Maybe the indie game circuit isn’t for me.
For every Neurovoider, there is a #killallzombies. For every Oxenfree, there’s a Beyond Eyes. Every Final Station brings Toby: The Secret Mine and with every A Hat in Time it brings Yasai Ninja. It’s a trait that comes with the devotion, I understand, but I think the line stops here, as for every Strider, comes Shiny, an… adventure into the unbelievable.
Today’s bootleg Metal Arms comes to us from Garage 227, a Brazilian team who I can’t explain further, as their entire site is in their native language and it’s been a while since I studied foreign languages. Garage 227 themselves have met with severe delays for SHINY, with the original release date being January 2016. Pfft, I don’t know what they were doing since then, but whatever it was didn’t stop this from being quite the shitshow.
Let’s not delay the inevitable any further: SHINY is the worst game I’ve ever played. It might actually be the worst game ever made, and I seriously don’t understand how this passed any form of QA testing. I have never seen such a overall lack of general competence and technical know-how in a video game, and attempting to complete it almost broke me wholeheartedly. It didn’t start this way, however, so join me as we descend into the mouth of gaming madness.
The story is WALL-E. Seriously, the plot is WALL-E and the few changes Garage made to the story doesn’t change the fact that the devs really, really loved WALL-E. Humans have abandoned these robots on the planet that may not be Earth, and now you, as some shiny bollock-shaped metal dimwit, must save your metallic brethren and escape the planet.
Before you even begin playing, you are treated to a intro cinematic, which looks nice… but it’d look nicer if the scene wasn’t in 5fps. Even with that fixed, maybe the robots wouldn’t look like wet mud underneath a monster truck if Garage didn’t turn the bloom up to 4000. Regardless, it helps set the mood and the general level of how much Garage 227 give a shit about making a video game.
Here you are, in these endless rusty hallways, side-scrolling for batteries and robots to collect and save, respectively. The player-character controls pretty well when you’re doing a straight line dash to the finish, but when it comes to pinpoint precision platforming? Hoo, mama, you’re going to need the patience of a saint in order to get through it, but in due time.
As you get further into your journey, you’ll acquire power ups that can help you survive the dangers ahead. You’ll get a shield, stopping pesky rocks which appear about three times in menacing sections, a heat shield, which I cannot for the life for me figure out, and a jetpack, which renders the actual platforming pointless.
The power ups do come with a price, and that price is it draining your life as you use it, which forces you to make the impossible decision of eithe— Nah, I’m just fucking with you, this gameplay mechanic doesn’t work, as joining you on your journey is a health bar that’s incredibly indecisive on whether it wants to help or not. Sometimes, your health will drain when you use the power ups, and sometimes you’re invincible. Sometimes, your health will drain in what seems like a timed level, and sometimes picking up batteries will stop it completely.
None of this was enough to break me, however. Despite the glitchy and broken mechanics of the entire journey so far, there was a sense of scale and depth that isn’t prominent in other indie games. The world is vast and you definitely feel in awe of some of the environments, especially as you change between different elementally-based areas. I genuinely wanted to look past the game’s horribly severe flaws and see it come through with at least a sense of an average journey. It didn’t happen.
As time went on, it was obvious that Garage simply couldn’t care for finishing this project, as levels later on were nowhere near as polishe— Actually, that’s the wrong word. We’ll go with “made”, yeah? Anyway, later levels consisted of broken environments, unpolished physics and objects clipping into each other into a grotesquely funny manner. When I first saw the robots walking through walls and making inanimate reality his lap dog, I burst into tears, and the game kept providing me with an uproar of laughter.
A good portion of the game is what I’d like to call the “Ah, Fuck It” style of platforming. Instead of your robot jumping across platforms, he chooses to sit on said platform and let the player control the platform he’s standing on in order to avoid obstacles. Interesting format, but even with Garage handicapping the speed at which the platform responds, the robot can still clip through walls, making every level with this style a cakewalk… until your console crashes, that is.
Whatever engine Garage used for SHINY is probably devised by flat-earthers, as this game crashed more times than Marc Bolan playing Flatout 3. These weren’t the usual types which just exited the game though, Charlie. These were the kind that almost bricked my console, and making it act as if I hadn’t updated it since 2013. I just… how does this happen?
No, seriously, I cannot get past this, how did this past any form of standard? I’ve played some shit in my time, but at least Ride To Hell: Retribution, Crypt of The Serpent King, or any Artifex Mundi game didn’t have the fucking audacity to try and brick my console. This is insanity, pure insanity that this game was looked at and released with the attitude of “Yeah, this looks fine!”.
Trudging through the game, the hope I once had withered, with the environments not even bothering to continue to amaze me. I kept glitching through walls, I kept having to deal with my console crashing, I kept having to deal with broken mechanics, and it all ended in a literal symphony of pure white noise. Welcome to level 20. The final level in the game.
Now, you and your robot buddies are in the spaceship, ready and waiting to leave this bastard planet behind, primed for glassing like in Halo: Reach. Now you have to jump through more hoops in order to get the rocket working and… I cannot… look, I am 100% honest when I say that what follows (if you even MAKE it to this point), is the worst sequence of events ever made in a video game… just… fuck it.
For some reason, your robot’s health is counting down like a leper in Chernobyl, and you’ve gotta rush to make it, with none of your power ups working for some shit reason. Backed by this is a wall of noise, a loud grating across what sounds like sheet metal, that’s so loud and obnoxious, that it broke my speakers. This fucking game broke my speakers. So not only did I waste $10 on this game, I also have to waste another $100 getting some more speakers. Nice.
This wall of noise is more of a deterrent than the actual obstacles that you face, with you not being able to run through these traps and pitfalls because you’re too busy adjusting to the rest of the level. You get a little bit further every time, but then a boomerang effect is in play. All that skill you’ve had throughout the game stops here, because every single platform must be an enemy from Luigi’s Mansion, since you keep falling through them.
After a while, the madness begins to affect you. You can’t get the sheet metal solo out of your head, and you begin hearing it in your nightmares, as a shiny testicle is ready to jolt you to death in the end of a dark alleyway. I prevailed, however! As through the clever use of walking through the walls (because of fucking course I did), I was able to escape the planet, and hope that the fleet of robots crash lands on an uncharted planet. Hoo-fucking-ray.
In short, fuck SHINY. This is the worst game I’ve ever played, and the worst game ever made. I’ve played every single fucking nomination for that title, from Big Rigs, to E.T., to Ride to Hell, and nothing… NOTHING has come close to the absolute failure of SHINY. Fuck SHINY, fuck the positive reviews it has on Steam from people who got the game for free, fuck Garage 227, and fuck 1C Company for attaching their name to this.
There’s no comedic value to SHINY, there’s no attempt, no regard for making an actual video game, this is a game jam demo made by amoebas. I was going to say that this was a result of South America being hit with some tough times economically, with Venezuela valuing their money on what it weighs, rather than the price. But then, El Salvador has Stereo Aereo, so I think we can scratch off that theory, and just put it down to Garage 227 being generally incompetent people.
Let’s not even talk about this from now on. Like it deserves the limelight, anyway.
The Worst Game Ever Made. Yeah, even worse than that one.