Santa Claus Saves the Earth
Santa Claus Saves the Earth is a 2002 Christmas themed platforming video game developed by Lithuanian studio Ivolgamus UAB (currently known as Nordcurrent) and published by Telegames for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance only in Europe. The North American version was canceled for unknown reasons, although the game was rated E (Everyone) by ESRB.
On the 24th of December, only one day left before Christmas, an evil fairy named Nilam uses her magic copper (which is actually a pot) to send Santa Claus into an Enchanted Land. With only a few hours until Christmas, Santa Claus must travel through the lands and stop Nilam in order to save Christmas.
Why It Sucks
- Misleading title, Santa (as the plot of the story implies) is actually saving Christmas, not the Earth.
- Much like the very first Miracle Design racing game, Santa Claus saves the Earth was released in 2002, which is late for a PlayStation game, as the PlayStation 2 was already out for a while at the time.
- The main menu is poor where you only have three options, such as new game, load game (the password option on Game Boy Advance), and options (where the only thing you can do in the settings is to change the volume of the music and sounds).
- Horrendous and very ugly graphics with poor sprites. Even the first Rayman game, from all the way back from 1995 (not to mention it was also a US/PAL launch title for the PlayStation 1), looks leaps and bounds better than this! To add insult to injury, even another PS1 game from 2002, Shrek: Treasure Hunt, with the blocky character models and foggy levels, is a better-looking game than this!
- Dreadful models, most notably Nilam, the main villain of the game, who despite looking like a male, is actually a female.
- False advertising: On the front cover, Santa looks slightly realistic, but in the game, he looks more like a weird Play-Doh sculpture.
- Poorly integrated cutscenes with text boxes. There is even a typo in one cutscene.
- Horrible controls, Santa moves and controls way too slowly.
- No real jumping; when you jump you float upwards, and then you quickly drop down to the ground like a brick.
- Some of the images before a level look horribly out of place with the setting, ex. Level 1 shows a brick wall, Level 3 shows a tail-end of a rocket, Level 6 shows what appears to be a collapsed medieval castle, and Level 14 shows a huge fire.
- The levels themselves are large, spacious, and very maze-like, making it easy to get lost in.
- Very poor navigation, in order to beat each stage, you have to get three yellow triangle shape keys to unlock the next level, but due to the aforementioned level design, it can be easy to get lost in, not to mention you wouldn't know any of this unless you looked it up.
- Speaking of levels, some of them have inexplicably random clown pictures on the walls.
- Also, on one level, the is a laser near a moving platform that can knock you off and make you fall in the spikes, meaning death, which is impossible at times. A strategy is to jump on the platform and turn backwards so you do not knock off by the laser when it hits you, obviously at the expense of a heart.
- Useless power-ups; the snowballs and tomatoes are alright, but the green sack has a horrible range and you have to hold the attack button and time each swing and hope that it hits the enemy, it also doesn't help the fact that you automatically moonwalk when using that ability, making it harder to hit the enemy, and the super jump ability only last for a few seconds.
- On that topic, the snowballs and tomatoes both have ammo, and you wouldn't know that unless you pause it.
- Painful and repetitive music that constantly loops. Either MIDI-based or sample/TS-404-based.
- Additionally, the main menu music sounds like it belongs to a pornographic site (only on the PS1 version).
- The screen won't scroll until Santa is three quarters away across the whole stage, and when it moves it stays in that spot until you make the effort to drag it.
- Unfair AI: The enemies will attack you when you are near them, and when they exit, they stop. The cavemen enemies aren't that bad, but the weird cheetah guinea pig-like enemies are very fast and they can run past you, leading them into getting some cheap hits.
- On the subject of enemies, every enemy, even the bosses, always makes the same screeching noise, and they always make a weird raspberry-like sound upon being defeated.
- Bland and laughable boss fights.
- On the topic of the bosses, there are only three bosses in the entire game: a jester, a two-headed green troll, and the main antagonist and final boss, Nilam.
- Also when you defeat the jester and Nilam, they just float upwards in a very cheap manner. The troll though instead disintegrates after you defeat it, much like the regular enemies.
- The "themes" for each level are confusing. For example, in the first level of the game, it is a forest area with weird bird-like enemies, an iceberg-like underground area under the forest area with cavemen and cheetah guinea pig-like enemies, and if you go to the top of the area you can see rocky bits that look like pyramids in a desert, suggesting that the forest level is an oasis.
- Also due to the aforementioned screen issue, enemies often appear out of nowhere and attack you.
- Checkpoint starvation: If you get killed, you must start from the beginning of the level.