165. Charlie’s Angels

Charlie’s Angels (2003, GameCube) by Ubisoft

Current Any% Leaderboard (Speedrun.com)

You think by Game #178 I’d have learned every lesson the AVGN Trials could possibly teach me.  I mean, I’ve beaten games that have beaten me down.  Polybius, Rocky, Kid Kool, Independence Day, Wally Bear, Swordquest and Adventure Island all had me on the brink of insanity and giving up before I was able to rebound and complete those trials.  And, with the exception of Adventure Island, all of those games have something in common: I saw the speedrun and thought, “Boy, I bet I could just wing it here and just speedrun the game.”  And who could blame me?  I’ve done that countless times, and with Charlie’s Angels, Ubisoft’s 2003 Movie-Based game with the likenesses of Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Bernie Mac, I saw the speedrun and said to myself that this would be an easy one-and-done.  The game is crappy enough not to need to make any true effort.  And, just like that list of games that almost ended my Trials prematurely, this game bit me HARD in the ass.  I’m typing this the day after the Trial ended, and my thumb is STILL swollen and is bruised from last night’s gaming.

This game is so bad.

Presentation-wise, this is laughable.  TWO THOUSAND AND THREE.  2003.  We were 2 years from the XBox 360.  We had GORGEOUS games like The Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, Halo, GTA Vice City, and countless others to compare.  And this blocky, terribly-animated, awful mess with blurry textures, marionette-like animations, terrifying faces, and unremarkable, yawn-inducing level designs was the best that the world’s worst video game publisher, Ubisoft, could come up with?  For real, Ubisoft is so bad, and this proves it once again that they are the TRUE worst game designer, letting LJN off the hook (LJN isn’t even in my top 3! Hell, maybe my top 5!)

The music and voices are nice, however, with the actors providing voiceovers (albeit, you can tell they probably recorded their lines on their lunch break; the acting they provide is ATROCIOUS), but holy hell what are the sound effects?  When Mrs. Diaz’s character, Natalie, is hit, she fucking HONKS LIKE A GOOSE!  I’m serious!  Go watch my run!  She sounds like some professional NFL punter drop-kicked a swan!

The controls aren’t terrible, honestly, but they’re far from intuitive, and Ubisoft could’ve fixed some of it with a simple controller-mapping function.  The worst offender here is the camera… which constantly shifts to a side view, very zoomed in, making it nearly impossible to avoid grenades and traps.  And, that’s where this game’s bullshit comes flying in: the final 2 levels are the biggest difficulty spike I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever.  I reached the final stage having only died twice in the ENTIRE RUN on world record pace… just to game over.  And then game over again.  And again.

That’s why this disc is in pieces now.  And will remain in my boneyard until the end of time.

The speedrun is almost fun, if not repetitive as heck (to be fair, the game is even worse at this fault).  You jump, you Liu Kang bicycle kick, rinse and repeat.  My thumbs are swollen, blistered, and raw from repeating the same motion over and over for 6 hours.  There are some options to help with the end game difficulty; you can farm points early on and stockpile lives at the expense of time and speed.  That is where the routing options end; this game is as linear as a ruler.

Steer clear of this turd.  Seriously.  Go watch the AWFUL sequel movie instead.  Because it’s far better than this abomination.

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