I apologize for my lack of updates of the past couple months, I blame the industry (Read: Other people) more then myself, but in the upcoming summer months I pledge to bring you new content every two weeks at least. To that end I will be taking suggestions to games you’d like to hear about. Leave your suggestion in the comments or private messages or…I dunno, carrier pigeon? Anyway, with that I present to you…
Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ
A while back I picked up Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ, henceforth referred to as LRRHZBBQ, for about 15 bucks in a Best Buy discount bin. I’d gone through all of my Advance Wars and Phoenix Wright games and needed something new for my DS, so why not. I mean, it has a T for Teen rating for “Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Fantasy violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes.” At the very least, I had to check it out, at the very least for scientific purposes.
My results? Basically, I’ve determined that LRRHZBBQ is pandering at its finest, at least as much as you can get in a DS game. Spain based Gammick obviously knows what they’re doing, maybe a bit too well for their own good. It’s got zombies, guns, a buxom lass with an unreasonably short skirt, and a Japanese guy who shoots ninja stars that look like peaches. Ok, I’m not sure who this Momo “Kamikaze” Taro character is or why he shoots peaches, but he’s cool…I guess. Never really played him. Maybe it’s a Japan thing. Who would to, what with Little Red “Ready to Rock” Riding Hood, whose hobbies include hunting, cooking, collecting guns and being charming, available to play? That and the fact that they are functionally identical. Except for shooting peaches. Weird.
Anyway, the whole affair is actually a very fun game. You, presumably Little Red, are on the lower DS screen moving left to right on one of eight panels. You move forward through scrolling levels where zombies buried beneath the streets rise to nom you. You are armed with an infinite ammunition machine gun (or rapid fire ninja star gun…) along with a variety of other collectable but limited weapons, including shotguns, flamethrowers (the only part where the BBQ comes into play), or a giant death lazer. Yea, don’t get that one either but it’s cool nonetheless. You fire by touching the lower screen with the stylus and Little Red fires from her current position toward it. To reload, you lift the stylus up. Use the D-pad or stylus to move across the bottom of the screen and tap your character to duck. Pretty simple, right? LRRHZBBQ has the feel of one of those old-school arcade games that everyone could pick up after looking at the controls. Both simple yet intricate and, eventually, incredibly challenging. As far as DS games go, this one is actually difficult. The first levels are easily doable, even at the hard difficulty setting, but after a bit it becomes almost unbeatably hard. And on any other system that would be a bad thing, but this is the Nintendo DS, the system you use when the alternative is reading a book. If it were easy, you’d sail through it in an hour and wonder what you were going to do for the rest of your road trip but, as it is, it takes time and development of skill to beat. Even when it gets really bad it’s never the game’s fault for your dying, since every attack can be avoided or dodged if you’re pro, so it isn’t infuriating to fail. Especially when you get to see a bit more of Red. Rawr.
LRRHZBBQ is also one of the few DS games I’ve played that effectively uses both screens without using the touch screen exclusively, the top screen left as a stats display or some other useless stuff, or using the touch screen as a large button. The map stretches across both screen and you can, and will often need to, shoot from the lower screen to the top. All of the bosses, and most of the minibosses, inhabit the upper screen leaving the lower screen for various attacks and allowing Red to hop around without cluttering the already small space with an overly large boss. Personally, I prefer to keep Zombie Pinocchio as far away from me as possible.
Speaking of Zombie Pinocchio, don’t get LRRHZBBQ for a good story. As far as I can tell, there’s an evil scientist or something who’s released a virus, I think, that is awakening the dead. You, being Little Red, have to get to your grandmother’s house to save her. After you kill the zombie big bad wolf you carry on, trying to find the source and killing fairy tale characters. There’s even a zombie Santa. I guess this is what happens when Spain and Japan collaborate. Weird.
Graphics-wise, LRHZBQWXOZLALALA is about average for a 3d on the DS (rendered, not 3DS). It has some good 2d drawn images, but those aren’t important (unless…weird). The in-game graphics are a bit blocky and pixelated at times, but for the most part they’re decent enough. Partly, I blame the DS touch screen, and the rest on the…concentration on other
ass-pects aspects of the game.
Overall, LRRHZBBQ is entertaining to say the least. The most detrimental thing is that no one has ever heard of it. It’s certainly no Professor Layton, but it should keep you entertained for a few dozen hours, unless you have something against firing hot lead into the Zombie three little pigs. That’s completely normal, right?