The PlayStation Anniversary Review – M&M’s Shell Shocked

Some more product placement, first celebrity endorsement, now candy, I love M&M’s, that peanut covered in chocolate covered in a candy shell, it’s a very popular candy around the world, there’s even a shop in London specialised in M&M’s but the prices are insultingly expensive, but it’s London after all.

Another popular thing about M&M’s are the Red and Yellow M&M’s mascots, with Red being voiced by Billy West, the voice actor who voiced Fry from Futurama. So of course the mascots are still popular being in all kinds of media and all kinds of merchandise, unfortunately, video games too, with that said, M&M’s Shell Shocked, developed by Jowood Productions and Published by Simon & Schuster Interactive.

Here’s the thing though, many years ago I went to a shopping centre in Stevenage, England; I went to a game shop and there were many PlayStation games but two games interested me, this game and Monster’s Inc., I had to choose one, luckily I picked Monster’s Inc., and what a wise choice it was. Years later I got the game for a pound, I only brought it to see if I made the right decision to discard the game many years ago.

Red and Yellow M&Ms are about to take a vacation, Red finds out that Yellow has made the M&M minis take over the M&M’s factory, causing chaos in the process. Enraged, Red forces Yellow to stop the minis from destroying the factory (According to people, M&M Minis are┬ásmaller than normal sized M&M’s, they come in tubes and you pretty much drink them rather than picking a few).

So you only play as Yellow because Red is an A-Hole. The first level is just driving, you collect boxes all over the road to collect M&M Minis, it’s surprisingly dull and having 3 levels of this is repetitive, but then at the third zone of the first level has bikers and you have to dodge them, you have no idea of their patterns until to learn it for yourself, the third level is decent as it does provide challenge for once, shame it was the last level where you drive a car.

Level 2 infuriates me, not because it’s hard, it’s not, but the fact that it’s a complete rip off of Crash Bandicoot, from the boxes (including bombs and nitros) to enemies, to the level layout and to how Yellow M&M moves and jumps, it’s a copycat and this pretty much tells you how much the developers didn’t care about making an original game.

The enemy placements are a joke, in fact trying to attack them is difficult, since you have narrow paths, it’s even more unfair, try to jump on them and you realise you didn’t even touch them. The camera is awful, it never moves for anything, for example, there are boxes in the far left, but you’ll disappear from the screen because the camera refuses to move in the most intense of situations and because of the enemy placements being all over the place that doesn’t help either.

Pausing is irritating, you can pause but trying to go back to the game is awkward, you try to press start again but it won’t unpause, you keep pressing it and stop, you press the directional pad for no reason and it takes you back to the game, that’s right, to unpause the game you need to press the directional pad, who thought this was a good idea it’s so ridiculous, never has a game done something so stupid it made me want to give up, I don’t know whether to laugh or shoot myself.

There are bosses, they’re boring and stupidly difficult due to the camera.

Any positives, well the cutscenes are quite funny, I mean it’s Red and Yellow M&M’s, at least they knew what to do with them when it comes to comedy, and the controls are pretty good even if the level design isn’t that good, but that’s about it, the earlier levels are pretty good, but it’s only because they ripped off a better game.

Overall, it’s a mix between bad and terrible, bad but not awful, it’s a poor cash-in that fails to even be a decent game, but it’s also a game I would surprisingly recommend to laugh at how bad it is. Nevertheless it’s a good thing I picked Monster’s Inc. over this game.

You can get it on the PlayStation.

Rating: 2/5

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