SURPRIIIIIIIIISE!!!! Yes that’s right. For the very first video game review on Total Action Adventure I have selected the grand opus Birthday Party Bash for the Nintendo Wii. A game that released just last week with absolutely no buzz and doesn’t have a single online review. This is one of those titles you see in a store and wonder, “how on earth is that a real thing?”
Well read on to find out everything you need to know about this ode to the wonderment that is…..the birthday party. And yes, you’re all invited.
So the reason I chose this game is because everyone knows that writing a review for a bad game can be lots more fun than writing one for a good game. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to really have some fun tearing a game apart. I mean nobody is talking about this thing, absolutely nobody. There had to be a reason for that so I was willing to take the plunge and try it out. Because that’s how committed I am to entertainment damn it. Also because it was free. That helped too.
I think a great place to start is with the premise of the game. The Wii has simulated lots of real-life activities and events. However virtually recreating the birthday party is a new one. I assume the audience for this game is one of two people: older gamers who never had birthday parties growing up, or younger gamers who aren’t having birthday parties now and need some way to experience them. I can’t accept that anyone is buying it as a birthday party substitute or because they need another Wii mini-game collection. Hell I barely accept that anyone is buying it at all. The question is: are you missing out on anything if you don’t buy it?
The answer is no you are not. I will admit that this game is not the complete train wreck I was expecting. It’s just sort of there, serving no real purpose. The best I can really say is that it’s playable. Congratulations Goosebumps Horrorland you son of a bitch, you’re still the worst Wii game I’ve played.
I will say this; Birthday Party Bash is hands-down the best birthday party simulator I’ve played this year. The game starts out by asking what age you are and then asks you to create your character. The amount of customization is pretty pathetic, offering less than a handful (literally, there are four) of options for clothes and faces. I made my guy look as old as possible so he looked like a complete douche-bag competing against a bunch of children. Now if only they let you get drunk and laugh in their faces this game would be a classic.
After choosing the theme of your party room – 8 in total, ranging from pirates to stuffed animals – you and up to four friends (probably just you because you ain’t gettin’ anyone else to play this game) compete in a series of birthday party related mini-games. These are centered on all the classic birthday party activities such as: hot potato, musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, floating into space to pop balloons and of course, using lasers to shoot the gremlins who have infested your house. Man those were good times.
The mini-games range from surprisingly decent to just plain bad. Some of the highlights include Scribble, where you have to be the fastest to colour in a series of pictures, and the piñata smashing is pretty fun due to some damn good piñata physics. The rest are uninspired and usually are nothing more than waving the remote around frantically. I mean did they really have to make games based on blowing out candles (with a remote mind you) and opening presents? It’s ok to go a little further with the imagination there guys.
After each game a new decoration is added to your party room. I don’t remember my birthday parties being that cruel. Were there really parties where you don’t get plates or balloons or even presents until your parents felt you’re done an adequate enough job catching bugs or shooting targets with a slingshot?
“Can I have my presents now?!”
“We said no! Not until you win 4 rounds of rock, paper scissors and shoot all the gremlins in the living room!!!”
Actually it would be pretty awesome to be a guest at that party.
I should point out that the instruction manual for this game provides several pages worth of information on how to throw a birthday party centered entirely on this game. It’s probably an oversight but they left out the final step – “Prepare for crushing disappointment when not a single person comes to your ill-advised party.”
Now that I’ve written more about this game than even the company who released it, I’ll wrap things up. I really want to hate this game but I just can’t. It’s just so pointless and weird I have to admire it a little. I would never ever pay money for it though. Good god no. If you can play it for free then fire it up to bask in the small enjoyment it does offer. But if I find out you paid 50 dollars for it, well then actually I'll be really sorry that clearly no real people are coming to your birthday parties.