A Disgrace to Janitors All Around the World.
Recently, we here at Game Revolution handed out honors to the best and brightest games of the year. However, one award has gone unmentioned...until now. This award, my friends, is Worst Video Game Character of 1999.
The battle was fierce. Okay, nobody wanted this award, but we had to give it out anyway. And the dishonor unanimously goes to... Ed for his awful performance in the equally bad game, Tonic Trouble!
Unfortunately, Ed was unable to attend the awards show due to prior arrangements with a bathroom. In his stead, allow me to describe exactly why Ed is this year's winner.
Designed by the same person that did Rayman, Ed is an ugly little purple creature without limbs or a neck. His hands and feet just float in mid-air, breaking all the conventional laws of physics. And of all things, Ed's a janitor - a disgrace to janitors the world over.
What makes him a janitor? Good question. He doesn't do many janitorial things, though I bet you can use his head to clean your toilet bowl. I can unabashedly say that Ed is the most pathetic video game character ever created. Ed is the gimp king of video game Hell.
His story is equally inane. While going about his piddling little duties, Ed moronically spills a secret formula down the gutter. Through some kind of cosmic wormhole, the gutter empties out onto Planet Earth. And like all mysterious liquid goops, from Daredevil to the Ninja Turtles, radioactive craziness will surely ensue. Hence the title, Tonic Trouble. Gaze in awe at the brilliance.
As it happens, said tonic wreaks havoc, causing Earth to develop checkerboard patterns, vegetables to sprout faces, and for some reason, a Viking to develop ambitions of world conquest. Inexplicably, Ed is the one sent in to save the day.
Moving Ed is a lesson in sub-standard control. Move the control stick, and Ed moves... eventually. That slight delay, the feeling that the controls haven't been tested or refined hammers another nail into this coffin. Attempts are made to extend playability by offering new moves as you progress. These gimmicky moves are so hackneyed and their usage so obviously spelled out, that if you even made it that far, you would just continue to shake your head in sad, sad pity.
The game boasts of a 3D world to explore. In truth, you spend most of the time wandering around with a fixed camera. It boils down to making jump after jump from irritating camera angles - nothing more than an awkward side-scroller from the days of old. The spark of creativity that this game could possibly once have held is completely quashed by the platform-to-platform redundancy.
Ed is supported by some characters as irregular as he is. One of them is a badly animated Professor who demands that you find all sorts of parts for him (find them yourself, you bastard!). When Ed eats a piece of the Professor's magical popcorn, he becomes transformed into Super Ed. Now instead of a dumb looking little purple guy, we get a dumb looking bigger purple guy that has a lame smack attack. Watch the colliding polygons as he literally walks into other objects.
Tonic Trouble has been brought to you in stunning Blur-O-Vision. This game could have been a great chance to create Dali-esque landscapes of hallucinogenic art, but instead we are plagued by a halfhearted effort where a jumbled mish-mash of color and form is the flavor of the day. The game employs the familiar Z-trigger camera-repositioning tool, but each time you use it, it starts from several seconds to the left, moving in to slowly center on Ed. It's discomforting and unnatural. Add in the staccato nature of the movement and it all equates to a vomitory experience.
Listen to the annoying sound effects done up in pseudo-cartoon fashion. I already couldn't stand Ed from the get-go, and now he's making noises at me. Is he trying to be funny or cute? I don't understand how this thing can have any appeal whatsoever.
There isn't anything here besides mundane platform-to-platform jumping hell. The game is plodding and slow, irredeemably boring...best defined as a craptacular disaster (craptacular isn't a word - Ed....er...wait, I mean Editor). Ed, cherish your award - it's the only one you'll get. 'Nuff said.