M&M's Shell Shocked

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M&M's Shell Shocked
M&Ms-Shell-Shocked.jpg
Quite shocking indeed.
Protagonist(s): Yellow
Genre(s): Action
Platform
Rating(s): ESRB: E
PEGI: 3+
Platform(s): PlayStation
Release: NA: September 28, 2001
EU: July 20, 2003
Developer(s): Boston Animation
Publisher(s): NA: Simon & Schuster Interactive
EU: JoWooD Productions
Country: United States
Series: M&M's


M&M's The Lost Formulas is a 1999 video game developed by Boston Animation and published by Simon & Schuster Interactive for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows, as a platform game with elements of edutainment games, which was released only in North America. This is the first game based on the M&M's license.[1] It was eventually ported two years later on the PlayStation as M&M's Shell Shocked and was released in North America by Simon & Schuster Interactive and JoWooD Productions in Europe.[2]

Plot

The two lead candies are about to set off on a vacation until Red realizes that Yellow left the M&M's Minis in charge of the candy factory. The Minis promptly steal the secret M&M's formulas and cause havoc at the factory. It is up to the Yellow to set the situation right.[3]

Gameplay

The gameplay has been described as being similar to the Crash Bandicoot series. The first three levels depict Yellow frantically driving back to the candy factory. Another type of level is a 3D running/jumping action level in which the Yellow will run down a hallway. And there are bosses that need to be eliminated in the given way.

Why It Sucks

Note: The page only mentions the PlayStation version. The PC version is considered to be better in every way.

  1. This game is a blatant Crash Bandicoot rip-off, beginning from the gameplay, level design, the combat system, boxes, ending with bosses.
  2. The main menu is terribly poor compared to The Lost Formulas. Only what it offers is "Play" and "Options", where in the options only you can change the volume of music and sounds. In general, poverty and ugliness reign here too, while on the PC version it presents a factory-themed menu, making this look much cooler and has much more options.
  3. Pretty dumb plot that makes you want to do a facepalm. When M&M's candies were about to go on vacation, Red realized that Yellow had accidentally left the Minis that run the factory. During the Minis they steal a secret formulas of M&M's, causing a havoc at the factory. From now on, you may be aware that Yellow has a peanut instead of a brain (figuratively speaking).
  4. The vehicle stages are the biggest abominations of this game. They are mainly caused by the scripts of cars and motorcycles driving as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog, and it's hard to guess when and how the vehicle will park, and they drive randomly. Apart from the frustration in driving stages, they also cause boredom due to the duration of the stage. Somehow, in the third vehicle tier, motorcyclists are supposed to stop you, it turns out that it looks like they were escorting you instead, just like in Ride to Hell: Retribution.
  5. The main character has one of the dumbest and most absurd death sounds you will ever hear in any video game. Instead of reacting with screaming, suffering or panicking, Yellow says "Oops, uh-oh", so chill as if nothing happened to him.
  6. The game has the most annoying sound effect of smashing a boxes that cause ear-bleeding. The sounds resemble a modified cymbal whack, combined with the raised voice of bums. It turns out that there are Minis in the crates, which stole the formulas. You can also hear this cacophonous sound effect in cutscenes, when there are Minis.
  7. The graphics are completely terrible. The game looks like it was released between Atari Jaguar and early Nintendo 64 game, only with 32-bit graphics, that is, at least in 1995. Crash Bandicoot, which was released in 1996, looks surprisingly better than this atrocity. The vehicles look like pixelated vomit that has been transferred into three dimensions. The face of the main character looks as if it was beaten by hooligans in the gym, eventually pouring gastric juice on it. The number of polygons is as many as Valve can count. The natural objects, that is sprites look like they came from very early Arcade games from the 90s.
  8. Horrible collision detection. Very often you can pass through textures, and sometimes you can pass through an object and fall off the map. This is especially noticeable when you collide with a car and a wall (or sometimes a floor) in platform levels.
  9. Painful hit detection. At vehicle stages, almost any object kills the main character, even the sidewalk. And it even happens that the wall kills when you are too close to the object, although you do not touch it. For example, when cornering, when you are close to the vehicle. Similarly like Bubsy, you are killed by any object. For example, in situations where there are boxes above the floor, the floor will kill you for some unknown reason, even if you are at a very low height. You are also killed by objects such as a pipe, moving floor from factories, and even behind boxes when you get close to them. In platformers, you never die from on high. As you can see, the programmers were inspired by Bubsy, they did the opposite.
  10. Hilariously bad in-game animations. Yellow moves slowly and the animations are made as if he was jogging. He jumps like a thrown egg up in one coordinate plot. He turns like a tornado on steroids, having no idea what else to do, started stealing homework from Crash Bandicoot. Opponents' animations are as stiff as the hardest stick of the hardest, mostly moving in a single graph of coordinates.
  11. The controls are terrible. This can be experienced worst in the driving stages. The vehicle moves like a fly in the tar combined with a burping hobo, returning to home on foot being drunk and the car shakes like a Mario eating hallucinogenic mushrooms (at the moment when you drive to higher ground on the road), also, for some reason the attack buttons can get very unresponsive at times.
  12. The game feels either too easy or too frustrating. Easy because the game isn't challenging. The bosses are not very well thought out who copied the concept of defeating the bosses from Crash Bandicoot. However, frustrating due to with inept scripts or terrible collision detection.
  13. Terrible camera angles. This is way more noticeable in the walking and ship sections, where the camera can obstruct your point of view or your character model, causing a lot of cheap deaths because of unexpected obstacles or because you couldn't see where did you fall.
  14. Long loading times. Should you easily prepare a cup of warm tea, the game is almost done loading anyway.
  15. After the death of the main character, especially in taller or rough objects, the main character is in the air.
  16. There are no Math Mode levels in the game, and replaced with bosses that are not too demanding.
  17. The game's cover art is misleading, as it would make you think that Red is the main protagonist and that he is a playable character, when in reality it is Yellow only who is playable and is the main protagonist.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good voice acting (aside from the Minis), because the voice actors from M&M's commercials got involved.
  2. The cutscenes are exceptionally great as well as funny.
  3. Catchy soundtrack (despite it isn't that good), and you can hear it here.
  4. Unlike the PC version, the design of the driving levels has been changed and they are not painfully simple, and there are three instead of one.

