent on something more worthy. Hell, you’d be better off buying that new Britney Spears CD, sure the content is filth but at least you’ve got a picture of a hot babe to look at.
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