In the course of coming up with material for RPS I download quite a lot of rubbish that I play and then don’t bother posting about because it’s, well, rubbish. But in this particular instance I feel inspired to highlight the sad bafflement I felt on playing the Asterix At The Olympic Games demo. I wasn’t expecting gilded genius, but it nevertheless left me feeling unfairly exasperated. Demos are supposed to be promoting and marketing games at some level, and there’s a grain of hope in here: the game itself it doesn’t seem too bad. However it’s absurdly badly packaged. So bad, in fact, that it’s a complete waste of a demo release.
Firstly it delivers a cutscene that makes no sense given that its out of context. It’s clearly an arbitrary choice from some later stage of the game, but honestly, why bother at all? I can’t get those seconds of my life back. Then, once the game starts up, I have to largely guess what needs to be done. No tutorial, and only a single hint for the bit I could have guessed on my own. Awesomely, and inexplicably, the demo is limited to just a few minutes play, with the time counting down at the top of the screen. And it turns out that, hey, not only is this is a small section of the game, but I don’t even have to time to guess what I’m supposed to do before the demo plunges me into a grainy trailer sequence.
Yeah. These Romans are crazy.