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Posted on Apr 14th 2010 at 07:49:28 PM by (Ack)
Posted under The Ring, Dreamcast, horror, never again

The Ring: Terror's Realm



Yeah, it's been a little while since I updated this.  I apologize about that.  So to herald my triumphant return to discussing the joys of horror gaming, I present you with a title so horrific and so foul that I must beseech you, nay, get down on my knees and beg you never, ever, ever to even consider playing it!

No, seriously, this game is terrible.  Not only do I enjoy horror, I also can enjoy a horribly made game from time to time.  I believe it's something to do with an almost kitsch value to it that makes it unique and allows me to laugh at it.  The Ring: Terror's Realm did its best to go above and beyond anything I had ever experienced.  I have beaten the title, and I can honestly claim that it is not only a bad game, it is the WORST game I have ever played.  And I own Pit-Fighter for the Super Nintendo.

But I suppose an explanation is in order.  The Ring: Terror's Realm is a Dreamcast game based upon the Ringu property, albeit an extremely loose take on it.  The game follows Meg Rainman as she starts work at the Center for Disease Control following the death of her boyfriend Robert, who was also a CDC employee.  Once at work, she begins exploring and investigating a strange computer program called RING, which apparently leads her into a strange and horrific virtual world where mankind battles it out in abandoned buildings against strange monsters.



I'm sorry, did I say monsters?  I mean gorillas, cat things, and strange goblin-looking critters of various colors.  And when I say abandoned buildings, I mean the CDC building.  Yes, that is a bit of a spoiler, but you don't really want to play this game, so don't worry about it.  The monsters don't really do much beyond running up and attacking you, which they have a nasty habit of doing at a rate that will prevent you from getting a round off if they get too close.  They also randomly float in the air and drop down on top of you...I think that was more of a bug that never got resolved when the game was created.  At least I hope it was.

To fight these critters, Meg has an arsenal of various weapons she will acquire, all fitted with laser sights, so you can aim at critters across the room, if you can see them with the fixed cameras and if they're standing upright.  Perhaps the greatest point in the game's favor, at least in my opinion, is that Meg's also not a total pushover.  She can fight while unarmed, knocking the monsters away or kicking them, which is especially useful on the cat creatures.

And then there's the graphics...



...but I won't be too critical of them.  I feel its appearance is out of place for a Dreamcast title, but we are retro gamers.  Games don't have to look spectacular for us to enjoy them.  Just understand that people look blocky and move in unnatural means, and the textures are bland and repetitive.  And creature movement isn't any better.  There are some nifty mechanics with enemies having a difficult time detecting you in the dark, but it rarely comes into play.

As for the sound, there's only a handful of musical tracks, and these usually consist of five, maybe six notes in a sequence before repeating.  It quickly becomes nauseatingly repetitive, and the creature sounds feel off.  The voice acting is also some of the absolute worst, with the random friend who appears in the intro video earning my choice as the worst actor ever.  The only saving grace is the sound at the starting menu of the game, where confirmations reward the player with the most satisfying squishing sounds I've ever heard.  I broke into peals of laughter every time I heard them.



And finally there's the story exposition.  Or the lack thereof.

You will need a guide for this game, or a lot of free time, because very rarely are you told what you are supposed to do next.  Characters sometimes speak in broken English and conversation always comes off as stilted and disjointed.  There's also little in the way of true character development, and most seems to be there solely to fill a stereotype or perform a nameless role.  Characters will sometimes fly off the handle for no real reason in an unexpected emotional outburst.  It makes for some tough going.



If you're really interested in seeing some gameplay, here's a video.  You'll have to skip to about the 1:00 minute mark to get past their intro, but if you want a good laugh, check it out:




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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