Game Review: Clash at Demonhead

No, it’s not just one of the bands from the comic series “Scott Pilgrim”. Clash at Demonhead was the game that couldn’t decide who it wanted to steal ideas most from. First is the cheesy, comic sounding team that the protagonist is a part of (really, the “Special Assault Brigade for Real Emergencies? Is there one for fake emergencies too?) Next, you have to save Professor Plum from Clue, while learning Force moves from Yoda, and avoiding Voldemort’s mind control. Heck, unlike playing stella glow with various characters, you even have to collect his seven horcruxes in order to win the game.

Or do you? Turns out, there’s two parts to this game. You go through all the trouble of collecting the seven medallions, meeting with some skeleton who has the distinguished name of Tom Guycot for some reason, who swoops down on you twice to attack, then pretty much gives up, regardless of whether he hit you. He tells you about how he took Plum and how you have to get him back, which is one of those common courtesies that only the stupidest of villains do in pretty much every game and movie. Later you find your friend Michael, who tells you where to find some fairies or Sprite or something. For some reason when you play games, since you the player have never met an NPC, they treat it as if the character in the game has also never met someone who claims to be one of their best friends. Heck, even family gets amnesia in games where you get to choose your own character name, with your own mother going “I forget honey, what do I call you again?”

Anyway, you get to choose different routes to get to Mount Demonhead (if the name wasn’t a dead giveaway, just wait), where you shoot at all of these random things that jump out at you. I’m not really sure if those things are Qberts or something, and if they are the ones firing all of the guided missiles at you, or what the heck the flying saws are supposed to be, but they all have much better aim than most other video games, and they’re all weak enough that you can take them out with one shot.

You continue through the different routes collecting all of these medallions, feeling brainache, and generally shooting at anything that moves. You figure out that you’re too good for the mind control that the Demon trapped in the mountain is using on you, but your friend Michael wasn’t. It ends up being a trap set to have you set him free, making you one of those useless heroes that makes the problems that they have to then fix. Not only do you have to worry about nukes, but now a demon that is pretty good at kicking a skeleton’s ass, as evidenced when he takes out Tom Guycot like nothing.

Grab sword, slay demon, save princess… er, professor, all good. Except for the bomb. Which is done. Which your friend Plum didn’t really invent anyway, but was instead invented by aliens. So a skeleton kidnaps a scientist for the bomb that he built, yet he didn’t build it, and didn’t even invent the thing. Now I know that the game creators couldn’t extend game play, and ended up just making even more stupid storylines to cram into this crapfest.

The alien reveals that it created humanity, and only a millennium ago, at that. They then got annoyed when humans stopped listening to them, and like all kids who own a small pet, they decided on the obvious: blow the crap out of it until it dies. For some reason the magical medallions are the key to defusing the bomb, but at least semi-realistically, no instruction manual is given to you on how to do so, nor do they have any significant markings to let you know which goes where. Thus, you half-ass it and rush to cram them into whichever hole they’ll fit into, in hopes that you can stop it before it disintegrates you and the rest of the planet. Upon success, the alien pretty much gives up like Mr. Guycot, and simply walks away from this mess of a planet that he made. Your character basically flips him off as a farewell, and the day is saved!

Playability: 8/10

Confused storyline: 9/10

Inspiring a fictional band in a fictional story: 10/10 Oh Yeah!

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