“You cannot destroy me.”
“Yes I can!”
“No you can’t!”
Sounds like a couple of kindergartners fighting in the sandbox.
Would you believe me if I told you that this is actually the type of dialog
you will run into in Pop Rocket’s music video adventure game Total
Distortion? In Total Distortion, you play an “up-and-coming” music
video producer looking for some fresh new material for his videos. Where
are you going to get this new material? The Distortion Dimension of
course! You see, scientists have discovered a way to transport people
through time and space to other dimensions. There are dimensions where
everything is based on the things you read in tabloids, and there are even
dimensions based on war. You are on your way to explore the Distortion
Dimension, a dimension based on heavy metal music, populated by rock stars
and evil Guitar Warriors who will strike you down with deadly power cords
from their guitars. You have to travel through the Distortion Dimension,
kill Guitar Warriors, tape material for your videos, make those videos, and
send them back home to make money. Trust me, its not as easy as it sounds.
The graphics in this game are fairly well done, but they are nothing
revolutionary. They are your standard polygonal graphics. For the most
part they look like Myst on LSD. One good option is the ability to
choose between jumping to the next place, like Myst, or smoothly
moving to the next spot.
If there is one place that this game excels, it is in the area of sound
and music. They purposely chose a cheesy computer voice for the dialogue,
that somehow fits perfectly. The creator Joe Sparks and his team created
50 original songs for this game and all they do is help it. They have
great names like “Rocket Funk, Devil’s Underwear,” and the unforgettable
“You Are Dead.” With ripping power cords and a head-banging rhythm, the
songs just get stuck in your head!
The game controls are, unfortunately, not the greatest. Mostly its
just point and click, but the real problem is during “combat.” When you
come up against a Guitar Warrior, you need to go into your case, get out
the guitar, then start using it. This takes way too long, and the
majority of the time you are already dead by the time you can fire off a
shot or two.
The major problem with this game is that the only way you can make
any money is by creating the music videos. First of all, the concept is
difficult to grasp, and second, the execution is even harder. The
producers are extremely picky; you have to really practice with the video
mixing board to make a good video. Also, Total Distortion is only
fun once. When you finally figure out what the producers want, that’s it,
you win. There is not much room for extended play.
Other than the sound and music, Total Distortion has only one other
good thing going for it, its sense of humor. For all the work Pop Rocket
put into this game, they can still poke fun at themselves and at the whole
idea of the game. You can have extremely funny conversations throughout
the game, such as with the Guitar Warrior. You can insult him and his
Metal Lord, and he will still act like a child! (“Can not, can too!”)
Also when you are buying a ticket for a show, after you purchase your
ticket you have 4 choices of things to say to the sales woman, but they are
all the same thing.