Reception

Ratings

Publication Score
Jeuxvideo.com 1/20[4]

Critical reception

As the original received mixed reviews, the PlayStation version was negatively reviewed.

A user on GameFAQs, scarlet_puppy, gave it a 4/10, calling "A poor quality version of Crash Bandicoot". He praised the story, which he finds funny, and praised the voice acting as well. On the other hand, he criticized the low quality of graphics, he considers music to be forgettable, long loading times or not enough challenge. He/She summed up the game with the last sentences: "Buy, rent or avoid: Avoid; get Crash Bandicoot instead. Crash Bandicoot is actually fun, whereas this game is not. Naughty Dog must be furious that this game has come out; I know I would be."[5]

Sinspawn_X from GameFAQs gave it a 3/10, praising only the cutscenes and the story. Criticized the graphics, animations, music, sounds, collision detection, and feels it is too easy. His last words sounded like this: "If it weren't for the story and cut-scenes, this game would have easily earned a 2 (although, I have to admit, it still wouldn't be 1 quality). Still, I wasn't happy at all that all I got for 25 bucks was a stale, generic Crash Bandicoot. I almost have the mind to mail Vivendi Universal (the then-current owners of Crash) and tell them about this game. Can't wait to se the lawsuit unfold."[6]

The only review site that took care of the game was French Jeuxvideo website. They gave it a 1/20, describing: "A shame, a nameless calamity, an abyss filled with void and nameless horrors, an invention of Lovecraft destined to come to haunt our nights? I hesitate but what I'm sure is that M & M's Shell Shocked will never be in your game library."[4]

An American gaming YouTube channel, DX (formerly known as DXFan619), gave it a "fire rating of Bullshit (B)", asking: "How they managed to take out the educational features from a game and make it even worse and more boring?"[7]

Videos

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