i work at a videogame store and i amazed when a game comes in that i have heard nothing about. This PS2 game, called "Raw Danger!" is one such title. What pulled me into this game was the box art. It looks like the cheesiest thing imaginable. The font, the picture of the waiter and waitress, the biohazard symbol, and warning tape complete with skulls just screams class. So, i brought this game home and thus began my love affair with this game. Simply put, it's not the classiest thing around, but it puts out...and it's cheap. Bonus.
Honestly, i was expecting this game to be a total turd, but i was pleasantly surprised. The game starts out and you play the part of a waiter. Your job is to serve food and drinks and get along with all of the patrons and especially the mayor. Needless to say, i went out of my way to get everyone else fired and our glorious mayor received the worst treatment of all. On a side note: it's fun to smash carts into people's legs...just an fyi.
Just when i was getting tired of trying to get the new girl fired and give the supervisor an ulcer, all hell broke loose and the levees surrounding Geo City (where? Well, it's near the Hudson River somewhere...) give way and the city floods. Your mission is to survive. Saving everyone else is optional. This is actually one of the strengths of this game. Your choices, even in the dialogue, have a deep impact on the rest of the game with how the other characters react to you and which "quests" you go on.
The dialogue choices are usually quite fun and are varied. The designers give you more of a choice than games such as Knights of the Old Republic (great game, don't get me wrong) give you. For example, in KoToR your dialogue options usually consist of a choice between "Yes, i will help you and save the orphanage and donate all of my money to the cause" or "i will kill you and rape your corpse and take your money when i'm finished."
Raw Danger's dialogue and game story path options are sometimes subtle and often funny (e.g. when the chef is dangling from a destroyed overpass, you can choose to "Help him," "Smile," or "Take his hat." i chose smile, and sure enough, my character gave a charming Cheshire cat smile to the chef who fell to his death. But be warned, Karma comes back to get you sometimes -- don't expect to get too far with the waitress when you tell her that her stepmother probably didn't survive the flood anyway, so looking for her would be a waste of time. This game is good for letting your inner sadist out -- "What's that? i'm crushing your ribs, cop, when i'm standing on top of this dresser that's pinning you to the ground?" Personally, i decided my character was bipolar and my actions/dialogue was a nice mixture of love/hate to keep all the other characters on their toes ;)
But that being said, the dialogue is often rough. This game could use better localization. It's downright painful at times (the Game Over screen is a screen that says "LOST," not "Game Over" or "You Lose"). It's interesting how they changed some characters' hair from black to blond to make the jump to the States, but yet in the flashbacks, everyone's hair is black. Oops. Also, two of the patients at the hospital are named "Will(ie) Nelson" and "Jim Beam" ...no joke. Another line from the game that stands out is, "Perhaps she is trying to establish her independency." Yep.
The graphics for this game are a little subpar and have a lot of generic character models. Overall, the graphics are bland, but sometimes they have some decent effects (with the water, for example), but unfortunately these usually result in slowdown.
i think this game may have been made by the Department of Homeland Security to prepare citizens in the event of a terrorist attack. If Hoover Dam gets blown up by Al-qaeda, i, for one, will survive the disaster because i know how to scavenge for food from trash cans and find/patch clothes to stay warm. i don't know what people who haven't played this game will do -- die, most likely. This game also serves as great training for when global warming gets bad enough to flood our cities. Again, guess who's going to survive...
The game takes a turn for the surreal sometimes....like when i talked to the Japanese woman with a cockney accent. Later i found my two favorite items in the game -- a top hat and a megaphone. Of course, i choose the top hat over any winter cap because i simply must look my best. The megaphone? Nothing beats standing an inch away from someone's ear and then yelling "HEY!" into the microphone into their now-destroyed ear. A top hat AND a megaphone? It's like a dream come true. Just when i thought the game couldn't get any better, they dropped a jet ski down for me out of nowhere and let me hot rod around town. Amazing.
This game falls short on graphics, but for the price it is a decent game that provides a lot of levity and a good amount of fun. Sometimes the designers' ideas far outshine their actual execution, but bless their hearts, they tried.
6.0 out of 10
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