Tales from the Dev Side: Hooray for Us by Steve Smith

Forgive me guys.

 

Yo they’re Smith Bros.

Collecting Disorder’s their game.

Landed on my leaderboard

with minimal pain.

They were lended a hand,

when they got to XBLIG land.

Even if punishers are for fuckers,

I respect those limey Brothers!

UHHH!

Oh God, I’m so sorry.  Here, read Mr. Steve Smith’s Tales from the Dead Side.  I’m going to go flog myself.

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Obsessive Collecting Disorder

I had a problem with Obsessive Collecting Disorder.  It was the name.  The name is all wrong.  It should have been called Obsessive Collective Disorder.  You see, the name is a play on the anxiety disorder known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.  It’s not obsessive compulsing disorder, because there is no such word as compulsing.  But there is a word called collective, so the game should have used it.  Sure, Obsessive Collective Disorder sounds like something that happens to a cult that undergoes a mass suicide in order to catch a ride on a UFO, but it works better as a pun.

Welcome back to Xbox Live Indie Games: Your source for self-hating gameplay.

I had one other problem with Obese Cauliflower Disorder: the game is a punisher, and I hate those fucking things.  They seem like they’re some kind of repressed anger stemming from not getting enough love as a child, manifested in video game form.  The idea is you’re a stick figure who is being put through various test chambers owned by the, and I’m not making this up, the CrAperture Corporation.  Isn’t it ironic how one of the most clever and original games to come around in a long time has somehow managed to kill the creativity of an entire generation?  Let me guess, the game will end with some kind of reference to the cake being a lie.  Oh, yep, there it is.  Very nice, guys.  What, you couldn’t work in a psychotic artificial intelligence while you were at it?  Well, at least the ending was good for a small giggle.  You know what?  I guess kleptomania falls into the OCD spectrum, so we’ll just say they were running with the theme and move on.

As a game, Opal Chin Disorder is pretty much just like any other punisher.  The idea is similar to N+.  You run around, avoiding traps and collecting coins.  The platforming mechanics are pretty basic.  A jumps, X or the right trigger run, and that’s it.  There’s no double jumps, wall jumps, ducking, sliding, doing short-form taxes, or breaking out into the chorus line from Oklahoma.  It’s just you, jumping, and shit that wants you dead, like some ingenious Olympic Committee person combined the hurdles and archery events.

Platformers live and die on controls.  If a game wants you dead, like Omnipotent Cactus Disorder does, it’s typically because the controls are shit and it’s an over-compensation thing.  In Octogenarian Colon Disorder’s case, I don’t think the controls are shit.  Brian suggested the word “serviceable” to me, but that sounds a bit too generous.  I think I’ll go with “tolerable.”  That sounds unhating yet highly critical.  The controls are just so strange.  The jumping is simultaneously too floaty yet too stiff, like a cloud on Viagra.  You do get used to it, in the same way you would probably get used to hitting your thumb with a hammer if you kept it up long enough, though it would be preferable to not do that.

The developer assured me that people told them Ornery Cardinal Disorder had tight controls. Ha. Where did they get that from? A game of Scattergories? “Things that are tight that start with the letter ‘C’. And GO!” “Oh gee um, collar! Um, cage! Uh uh uh, controls!” BUZZ! “Yes, we challenge ‘control’ and also we can’t believe you guys didn’t come up with cu..”

Everything about Obsessive Collective Disorder does just enough to not suck but not enough to wow me.  The minimalist graphics are tiring and bland.  The level design freshens things up with new obstacles every ten stages, but some of the challenges are copied and pasted far more than needed.  If this makes it seem like I hated the game, I actually didn’t.  It’s short enough to not feel like you’re taking a vacation on death row.  The level design is fair, I guess.  Ultimately, it never feels like you’re trying to shout at the tide to turn back.  It’s a punisher that feels doable.  Assuming you don’t play on Hardcore mode which gives you a limited amount of lives.  Some whack jobs might give that a chance.  Me?  Ha ha ha, no.  Still, I recommend Obsessive Collective Disorder.  Not a ringing endorsement or anything.  I guess it’s like saying “if you want to forfeit your dignity to just one Xbox Live Indie Game this week, make it this one!”

Obsessive Collecting Disorder was developed by Super Smith Bros.

80 Microsoft Points washed their hands seven times, flicked the light switch on an off seven times, then washed their hands seven more times in the making of this review.

Obsessive Collective Disorder is ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  Click here to see where it landed

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