Let's Not Play: Extreme Paintbrawl 2

DrezDrez Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Games and Technology
As a splinter from all the Let's Play threads, I thought I'd provide a similar service by resurrecting a game from the past and decimating it so thoroughly that no one would ever make the mistake of playing it themselves. I think Let's Play threads serve the same purpose, really, but for different reasons. So, without further ado, let's NOT play Extreme Paintbrawl 2.

NOTE: In keeping with the theme of this thread, all information has been pulled from various web sources and my brain. I have not fired up the game or actually played it recently. That would be contrary to the ideals presented in this thread.

So, moving on...Extreme Paintbrawl 2. What is it? One can define the game in a variety of ways. It is an FPS, sure. That is a valid description. Players have a first-person point of view and you shoot...paintballs. And you are forced to shoot other people with said paintballs. Hence the very "clever" modification in the title from Paintball to Paintbrawl. Never you mind that paintball activities traditionally involve multi-user skirmish, which makes the modification unnecessary, combined with the fact that a "brawl" is - connotatively - a melee affair.
extremepaintbrawl-cover.jpg

I apologize that I could not locate a sufficiently-sized Extreme Paintbrawl 2 box cover image for you, so this one from Extreme Paintbrawl 4 will have to suffice. The box art, however, is largely unchanged from game to game. The cover art is very eye-catching and colorful (read: gaudy), presumably to allude to the paintball aspect of the game. I particularly like the purple stamp on the lower right of this box, where it proudly advertises this iteration as the "Sequel to the #1 Best Selling Paintball Game". I'll give it that much: the Extreme Paintbrawl series is (literally) unchallenged in the paintball game market.

An aside: one might ask why I decided to write about Extreme Paintbrawl 2 rather than, say, Extreme Paintbrawl 4 or the original Extreme Paintbrawl. Suffice to say the entire series is worthless, but I feel Extreme Paintbrawl 2 provides a proper focal point for my thesis. It will all become clear in due time.

Let's move on. The Extreme Paintbrawl series presumably meant to capitalize on an increasingly-popular physical sport, the relative increasing popularity of the FPS genre, and the notion of "Extreme" sports which were just about starting to take hold on gamers and ESPN-watchers alike. Sounds like an economic match made in heaven, right? Sure, but only if the game could deliver a healthy product that in any way touched upon any of these things, which Extreme Paintbrawl does not.

Let's talk about the engine first. Extreme Paintbrawl 2 uses a modified version of the Duke Nukem 3D "build engine", which is fine as Duke Nukem 3D is a fine game. But it wasn't what I would call cutting edge even during its heyday. Duke Nukem 3D made up for this by being extremely fun. Sadly, this is not an extreme or even a "somewhat" that Extreme Paintbrawl 2 can advertise. Extreme Paintbrawl 2 is extremely dull and un-fun, the exact opposite of Duke Nukem 3D, and so it cannot be forgiven for being so ugly. This is perhaps a bit unfair to Duke Nukem 3D which, while not particularly crisp in many of its levels, still maintained a high level of aesthetic appeal and interesting locations and level design accompanied by a well-colored set of textures. I will let a few screenshots attest to Extreme Paintbrawl 2's visual quality:

extremepaintbrawl2-1.jpg

Yes, those are your foes doing some kind of synchronized dance maneuver in the middle of the street. Perhaps the game should be re-titled to Extreme Breakdancing 2.


extremepaintbrawl2-2.jpg

Multi-colored shipping crates against a gray sky. Where have I seen that before? Oh yes, in EVERY FPS KNOWN TO MAN. What I particularly like about this screenshot is the fact that I can just barely see the opponent standing directly in front of me - the obvious focal point of this scene. He's nearly invisible thanks to the abhorrent lighting and coloring.


But visuals are one thing and gameplay is another. After all, this is Extreme Paintbrawl 2 and not Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Paintbrawl (2), so perhaps I am fixating on unimportant features. I mean, as long as the gameplay is up to snuff, who gives a shit about lackluster (read: eye-gouging) visual?

The main complaint - and there were many - in the original Extreme Paintbrawl was lack of AI. Let me explain that. Many colloquially use the term "lack of" to indicate a quantitative decrease, i.e. "fewer" or "less". Here, however, I use the phrase in its most literal form: the first game featured no AI. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero. The original Extreme Paintbrawl enemy intelligence algorithm basically had one statement: "if player appears in field of vision, shoot." Enemies were very accurate, sure, but not intelligent at all.

Using the scientific method, I had rigorously investigated the AI present in Extreme Paintbrawl 2 and after about eight minutes I gave up. It appears that the problem was not fixed. The main problem. The champion of all Extreme Paintbrawl The First's problems was not even looked at in "creating" the sequel. I put the word "creating" there in quotes because I am not sure such a verb can be applied to the "design" of this "product".

