Ovary Overload and Spermatozoon

Ovary Overload is a twin-stick shooter where you take the role of an unfertilized egg that tries to defend itself from being inseminated. By sperm. I wish there was some wacky gameplay hook to go with this, but no, it really is just shooting slow-moving sperm with an unfertilized egg. Sure, the sperm comes in multiple colors, suggesting that the chick this egg belongs to got jiggy with the entire cast of Power Rangers, but that’s it. Shoot sperm. There’s a few weapons upgrades and large sperm boss (that presumably comes from Megazord), but there is nothing here that hasn’t been done so much better a million times before. When the entire hook of your game is “a slower, crappier version of Robotron, only you shoot sperm” you probably need to go back to the drawing board. Sorry for the short review, but there is nothing else to talk about.

Ovary Overload. Conception has never been this boring.

Wait, there’s another sperm-based XBLIG? Are you fucking kidding me?

Oh hey, actually this one isn’t bad at all. It’s called Spermatozoon. Here, you play as the sperm, shooting them at the egg. Surrounding the egg is a series of rotating walls, or “contraceptives.” The walls typically have gaps in them. While it begs the question as to who the fuck makes contraceptives with holes in them (probably diaper companies, the shady pricks), it actually makes for a really fun, old-time arcadey shooter. The hook is, you can’t actually move the sperms around yourself, nor select which one you want to fire. They surround the egg, and you fire them one-at-a-time. You only need one shot to get to the egg to win, while any shots that hit the walls punch a hole in them. Does sperm really do that? How come used condoms don’t look like they were attacked by millions of little termites every time someone finishes with one?

The gimmick is absurd, but the game is fun. There’s 53 levels, all with different twists to the formula. Sometimes the walls are unbreakable. Sometimes the sperm has to slowly pass through a wall of water. Sometimes the water carries it around the board. Another question: where the hell are these people having sex at where they’re getting destructible condoms with preexisting holes in them that have water spinning around in them? A spa? A hurricane? I thought for a second this might not be human sperm, but it makes a distinctive “YEE HAW!” when it penetrates the egg, so obviously we’re talking about Texan sperm here. I’m not sure what in Texas would encompass all the above. A semi-aquatic Swiss-cheese themed rodeo?

I have an alternate name for Spermatozoon: Hardon Collider.

Spermatozoon is certainly worth a look, but it’s got some pretty nasty flaws too. Difficulty doesn’t scale properly. Over the course of fifty-three levels, I had at least three instances where I would get stuck on a stage, go through multiple rounds of failure, then immediately finish the next stage or two in one single shot. Later in the game, the walls rotate so fast and are so dense that there’s no room for strategy or aiming. You just mash the buttons and wait for the miracle of life to play out. That’s disappointing, because the concept is so good, it should lend itself to more levels that allow you to carefully, patiently wait for the perfect shot. I also didn’t find the multiplayer very compelling. It’s the same game, only the sperm are divided up between two to four players. It didn’t really feel competitive or cooperative. It was just sort of there. I had more fun just playing by myself. I’m not sure if that counts as masturbation with a game like this. I probably should do a couple rosaries just in case.

Either way, Spermatozoon is really fun and I totally recommend it. Personally, it has got to be one of the biggest surprises I’ve come across on XBLIG. Even with a stupid, immature theme designed to appeal to the kind of twits that giggle when someone says “erect”, it’s a good game, and that’s all I’ve ever cared about.  It could be a game themed around removing lint from the crack of a hippopotamus’ ass, and I’ll still recommend it if it’s a good game. By the way, I hear their next game involves removing lint from the crack of a hippopotamus’ ass. I’m really excited for it.

Ovary Overload was developed by Ralem Productions

Spermatozoon was developed by Charco Studios

80 Microsoft Points each came from the sperm of Lord Zed and the egg of Rita Repulsa in the making of this review.

Spermatozoon is Chick Approved.  Ovary Overload isn’t.  You can check to see where Spermatozoon ranks on the Leaderboard

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