Crazy Hunter Review
Posted by Ron DelVillano
Hunting, it’ll make you crazy
Have you ever thought to yourself, “what’s the least amount of fun I can possibly have while playing a DSiWare game”? Well, think no more, because now your wildest fantasies can be a reality when you play Crazy Hunter. With a plot that makes no sense and controls that are almost impossible to master, you’ll be shaking your head and wishing for your money back in no time.
The apparent plot of this game is that you're a crocodile who is searching for golden eggs that are laid by hens who live high in the clouds. To get to these hens, you must drive your speedboat and knock down goats who are standing on top of towers of candy. Once the goats have fallen in the water, you then have to fish them out by using some sort of crane machine, then stack the goats on top of each other to form a tower that will reach the hens in the clouds. Did you get all of that? Because it really doesn’t make sense, and the sloppiness of the plot is just the tip of the entire messy iceberg that is Crazy Hunter.
As you progress through the vertically linear landscape of the game, your speedboat uses up fuel. The amount of fuel that your boat has remaining is displayed on the top screen, and fuel can be replenished by running into goats and knocking them off of their candy towers. Reaching the end of the course means that it’s time to pick goats out of the water using your crane machine. However, if you run out of fuel before you reach the end of your course, that means it’s game over and you have to start again from the title screen. With each new environment that you traverse through, new obstacles will begin to appear in the way of your boat, such as elephants and plants that shoot upward in your path, adding a new element of strategy to the otherwise linear gameplay.
Crazy Hunter is controlled using the DSi’s face buttons, with no option for touchscreen controls instead. Your speedboat can be moved left or right using the D-Pad, while holding either A, Y, or R will propel your boat forward, and pressing B, X, or L will cause your boat to jump. Once you’re in control of your boat, all you have to do is hit the towers of candy with goats on top that are floating in the water. With such a variety of input methods and such a simple task at hand, you’d think that this would be an easy ride to control, but it’s quite the opposite. While accelerating and jumping work without a hitch, steering your boat towards your targets is about as easy as throwing an American football through a pinhole. It’s almost as though the steering can’t decide whether it wants to be too sensitive or not sensitive enough, so it hap-hazardously switches between the two and often sends you drifting way off course.
Because the steering is so awful, and your speedboat fuel depletes so quickly, Crazy Hunter instantly becomes one of the most difficult games anyone will ever play, ever. Even missing just one goat tower usually results in a completely empty fuel tank, and then you’re sent back to the title screen. It’s an incredibly unforgiving game, and the silliness of the characters and plot make it seem as though it's actually mocking you. After running out of fuel a significant number of times and being immediately cast back to the game’s title screen, it’s just not fun to play.
Almost as awful as the controls is the way Crazy Hunter sounds. The music could be the obnoxiously upbeat and repetitive tracks that were rejected from the Donkey Kong franchise, and the sound effects are all just strange animalistic grunts and yelps. It should also be noted that everything sounds like it was recorded through two tin cans connected by a piece of twine. Unfortunately, playing with the volume turned all the way down doesn’t make the gameplay any more enjoyable, but at least you’ll have peace and quiet while cursing under your breath.
As far as visuals go, there are far worse looking games, but Crazy Hunter isn’t easy on the eyes. Most of the character sprites look grainy and stick out from their environment like sore thumbs. The towers of candy that the goats are sitting on are also sloppy, looking less like candy and more like stacks of multi-colored geometry. Oddly enough, the environments that you race your boat through are surprisingly good looking. The water effects and three-dimensionally rendered islands that mark your path are a sight to behold, but throw in the lazily drawn goats and candy, and even these attractive elements lose their luster.
There’s no two ways about it, Crazy Hunter is a bad game. The plot makes no sense, the audio and visual aesthetics are mostly offensive, and the controls make it almost completely unplayable. The unreliable controls cause the game to be instantly set at an outstanding difficulty level that simply makes Crazy Hunter no fun to play. Save yourself some money and frustration, and don’t even give this one a second glance.