As the Humans expand their empire, the Orcs grow restless… and also gassy. Casual Brothers brings us this new comedy brawler with an… um…. “unique” sense of humor in the form of Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion. Utilizing farts and belches to illicit laughs and excitement, is this game a ripe gem or does it just plain stink?
Orc Attack weaves a tale of overzealous Humans, expanding their reach of civilization across the land and eventually encroaching on the turf of the Orcs (their natural enemy, of course). Unfortunately, the waste produced from this expansion has been poisoning the Orcs and have made them sick and nauseous. However, their bodily expulsions have been amplified by the waste, essentially giving them deadly burps and noxious, flammable farts.
Players get to utilize the crude weapons in classic brawler action against the Humans. But don’t worry, if you’re above the blue-collared styling of fart jokes, the game opens up with an option to allow players to choose whether they want to fight “dirty” or with “magic.” Choosing one or the other simply changes the sound effects from toots and gurgles to magical wooshes as well changing instances of the words “fart” and “burp” to “evoke.”
Combat in the game is the typical brawler fare. There’s a light attack, a heavy attack, and of course the magic/farts. Fighting feels very floaty and slow. There’s never the constant sense of reward through constant stimuli that comes with classic brawlers like Dynasty Warriors or Castle Crashers that helps to keep those games from ever feeling admittedly too repetitive. Enemies line up and stand around waiting to be the next one to be killed by the player. There is an attempt to detract from this lazy AI by having enemies sometimes come up from behind to stab at the player, but it’s hard to ignore when there’s a chorus line off to the side waiting patiently to be slaughtered.
There are combos and defensive attacks in the game, but the timing of both is incredibly awkward. Most players will be able to input entire strings of combos by the time a single attack animation is complete. Not to mention that in order to do anything after a dodge roll– this includes attacking, combos, and even rolling again– one must wait for the slow rolling animation to complete as well, or else the player is punished with an embarrassing trip and a flashing reminder to pace out the tapping of the roll button.
This experience is worsened by the fact that there is no camera control within the game. The right analog stick will just sit there, unused, just begging to allow players to actually see what’s going on in the battlefield, or even just any given stage in general. Instead, the camera will slowly glide around the player in circles during combat, which to be honest made me very disoriented and gave me headaches by the end of some stages.
The gameplay itself is absolutely baffling as well. Escort missions, PS1-era stage obstacles, and shoehorned motion controls make for an overall frustrating experience. In one stage, certain enemies could only be killed with magic, but using spells uses up an alarming amount of mana. My co-op buddy and I spent about ten minutes running around the area looking for mana pick-ups just to be able to kill the enemy. Eventually we did, but by the time we had, we had more than lost our patience with the game.
Orc Attack also has a very unpolished presentation about it. Slideshow cutscenes feature a lone narrator who does voices for all speaking characters; perhaps that was suppose to be the joke here, but it comes off like some lame dad reading a children’s book. Sound effects are incredibly generic and are repeated constantly. The most variety in sounds come from the titular farts, almost as if the developers thought the shallow joke would be enough to carry the charm of the game. I will give Orc Attack credit though, any game that uses a Wilhelm scream for dying enemies is doing something right… until the joke is beaten like a dead horse after hearing twenty enemies make the same sound in the span of about 15 seconds.
In the end, there’s unfortunately very little about the game that makes it worth playing. I could go on about the generic stage motifs and the incredibly shallow boss fights. I could even go about the game outright telling me in a loading screen that sometimes my magic “won’t work” and the solution is just do it over and over again until it does. But dear readers, it will only just add insult to injury of the unpolished mess that is Orc Attack. I’d like to say the game would be a good fit for kids who might exploring the realm of action games for the first time, but even then, there are far better choices that are far less insulting.
Instead of passing any marks, Orc Attack simply passes gas. And then starts snickering at itself when no one else is entertained.
[+It’s playable] [+There are orcs in it] [+The first time you hear a Wilhelm Scream, it’s actually pretty funny] [-Unpolished presentation][-Slow and floaty gameplay] [-Poor and lazy game design throughout][-Not as funny as it thinks it is]