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Game Over Online ~ Extreme Paintbrawl II

GameOver Game Reviews - Extreme Paintbrawl II (c) HeadGames, Reviewed by - Beach Head

Game & Publisher Extreme Paintbrawl II (c) HeadGames
System Requirements Pentium 133, 16MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 23%
Date Published Friday, January 14th, 2000 at 11:03 PM

Divider Left By: Beach Head Divider Right

As if the original Extreme Paintbrawl wasn't bad enough, Head Games is back at it again with the release of Extreme Paintbrawl II. If anything, they've got balls the size of grapefruits releasing the sequel, after the original title was reamed by the gaming press as one of the worst titles of 1998. Unfortunately, or perhaps not so, I never got the chance to play the original Extreme Paintbrawl, so I'm heading into this review with very few expectations. However, if the original was as bad as this sequel is, I'm glad I missed it.

According to Head Games Publishing, Extreme Paintbrawl II is "Serious Paint Flying 3D Action". Uh huh. The object of EP2 is to assemble a team, choose camouflage, weapons and ammo, assign tactical maneuvers, and strategically eliminate the opposing team as you progress through six diverse 3D environments. Wow, I actually made that sound like it could be fun. Oh well, time to tear that statement to shreds.

So what's wrong with Extreme Paintbrawl II you ask? Just about everything. Graphically, it looks old. The environments are uninspired and lack depth. There's very little detail in many of the objects and obstacles found in the game. The enemies and even your team members are all dressed in black, so at least we can't see how bad they look. There are six battlefields in total, but none are very unique. When you walk around the parking garage, every level looks the same.

Let's move along to the audio component. Ok, this game doesn't have much of that either. The menu music is the best part of the sound department. Once you jump into the game, you'll wish you were back at the menus. The sound effects are limited to weapon sounds. You can't hear enemies footsteps, let alone your own, no matter if you're walking on concrete or metal stairs. When you give team members tactical orders, they respond with the usual 'Right away' type comments. When your team members or enemies get shot, they raise their arms and release a sign of sorts. Bottom line, the sound department is as basic as you can get.

Let's touch on the gameplay aspect of Extreme Paintbrawl II. You can play in one of two modes, Instant Action or Season Play. Instant Action is self-explanatory. You simply select your team members, arm them, and jump straight into any one of the battlefields made available. In the Season Play, you have to complete the objectives of each battlefield, gaining money in the process. You'll have to manage resources by purchasing weapons for your team, hiring and firing team members, and arming your crew. Before each mission begins, you're given a briefing with the mission objective, and the ability to give your four other team members tactical orders. Not bad to start with, but it all goes downhill once you actually get onto the battlefield.

The Artificial Intelligence is just plain dumb. There are three different tactical settings for your team members; Defend, Assault, and Follow. If your team members follow you and see an enemy, they automatically break into Assault mode and run around like a chicken with it's head cut off. They run into walls, crates, whatever they can in a random pattern that no less gets them shot in a few minutes. The only saving grace is the Defend position, at which point they'll kneel down and stay still. You can only control the team captain unless he dies, at which point you can take over the next man in charge. The enemy AI? It's only slightly better than that of your own team, so don't expect much.

Did you know paintballs curve like baseballs? Well they do in real life and they do here in Extreme Paintbrawl 2. The only problem is that it's far too unpredictable to take advantage of. Firing two shots in a row, without moving your sight, will almost always end up with two completely different results. There were also times when I fired a paintball and missed my opponent by several feet, yet it seemed to register a hit. No consistency at all.

And the controls, oh the controls. Although configurable, four of the most important controls were pre-set permanently. You MUST, and I can't emphasize that enough, look up or down using the mouse. You MUST turn to the right or left using the mouse. Heaven forbid we're able to change that. Can you move a mouse on a perfect line, horizontally? If you can't, you're going to turn around a corner and look up or down accidentally, only to realize a second later that an enemy was around that corner and because you looked up, you're now shot. I don't use my mouse when I play FPS, please don't force me too.

So is there any good in this game? There are a variety of weapons available, that's cool. The ability to manage resources is a nice addition. There's tons of gear at your disposal. When a mission is completed, or not, individual and team statistics are made available. The menu screens are easy to use and the mission briefing and setup are a good start to each battlefield. Once the action gets going though, yikes.

Am I expecting too much from this game? I don't think so. I'm aware this is a budget title, but so was Nerf ArenaBlast. The two games are similar in concept, except ArenaBlast is on a whole other level. There's a fine line between good budget and bad budget. Simply put, Extreme Paintbrawl II looks like it fell off the ugly budget tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Graphics [6/20]
Sound [4/15]
Gameplay [6/30]
Funfactor [5/20]
Multiplayer [0/5]
Overall Impression [2/10]


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