The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Home Alone 2

Home Alone was a good film, it contained some funny moments, some reasonably good child acting and people falling over, which also is pretty much 95% of youtube content. Plus it had a script brought to life by John Holmes, the guy who wrote my personal favourite movie, you must have heard of it, it’s the one with the kid who bunks off school…I think it was called Flubber. Anyway, rule of movie making decrees that any sequel to anything must suck. This includes, but not limited to;

Jaws 2
Highlander: The Source
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones
The Matrix Reloaded
Batman & Robin
Transformers 2: The Revenge Of The Fallen
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of The Clones
2 Fast 2 Furious
Cinderella 2
The Neverending Story 2
Final Destination 2
Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock
Troll 2
Free Willy 3
Lady Dragon 2
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones

So basically, sequels suck. Everyone knows the only good film sequel is The Neverending Story 3…Ok, I take it back.

So is Home Alone 2 a good sequel to Home Alone 1? Well, considering I’ve not seen it, because I live in a darkened room that’s permanently locked, filled with rats that might have mutated…where was I going with this, oh right, Let’s ask someone who might know more about movies wether Home Alone 2 is a good movie.

Should I at least watch it before attempting this week’s review of its game adaptation?

Ok…do you want me to put on a pizza or something?

Glad we’ve got that sorted…anyway.

Home Alone 2 is…yep, it’s a platformer, yes, I’m as tired of the damn things as you, but we’re here now aren’t we…don’t you hover that X in the corner…So as we’ve established, Home Alone 2 is the sequel to both the movie and the game of the same name. Whilst before Macalay, Maucaly, Pauly Malcun. WHATEVER! Was stuck at home whilst his bad parents went off on holiday without him and he had to fend off 2 evil crooks intent on stealing stuff from his rich family with hilarious shenanigans and booby traps, this one see’s him lost in New York. Why? Honest to god, I have no idea…

The game starts off with the likeness of Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci…the latter who’s becoming a regular feature in this after his likeness appeared in Moonwalker a few weeks back…for an Oscar winner, he doesn’t half put his name on a lot of crap…anyway, so they call up a New York hotel to tell them to stop Kevin McCallister being a pest. Whilst this probably has some connection to the movie, it makes no sense in context here. And this is the first problem with this game. I don’t care about system limitations, if a game’s story is based on a movie narrative, they should AT LEAST try to explain to the story to those who pick up the game and aren’t familiar with the source material. Also, I don’t have a fucking manual for this and I expect it to be ON THE SCREEN!

So anyway, we then take control of Kevin, who looks absolutely nothing like the character he’s based on (Good job developers) as he wanders around a hotel and low and behold, the game takes on “everything trying to kill you mode” which I’ve seen in various other games, but not to this degree. You get hurt by, wait for it, suitcases and mops and if you have the unfortunate pleasure of being shaken by morbidly obese men, waiters, maids or unruly hotel staff, you die instantly. Oh and you’ll also meet an unfortunate demise being sucked under a vaccum cleaner, something, which usually I’d claim to be a physical impossibility, but in a game where getting slightly dizzy kills you, logic clearly doesn’t live here anymore.

Thankfully, that’s not the only thing here that’s as broken as my family after my mother announced she had another husband and kids, the controls are flawed too. Macalay, Mac and Cheese. KEVIN does this skid attack if you press down whilst moving. Sometimes it damages enemies, sometimes it doesn’t, it’s random. And it’s almost guaranteed to get you hurt. Next there’s the opening doors, throughout the game, you’ll find yourself wanting to get into the little shops to get the fun novelty weapons, but NO. It won’t register the Up button and the worst part, every time you need to press the Up buttom, it’s almost certain that a one hit kill enemy, like Mr fatso, or the Vaccum of doom is nearby, causing you be killed instantly.

The games structure is massively flawed as well, in the first level, you have to navigate the way from left to right. Once you get to the end. BAM dead end and someone off screen throws suitcases at you and you have to call the lift, which is given no prior indication to do so. You get points for pressing the button, which is weird, but I’m getting 100 points per keystroke here, so I currently have a bigger high score than that brat off The Wizard. Anyway, so eventually he gets in the lift and goes…to another floor. Run from left to right and you hit a dead end and have to go back from that to the lift that reaches to ANOTHER FLOOR where you have to run from left to right, hit a dead end and backtrack. And following that…Super Mario, Michael Jackson and Sonic The Hedgehog beat the crap out of Kevin for wasting my time. No seriously, I have photographic evidence proving it.

I mentioned novelty weapons. There’s an air gun and a gun that fires a boxing glove that kills people. Yeah, you, as a kid, become a psychotic killer who destroys old ladies and suitcases…apparently. I’m sure they get better. Or maybe they don’t. Either way, I don’t care, my pizzas done.

To be honest, and this does just sound like shit reviewing, but I didn’t play this game as much as I could have, why? Because it infuriated me beyond belief, if I played it anymore, I’d have to buy a new TV, and you know what, I like my TV, it’s LCD, HD ready…why am I advertising my TV? I’m now expecting a god-damn burgulary and I’ve got to partake in some sort of shenanigan to stop them…wait, that sounds like something out of Home Alone! It’s how I trap my victims on Halloween anyway…  I can see the appeal of a Home Alone game that would be similar to Neighbours From Hell, where you have to set up traps for potential Joe Pesci’s, but that’s not what this is,  it’s just the most awful thing I’ve played in a very long while. The controls hardly work, the graphics are awful, the characters unrecognisable, the enemies are rubbish and it’s generally almost unplayable. I moaned about movie tie-ins with Aladdin, but that game is Super Mario Bros. 3 compared to this.  It’s literally Home Alone in name only and they really just shouldn’t have bothered at all. Now where’s my pizza and hot sauce?

Who wants a slice? If you all head into the basement, I’ve got a movie about to start. It’s my favourite movie, the one with the gangsters and Marlon Brando, I think it’s called Alvin And The Chipmunks The Squequal, which reminds me. I hate Attack Of The Clones.

NO! WAIT! I’M STILL NOT DONE! ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE FROM THE FIRST LEVEL! IMAGINE THE REST OF THE GAME! AND I HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED ON THE MUSIC YET. THE SNES REMIX OF THE THEMES FROM THE FILM ARE FUCKING TERRIBLE. “Oh but that’s due to having to compress it to a lower quality midi file” WRONG! Movies scores can be translated into chiptunes or MIDI files. I mean, look at Star Wars!

The Pokémon TV theme!

Hell, even fucking Taylor Swift sounds good in chiptune!

There is literally no excuse for this game to be as bad as it is and I hope to god whatever game those people who give me games gives me…wait…yeah….next time is good. So no platformers, no movie tie ins and no god damn Batmen….actually that last one was in regards to my last costume party…which ended badly…I think I’m due in court for that next week…so…



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