I'm not really sure much else needs to be said. So why am I discussing Extreme Paintbrawl 2? Well, for starters, there is no reason for it to exist. And by extension no reason for 3 and 4 to exist. In fact, it would have been better if the original never existed. It certainly serves the purpose of mockery and for constituting the very worst a game developer could ever aspire to. Furthermore, there is very little different between the original and the sequel. So little, in fact, that one wonders if more than five hours in a garage were spent upgrading the game into this sequel.

Also, though I never personally had this issue, but as I worked at EBGames when this monstrosity was released I recall various customers returning the product because it "uninstalled immediately after installing". Now, I'll be the first to state that game installations in the DOS4Gw days were kind of...well, painful at times and it could not always be attributed to the game itself; sometimes the operating system was just...non-compliant (in the sense that it occasionally would emphatically reject any attempt to run a game on it unless you performed some kind of convoluted .ini or .bat voodoo first). But in the case of Extreme Paintbrawl 2, I think it is safe to assume that any such technical flaws can be laid directly at the feet of the Extreme Paintbrawl 2 "designers". To be fair to Extreme Paintbrawl 2, though, this is actually the only thing the game got right. I found myself having to manually uninstall it an hour after installing it. It would have been nice if the game had done it for me. So to those afflicted by this particular bug, consider yourselves lucky.

And to everyone else: avoid this horrible, horrible series like the plague.

Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
Drez on

Posts

  • CaspianXCaspianX Registered User
    edited September 2007
    Um... I think you're shooting fish in a barrel, here. I mean, a paintball game by design is conceptually pointless.

    People play paintball as a substitution for shooting real guns. Some people play videogames as a substitution for shooting real guns. Combining the two would be comparable to hiring substitute substitute teacher, or an imitation of imitation cheese. Why bother going twice removed? If the first substitute doesn't work, just get another. If you're worried about your backup generator failing, you jump to another backup - you don't make a backup for the backup.

    Anyone who gets this game is either somehow single-mindedly addicted to paintball that they don't care about the quality of the product, or they just simply don't care about the product.

    CaspianX on
    sigv2a.gif
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    i actually remember reading about this recently, and its non-existent AI. Really can't think where, but it might've been some list of 'the worst games in history'.

    Also, Rise of the Robots.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I recall the magazine PC Accelerator had the best review of this game. Shoot straight up and you can see the paint splotches on the sky. Enemies run forward and have no real AI. This game and Extreme! Bullriding took home medals in their Ass Olympics parody.

    emnmnme on
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I do actually have some kind of macabre fascination with games that are released in a horribly broken state. Take Big Rigs, too, which was so hilariously broken you couldn't really call it a game. I guess i'm just puzzled why developers would bother to release a game that is so, so utterly bad. I mean, there's poor games and gameplay mechanics, but then you get something that is just so utterly dire that you wonder if anyone actually tried playtesting anything to do with it.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • CaspianXCaspianX Registered User
    edited September 2007
    Oh, Big Rigs was probably worth a purchase just for sheer morbid fascination. I recommend everyone to check out Gamespot's video review, which in spite of some terrible acting is still goddamn hilarious:

    http://www.gamespot.com/video/919220/6086530/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing-video-review

    CaspianX on
    sigv2a.gif
  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    I do actually have some kind of macabre fascination with games that are released in a horribly broken state. Take Big Rigs, too, which was so hilariously broken you couldn't really call it a game. I guess i'm just puzzled why developers would bother to release a game that is so, so utterly bad. I mean, there's poor games and gameplay mechanics, but then you get something that is just so utterly dire that you wonder if anyone actually tried playtesting anything to do with it.

    Remember, always remember, that Americans will buy any stupid shit whatsoever. Remember Billy Bass?

    GoodOmens on
    steam_sig.png
    IOS Game Center ID: Isotope-X
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    CaspianX wrote: »
    Oh, Big Rigs was probably worth a purchase just for sheer morbid fascination. I recommend everyone to check out Gamespot's video review, which in spite of some terrible acting is still goddamn hilarious:

    http://www.gamespot.com/video/919220/6086530/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing-video-review

    you don't even need that, just the gameplay videos are more than enough. I think the infinite-accelerating reverse probably had me on the floor.

    edit: and Billy Bass seemed somewhat popular here in the UK, too. "Even the Queen has one! LOL!" said the news stories.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User
    edited September 2007
    I remember when PC Gamer reviewed the original Extreme Paintbrawl. The game director wrote in shortly thereafter, not to complain about the deservedly low score, but to say that hopefully this would clue in their publisher. Why? The entire development process was two weeks. They hadn't even started work on the AI yet when the publisher threw it onto shelves.

