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Game Over Online ~ Deer Avenger 3D

GameOver Game Reviews - Deer Avenger 3D (c) Simon & Schuster Interactive, Reviewed by - Winston Wolf

Game & Publisher Deer Avenger 3D (c) Simon & Schuster Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 35MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 50%
Date Published Wednesday, October 4th, 2000 at 08:43 PM

Divider Left By: Winston Wolf Divider Right

A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me, and a number of other people, up to his cottage for a summer ending, Labour Day weekend bash. I remember being one of the first guys to arrive that first night and as I stepped through the side door into the cottage, a funny thing happened. Mounted on the wall, near the door, was a fish. It looked like a flounder, although I couldn't be sure, and it was mounted on a panel, in a trophy-like manner. As I continued on, carrying my bag, the fish turned its head to me and said "Don't worry, be happy." I couldn't help but chuckle out loud. It was a gag fish. A little later, another guy arrived and walked past the same fish, which again turned its head and exclaimed "Can you throw me back into the river now?" I couldn't help but chuckle again. As each guest arrived, the fish blurted out another line. You see, it had a motion sensor on it, so every time somebody walked past the sensor, the fish would do her little routine. It was funny at first, but since it only had a handful of punch lines to run through, the gag quickly wore off. With that, welcome to the world of Deer Avenger 3D.

Deer Avenger 3D is the third title in Simon & Schuster's Deer Avenger series. The trio is a parody of the best-selling Deer Hunter games, a series in which the hunters become the hunted. Deer Avenger 3D opens with a cartoonish, tongue-in-cheek intro scene that is absolutely hilarious. In this third instalment, you take on the role of Bambo again. The poor deer just can't catch a break, he's simply trying to spend a little quality time with his girlfriend. All for not, as he's been called upon to protect the creatures of the forest yet again, taking matters into his own hooves as Simon & Schuster would put it.

The game begins in the confines of your cozy cabin. As a four-legged hunter, you must choose what weapon you wish to hunt with (albeit you begin with a limited selection, a collection that increases as you procure weapons from your fallen victims) and which season you wish to venture out in (Winter in Minnesota, Spring in Connecticut, Summer in Georgia, or Fall in Indiana). The locations, outside of colour schemes and weather effects, are repetitive. That's to say that the environments themselves are exactly the same. Replace snow-capped pines with full-bloomed trees, and snow on the ground with leaves and dirt and voila, you have the changing of the seasons. The weapon variety is fairly diverse and includes handguns, "NRA approved" shotguns, submachine guns, a crossbow and the "When they absolutely, positively must die" rocket launcher. Once you've made your choices, it's time to go hunting.

The gags and jokes begin to fly the moment you start hunting. There are more than a dozen characters wandering around the forest, usually two per excursion, one friendly and one prey. If you shoot the friendly, the hunt is over. You're only supposed to shoot your prey, which for a parody is quite odd considering it should be just as funny to shoot friendlies too. In either case, the usual stereotypical characters are found strolling through the woods. The redneck hunters, who are out to kill you as much as you're out to get them, and other characters like hippies looking out for the forest and it's inhabitants. Each of the characters comes equipped with a variety of witty, yet stereotypical, dialogue. You start by hunting poor ignorant Earl, follow that with hunters dressed in flannel, others in deer costumes, and finish up with the cream of the crop, Snake. As you kill each of your victims, their heads appear on the Trophy Wall back in the cabin.

If you haven't played any of the previous Deer Avenger games, or Panty Raider for that matter, which I certainly don't blame you for, the usual antics are required to lure the prey out into the open. You'll begin by throwing out various objects that would obviously attract redneck hunters. Items such as six-packs, porno magazines, pizza and canned cheese. If that doesn't do the trick, you can always shout a variety of calls to get their attention. Such hollers as "Help! My naked sister and I are stuck in a tub of jello", "Free VD clinic", "Look, a porno shop disguised as a tree", and "Look, the soundtrack to Deliverance!" If you're still having trouble luring those pesky rednecks, you can usually find a bag of Taco Butt, some broccoli or a bucket of beans in order to let loose with one of Bambo's lethal particle farts. With varying effects, these farts will lure your prey out, stun them for a while, or even take them out completely. Of course, don't get too close to your own rips or you'll end up walking around with the screen upside-down. At this point, you might as well head back to the cabin, there's no way you can hunt properly in this fashion.

Deer Avenger 3D is, well, the first real 3D title in the series. The characters and environments are all done in 3D although, as I mentioned earlier, the environments are less than original. The graphics are crisp but don't try to overrun the meat of the game, which are the gags and the dialogue. The dialogue, and the entire audio component in general, is easily the best part of Deer Avenger 3D. The only problem is, like the fish story I told at the beginning of the review, the gags run thin after a few hunts. Once you've beheaded your first couple of rednecks, the objects, dialogue and general slapstick situations become extremely repetitive. Once the jokes wear off, the game becomes strictly a hunting experience, which isn't such a good thing. Like a good stand-up routing, you need to know when to get off the stage, and Deer Avenger 3D gets off way too late.

The gags in Deer Avenger 3D aren't the freshest jokes, but they are tried and tested and will undoubtedly provide a chuckle or two. Unfortunately, they run thin after only a few hours of play and what you're left with is a hunting game that, much like the trophy fish, leaves you wandering if it was really worth the money. For those who enjoy buying gum that tastes like dirt, it might be, for the rest, the gag just might be on you.


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