M&M's Shell Shocked
M&M's Shell Shocked is a 2001 video game developed by Boston Animation and published by Simon & Schuster Interactive in North America, and JoWooD Productions in Europe. This is the first game which is using the M&M's license.
Firstly it was released in 1999 for the personal computers with Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems under the name M&M's The Lost Formulas. The difference is that on the PlayStation version, there are bosses instead of math mode.
The page only mentions the PlayStation version. The Lost Formulas (the PC version) is considered to be better in every way.
The two lead candies are about to set off on a vacation until the Red realizes that the 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.
The gameplay has been described as being similar to the Crash Bandicoot series. The first three levels depicts the 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
- This game is an absolute Crash Bandicoot rip-off. Starting from the gameplay, level design, the combat system, boxes, ending with bosses.
- 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 - on the PC version it presents a factory-styled menu, it looks much cooler and has much more options.
- 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).
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The graphics are the poverty and despair. 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.
- 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 platforming levels.
- 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. Similiary 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.
- 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. Opponents' animations are as stiff as the hardest stick of the hardest, mostly moving in a single graph of coordinates.
- 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.
- 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 detections.
- 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.
- Long loading times. You can easily prepare a cup of warm tea, the game is almost loading anyway.
- After the death of the main character, especially in taller or rough objects, the main character is in the air.
- There are no math levels in the game, and replaced with bosses that are not too demanding.
- Good voice acting (expect for MINIs), because the voice actors from M&M's commercials got involved.
- The cutscenes are exceptionally great as well as funny.
- Catchy soundtrack (despite it isn't that good), especially Level 1 Pt. 2 - Escape town, Level 2 Pt. 1 - Milk Chocolate or Bonus 2.
- 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.
- The PC version is much better than the PlayStation version.
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."
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 current owners of Crash) and tell them about this game. Can't wait to se the lawsuit unfold."
The only review site that took care of the game was French Jeuxvideo website. They gave it a 1/20 (the lowest possible score from their rating system), 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."
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?"