    But as to the sucktitude of the subsequent games, I have no insight.

    Rigor Mortis on
  • HyperAquaBlastHyperAquaBlast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    CaspianX wrote: »
    Um... I think you're shooting fish in a barrel, here. I mean, a paintball game by design is conceptually pointless.

    People play paintball as a substitution for shooting real guns. Some people play videogames as a substitution for shooting real guns. Combining the two would be comparable to hiring substitute substitute teacher, or an imitation of imitation cheese. Why bother going twice removed? If the first substitute doesn't work, just get another. If you're worried about your backup generator failing, you jump to another backup - you don't make a backup for the backup.

    Anyone who gets this game is either somehow single-mindedly addicted to paintball that they don't care about the quality of the product, or they just simply don't care about the product.

    Those are my sentiments exactly. But the bolded part...well my Coast Guard base does that and I find it hilarious.

    HyperAquaBlast on
    steam_sig.png
  • jb7jb7 Registered User
    edited September 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    I do actually have some kind of macabre fascination with games that are released in a horribly broken state. Take Big Rigs, too, which was so hilariously broken you couldn't really call it a game. I guess i'm just puzzled why developers would bother to release a game that is so, so utterly bad. I mean, there's poor games and gameplay mechanics, but then you get something that is just so utterly dire that you wonder if anyone actually tried playtesting anything to do with it.

    Remember, always remember, that Americans will buy any stupid shit whatsoever. Remember Billy Bass?

    But what if you have a Billy Bass that will say "Go fuck yourself"?

    I had a friend who bought this game. I don't think it was a coincidence that he was an idiot.

    jb7 on
  • WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    extremepaintbrawl-cover.jpg

    Why the hell does that say Extreme Paintbrawl 4? Am I reading it wrong?

    Wyborn on
    dN0T6ur.png
  • jb7jb7 Registered User
    edited September 2007
    Wyborn wrote: »
    extremepaintbrawl-cover.jpg

    Why the hell does that say Extreme Paintbrawl 4? Am I reading it wrong?
    Drez wrote:
    I apologize that I could not locate a sufficiently-sized Extreme Paintbrawl 2 box cover image for you, so this one from Extreme Paintbrawl 4 will have to suffice. The box art, however, is largely unchanged from game to game.

    jb7 on
  • WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Yes, well.

    I am an exorbitantly unobservant person.

    But take it another way:

    How did four of these things get made?

    Wyborn on
    dN0T6ur.png
  • CaspianXCaspianX Registered User
    edited September 2007
    Wyborn wrote: »
    Yes, well.

    I am an exorbitantly unobservant person.

    But take it another way:

    How did four of these things get made?

    Because stupid people buy them.

    When you make a game that's cheap enough to produce that it can still turn a profit in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart, you also earn a spot in the market that ensures that the people most likely to look at your games are also those least likely to have any barometer for quality.

    This is how money is made.

    CaspianX on
    sigv2a.gif
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I remember when PC Gamer reviewed the original Extreme Paintbrawl. The game director wrote in shortly thereafter, not to complain about the deservedly low score, but to say that hopefully this would clue in their publisher. Why? The entire development process was two weeks. They hadn't even started work on the AI yet when the publisher threw it onto shelves.

    But as to the sucktitude of the subsequent games, I have no insight.

    THAT was it. I can't remember where the hell i read that (it was online), but yeah, i was sure i'd read comments from one of the devs that explained why it was so poor.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Here's the PC Gamer review

    It's still my favorite review ever.

    LavaKnight on
  • davinciedavincie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I actaully had one of these games i think it was the latest one since the graphics were okayish, a bit above UT (the first one). I got it for free with another game since the store wanted to get rid of it or something. Anyway i tried playing it but something about it is just so unsatifying and unfun i couldn't get futher then the third lvl. to bad (or good) i lost my copy though.

    davincie on
    20qx2bp.jpg
  • Disco BanditDisco Bandit Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    My uncle bought me this game for Christmas one year.

    I no longer am on speaking terms with this uncle.

    Disco Bandit on
    Pokemon Diamond: 5412 9146 7564
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited September 2007
    CaspianX wrote: »
    Oh, Big Rigs was probably worth a purchase just for sheer morbid fascination. I recommend everyone to check out Gamespot's video review, which in spite of some terrible acting is still goddamn hilarious:

    http://www.gamespot.com/video/919220/6086530/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing-video-review

    Thats pretty great. Seeing rig go right up a mountain was pretty funny.

    Viscountalpha on
Sign In or Register to comment.