Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Great Playthrough: Game 55 - Lemmings Revolution

So it's been an awful long time since I wrote one of these blogs - but in my defence, I've been quite busy. Plus, I intended to try something different and do this as a video review, but then it just seemed like an awful lot more work, so I'm sticking to typing! Besides, none of you want to see my face anyway!

No picture of me today. Mostly because of the following reasons:
1) I can't find the case for the game
2) My phone battery is dead
3) I can't be arsed to fix either of the first two issues!
Lemmings Revolution
Released on: PC
Played on: PC
Release date: 2000

I had thought that I'd played at least one game on every gaming platform I own in the course of this playthrough - and then I got to Lemmings Revolution, and realised that I hadn't actually played a PC game yet!

When I was a teenager, the PC was my primary gaming platform - on which I played such wondrous games as Doom, X-Wing, the Secret of Monkey Island and, of course, Lemnmings. But in recent years I have drifted away from the PC as a gaming platform - because there's always confusion about how to make a game work! If you buy an Xbox 360 game, you know you can just put it in the drive and it will play. PC gaming on the other hand means that you have to tweak settings, make sure your graphics card is up to scratch, create boot disks... (oh wait, that was when I had a 386SX16 - oh well, you get the idea!)

But I obtained Lemmings Revolution from a charity sale a year or so ago and picked it up for the grand price of 50p - so I thought it'd be worth a go!

And then it wouldn't play.....


And then eventually, after some messing about, it did. So what did I think of Lemmings Revolution, after all that faffing about to get it running?

Well, it's OK. But it's nowhere near as good as the original - or the sequel for that matter.

The idea is quite good as the lemmings are on cylindrical mazes - so you are working on a 2D plane with 3D graphics - as opposed to the frankly awful 3D Lemmings which came out before this. And the sound is OK, and the graphics aren't bad.

The controls are great - still as intuitive as the original - just point and click. (A practical reason why console ports of Lemmings and it's sequels have never been as engrossing as playing it on a PC).

But the level design just feels a bit.... I dunno... bland?

I played through the first twenty or so levels (I say the first twenty - just like many Lemmings games, you don't have to tackle them in a linear fashion, so my first twenty wouldn't be the same as your first twenty. But then you don't own the game, do you?) and by the end I was just bored.

I didn't feel any particular challenge, and I solved almost all of the levels on my first try. Now I'm not THAT good at Lemmings, so this has obviously been dumbed down a little from the intensity of the earlier games, which is a shame.

Don't get me wrong, there are some funky additions, teleporters, little anti-gravity things that turn your lemmings upside down, switches... all of these are workable additions to the game. But without the excitement of the levels, I just couldn't bring myself to continue.

And yes, I appreciate that there may be some extremely well designed levels further down the line - but I'm not sure I want to waste the time getting there!

So I left Lemmings Revolution feeling both disappointed and let down. These scrappy little blue robe-wearing, green-haired entertainers from the early games feel that they have been replaced by someone in a beige suit, wearing a beige tie, who has recently bathed in a bath entirely filled with "meh". The excitement has gone. And for me, that's the shark-jumping moment for any sequel...

Oh well.

Rating: 5/10
Time played: About 30 minutes
Will I play it again? I'll leave it installed on my PC for years, but I probably won't choose to fire it up anytime soon...

So, what am I playing next? *Has a look at his sheet* Oooh - you'll be in for a surprise!