A Stranger reviews :: Cel Damage Overdrive

A Stranger presents...

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Cel Damage Overdrive

What's this? This doesn't have 'It's About Time' in the title, what the fuck Stranger? Well calm down imaginary, quick to anger reader. That series is most certainly still going but it's reserved for more 'hard hitting' titles that people have actually heard of. Now let's get on with the review before people start wondering why I'm talking to myself again.

Cel Damage Overdrive was released in 2001 on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube and was met with bad reviews and even worse sales. It is a demolition derby game where the player must destroy all the other cars using a variety of cartoon weapons. There are 3 game modes: "Gate Relay" which is a race, "Flag Rally" which is capture the flag and "Smash Attack" which is a deathmatch mode.

The game has an extremely loose plot, the 6 primary characters are all participants in a demolition derby shown on tv and must compete in a variety of game modes for money or fame or whatever they want. That's it, but like Just Cause 2 it does not need a plot, the game is about sheer chaos and pure, unbridled fun. Each character has a sequence of videos that you unlock as you play them more, these videos are not there to advance the plot, they are simply there to be downright hilarious. That's the main thing that Cel Damage Overdrive is, it's just hilarious. This is added to by the wacky list of characters that are all caricatures of some type or the other and all pretty funny.

Violet is an Asian teenage girl, full of wise remarks and angst, her signiture weapon is a rocket launcher. Fowl Mouth is a gangster duck, yes a gangster duck! Straight out of a bad 40's B-movie, his weapon is a tommy gun, naturally. Sinder is a crazy demon who was kicked out of hell for being too mischievous, he rocks a wood chipper. B.T Bruno is a fat construction worker who rides in a bulldozer and likes to use a giant hammer. Dominique Trix uses something I can't even remember but it's probably quite suggestive and Flemming is a nerd to us nerds, he rides a hover car and shoots people with his lazer. There are four other boss characters and I won't go too in to them but I'll just say that one is a cow, one is a vampire, another is a dinosaur and one is a Robobrain from Fallout.

What the gameplay consists of is driving around in your car and picking up weapons to beat the crap out of the other cars until they explode. In the deathmatch mode you try to get a certain amount of smack points by damaging other cars or by blowing them up, you can do this by shooting your weapon but ramming them off a cliff, smashing into the side of them and flipping on top of them works just as well. In the race mode you drive round the map going through checkpoints, trying to outpace the other cars or just by simply blowing them up. In Capture the Flag you collect flags by picking them up or by stealing them from others and then take them back to your base. The one I played the most was death match, as in the other modes it just felt like the objectives got in the way of killing everyone, which is very annoying.

The weapons are really where this game shines, they are just bat-shit crazy: you can pick up anything from just a giant machete to a freeze ray or black hole traps or hoovers or lightning blots or a rocket that you strap to your car, allowing you to fly but you can fire it off to deal massive damage. All the weapons are different and all fun to use, everyone will have their favourite, mine was the simple baseball bat because the enemy cars go flying when you smack them around the place.

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The cartoony art style is pleasing to the eye and is made better by the sheer variety of wacky levels. There a 13 in total and over your time with Cel Damage Overdrive you will bash people around in a jungle, freeze ray someone in space, be shot at in the Wild West and eaten alive in Transylvania. One has to wonder exactly how much drugs the designers of this game were making when they made some of these levels.

Even with all this craziness the gameplay does become rather repetitive after a while as you begin to find out exactly how to use each weapon but to be honest, I never played this game much on my own. When I did play it was when I had people round, 4 of us would plug into this game and just run riot on the rings of Saturn, doing our best to destroy each other. Those times have been some of the most fun in my life and even after this time, we still plug in the ol' PS2 just to play it now and again.

This game is shallow, cliché and has no plot to speak of, but it is absolutely hilarious and only cost me £5 when I first bought it in 2003. I'm really surprised it wasn't more popular, it probably didn't help that whoever reviewed it over at IGN and Gamespot had no fucking clue what they were talking about. (One said it was too hard, what the fuck?)

- Anyway thanks for your time, be sure to comment with any feedback, keep in mind this review was sort of rushed.

Oh, I remember this game. Except it didn't have the subtitle "Overdrive". And it was published by EA. And it didn't have health bars.

Anyway, it is a fun game while it lasts. Well worth buying it if you see it for a few quid. Viva la oversized axe.

Stranger of Sorts:
OH LOOK I CAN GET ATTENTION

Nice review, loved the intro paragraph especially :). I was kind of surprised to see another review by you out so quick so I should forgive the few proof reading slips "The game as an extremely loose plot", "All the weapons a different and all fun to use". Seeing the speed it was done though I have a feeling that's where it came from. Good review though, maybe I'll look into buying this when I get a moment.

Enjoy the +1 Ego boost :P

Ahh I remember this game, and it is bat shit insane, but in a good way.

Delusibeta:
Oh, I remember this game. Except it didn't have the subtitle "Overdrive". And it was published by EA. And it didn't have health bars.

Anyway, it is a fun game while it lasts. Well worth buying it if you see it for a few quid. Viva la oversized axe.

Only the PS2 version had Overdrive in the title, well at least that's what wikipedia tells me.

darth jacen:

Stranger of Sorts:
OH LOOK I CAN GET ATTENTION

Nice review, loved the intro paragraph especially :). I was kind of surprised to see another review by you out so quick so I should forgive the few proof reading slips "The game as an extremely loose plot", "All the weapons a different and all fun to use". Seeing the speed it was done though I have a feeling that's where it came from. Good review though, maybe I'll look into buying this when I get a moment.

Enjoy the +1 Ego boost :P

Oh I will. Yeh I was thinking of something to do while listening to Them Crooked Vultures for the music thread, so true to form I didn't play the game at all and just went straight into the review. I'll go along and tidy it up now.

I remember that game I was like 11 or 12 god that game was chaotic as hell we need to bring that game to the wii I bet online play would be fun

Ahh good memories of beating the crap out of my siblings in this game. Good review bud :D

I still have this game for my 'Cube. One of the few games my sister will still play with me on the rare occasions she plays video games at all. I agree it got repetitive as all hell beating every stage with every character just to unlock an extra video and to make their weapon usable by everyone, but heck, I did it anyway because at its twisted, violent heart the game was pretty damn fun.

I can't understand how anyone could consider it too hard though... Don't know what game the reviewers were playing, but in single player (without the added challenge of friends on a vendetta) it's pretty hard not to win. The only hard part I can think of is some of the levels on race mode (getting dropped into the metal compacter on the third desert level, for instance, could be a pain) but that's more to do with bad luck than difficulty.

 

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