Dry, British humour.
Story unravels and reveals more, keeping the player interested.
Humour often falls flat.
Mindlessly clicking on everything is often the best way to progress.
Lack of player involvement.
The Supreme League of Patriots Review
Not too long ago, I wrote a preview for all the episodes of The Supreme League of Patriots. And I can honestly say my opinions have not changed much between the multiple game sessions. But I don’t think it’s the game’s fault, I think it was “born” into the wrong genre. With a premise as gripping as a patriotic Justice League, the genre best suited to it would probably be sandbox, something akin to Saints Row 4 (Hell, you play as the President of the United States).But for one reason or another No Bull Intentions (I like what they did there), the developers, thought it was better to make this into a point and click adventure. I wouldn’t have a problem with this as long as the genre lent itself to gameplay and story, which all link and support each other. Most successful games do this. To prove my point, you wouldn’t expect a concept like Call of Duty (war, guns and explosions) to be contained to a tile-based puzzle game, would you? Slightly extreme, but same principle. The concept is being suffocated by the genre and the gameplay. But I’m heading slightly off topic, back to the game as it stands.
The graphics don’t look terrible, but they aren’t the best either. This isn’t the end of the world since the texture quality is decent for the most part, even if some objects in the environments lack distinction and seem to blend into each other (a prime example of this being Kyle’s apartment). The slightly blocky style lends itself nicely to Kyle’s huge jaw, which in turn subtly tells the player that he’s large and not particularly intelligent before he even opens his mouth. Whenever someone starts talking the rest of the game freezes, and you’ll get an opportunity to look at the actually decent lip synching. Some of the speech can be skipped but it feels like the game decides when you can. Sometimes you can skip from the beginning of a sentence, other times it’s on the character’s last word. It feels strangely inconsistent.
This brings me to the audio, which is as weird as ever. While the music is forgettable “easy listening” tunes, it quiets down for speech, as expected. Then it’ll spike in the gap between two characters talking. Not exactly game breaking, but distracting nonetheless. The voice acting is pretty good overall, but this is where the lazy use of archetypes comes in. I’ve spoken about how Kyle looks rather thick, but he sounds it too, using a slow, lazy drawl similar to the stereotypical “surfer dude” way of talking. On the other hand his British sidekick Mel thinks on his feet, always ready for a witty remark about Kyle’s stupidity. The Supreme League of Patriots loves to make pop culture references with the same self-referential humour as Family Guy, with a few political jabs thrown in there for good measure. Personally, while I did chuckle a few times, this feels like the writers threw everything at the wall to see what would stick.
Now for the story. While doing my best not to spoil, I’ll say this: The Supreme League Patriots throws logic out of the window. This is obviously a point and click game, a place where reasonable solutions to problems are long since forgotten. So expect to be running around the town for a solution that could have been made in a few seconds. While Mel is definitely the more level headed of the two, he’ll still find himself embarking on the same ridiculous journeys. You may say that this is played up for comedic effect, but when it just isn’t funny and the player finds themselves wasting their time on a simple problem, something has obviously gone awry with your attempts at humour.
Let’s ask a question: Why are there storylines in games? Personally, I’d say to support the other two points in what I call the Holy Trinity of games: Gameplay and Genre. These three points come together to make a great game. An example off the top of my head is Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (dumb name). Genre? Action/Hack and Slash. Gameplay? Pretty much nothing but stupidly epic boss battles and hacking people to pieces. Storyline? A cyborg ninja travels around America to stop other cyborgs from harvesting the brains of children. This is absolutely insane, but they all complement each other into a silly, over the top but enjoyable experience. Some games don’t get the mix right, like Watch_Dogs. Genre? Open World. Gameplay? Drive into people, hack into various appliances around the city and shoot enemies, while doing enjoyable mini games. Story? A gritty, depressed hacker suffered the death of his niece. He now mopes around, being very serious and very sad, demanding answers about her death. You see? The tone of the storyline doesn’t match the rest of the game, thus creating a disappointing experience. But when each point of the triangle are trying to do different things, it creates a problem.
I never played the Monkey Island series or anything similar, so I missed out on when point and click adventure games were big business. I never found myself attracted to those “Escape the Room” flash games. Maybe it’s to do with being born into this explosion heavy, short-attention-span generation but I just don’t find them very appealing, though I can usually see why others might. However, The Supreme League of Patriots is a special case. If the genre doesn’t fit the story and the story doesn’t fit the gameplay, then what else is there to look for? The replay value is the same for any story-driven media it declines the more you experience it. Watching a comedy film twenty times slowly starts to degrade your enjoyment of it, even if it’s good. Other than the story, there’s no reason to revisit this after completing. There’s no hidden goodies. Nothing you may have missed. There’s no multiplayer, no other bonus modes to speak of, so the value for money depends on how many times you would revisit this. Get this game if you’re truly curious, or have an undying love for point and click games.
The Supreme League of Patriots Review
Phoenix Online Publishing
No Bull Intentions
29th January 2015