Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Pimp My Ride (2006)

I'm pretty sure I can make out the conversation Xzibit had with Activision when the idea for a game based on the popular MTV show Pimp My Ride was first conceived. It probably went along the lines of this:

Activision: So Xzibit, we hear you have a new idea for a game. Show us your pitch.

Xzibit: Yo dawg, so I heard you like games. So we want to put a game in a game so you can play while you play! 
Activision: [in tears at the genius that is Xzibit] That's brilliant! There's no way this has been done before, it will be the greatest game ever!

Xzibit: That true dawg.

Allow me to take this opportunity to ask you if there's a game out there, based on a television series, which has done well. Please, take your time. I'll still be here.

Thought of anything? Nope, neither could I. We can only hope that the newly released Game of Thrones game is at least passable [EDIT: It isn't]. Pimp My Ride, however, is nowhere near it.

It starts off by telling you the basis of every episode of the show; you find a loser with a shitty car, you have to make the car the most outrageous, stupid piece of junk to hit the streets, then film the reaction of the now ecstatic client. All the while the vehicle just needs to run until the cameras stop rolling*. *(citation needed)

This would totally fit with my daily lifestyle! I can't wait to mix some tunes in the boot of my car!

So your first customer is Marcia and her car, to be frank, is a bomb. The graphics don't even give the detailing any justice either, making it look like a bunch of poorly grouped polygons. Anyway, you're given Xzibit's ride as a loan and you have to collect enough money in order to fix the car. Ways to get said money include ramming into other cars, hitting parking metres and smashing down billboards. Oh, what's that? You don't want to dint Xzibit's car because you adore him? That's cool, as your car won't take any damage. From anything. Driving along at 100km/h and slam straight into a wire fence. Nothing happens. If you're lucky, you'll bounce off.

I'm going to make a quick assumption here and say that the game isn't aiming to be realistic in any sense of the word. I mean, it can't call itself a 'real driving simulator' if the driving mechanics include you running into billboards, parking metres and other cars for an extra dollar. If I was paid $10 for every car I ran into, I'd buy myself the biggest, meanest car and do the job properly. Driving around in a rusted metal shit-bucket pushing buses and trucks around with ease is not my idea of a driving simulator. It's an excuse to call a shit game even worse.

I've seen better pieces of a...toilet.

And the mini-games...geez! Both of the mini-games for these driving sections are just so terrible. Apart from the cruising past groups of people pressing three buttons in sequence to make some money, the game has your default character dance next to the car in what can only be called an awkward situation for everyone involved. The car moves along at around 5km/h while you worm, hip-hop, moonwalk and breakdown next to the car. I just focused on the button pressing during these parts as the player model looks so weird, so disjointed and out of place when he dances that you almost feel bad for what he's going through in this game. You feel some sympathy, knowing that inside he's probably ruing the day he was created for the game, thinking that pimping rides was fun and all.

"I hate my life." - Your character and yourself.

But wait, there's more!
"More of me dancnig?! =D"


Once you get enough money to 'pimp' the car, you must drive around the map again to each of the different mechanics and designers to get the best deals. You have 2 minutes to get to them all and there's a mini-game for each part. This was actually the best part, as not only was there a sense of urgency in racing for the parts, but the mini-games were small, quick and generally fun. Things like the correct timing for button presses to rotations of the analogue stick actually shows some sort of mini-game potential for the game, if only the driving was improved...and everything else.

This is actually fun. I'm not even kidding.

(Also, thanks for the watermark!)
Once all that was over though and the timer expires, you're sent back to compare your car with your competitor. Yes, that's right, some computer-controlled sorry sod of a competitor wants to try and beat you at the designing game. It's almost too easy to beat them though. All you need to do is get the best things for the car which you can afford while the competitor looks like a joke. Every. Time.

At the end of the day, a game is about how much enjoyment and fun you made from it in the allotted time you've given it. In the case for Pimp My Ride, I couldn't finish it. It felt like a job, the tedious driving mechanics and everything making for a fairly unenjoyable time. I didn't want to spend my time getting enough money to do the borderline-good mini-games. It didn't feel as though the effort would be justified. So yeah, I'd give this game a miss unless you were to play for either a joke, a drunken night or because you're a sucker who gives in to pressure from others to torture yourself, all for the amusement of others. could watch this YouTube clip of Marcia's story. It takes out the middle portion of the game, but you don't need to see it. Tell them I sent you.


Platform Used: Xbox 360

Score: 3/10

Recommendation: Avoid.

The only good thing that can come out of this game were the small minigames, but you can find similar ones on most other mini/party game titles. Apart from that, the game is just terrible. terrible. Even if you're a fan, avoid.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is better.

[EDIT: I take that back, that was harsh. It's not as terrible as StH06, it's just a really, really, REALLY bad game.]

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