Gaulling: Asterix Demo

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.

40 Comments

  1. Piratepete says:

    Jim, what about a Top Ten Worst Demos Ever?

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think we might even have done that in some magazine or other. I think the Worst was the original Hellboy demo, which probably deserves a post all of its own.

  3. marxeil says:

    Damn, I came here happy about an Asterix game, but my happiness was crushed. I’d have bought this for sheer nostalgia.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    Word is that the full game is “better than The Simpsons”.

  5. Mr.Brand says:

    I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a comic/cartoon-based game since North & South on the Amiga :/

  6. AbyssUK says:

    I’ve made this point before this is why I might d/l illegally. Try before you buy.. game demos are never like the final product, or stupidly come out months/weeks after the full game is released.. am looking at you Speedball 2 : Tournament.

    BTW a new Speedball game is released for the PC and it hasen’t even got a mention here.. whats wrong with you people.

  7. Piratepete says:

    seconded: I was thinking of Buying SB2 but the comments before the patch were less than favourable. Is it worth a Steam DL now?

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    BTW a new Speedball game is released for the PC and it hasen’t even got a mention here.. whats wrong with you people.

    That’s a good point. What *is* wrong with us?

  9. Piratepete says:

    collectively? Well according to Boris Johnson its this:

    They become like blinking lizards, motionless, absorbed, only the twitching of their hands showing they are still conscious. These machines teach them nothing. They stimulate no ratiocination, discovery or feat of memory — though some of them may cunningly pretend to be educational.

    (Best quote ever imo)

  10. Piratepete says:

    oh and this

    We get on with our hedonistic 21st-century lives while in some other room the nippers are bleeping and zapping in speechless rapture, their passive faces washed in explosions and gore

    sounds pretty good to me

  11. AbyssUK says:

    Sorry I shall strive to improve my typed English, perhaps one day I’ll be as perfect as you :P

  12. terry says:

    A shame, but then I am struggling to think of a successful comic-based game. Tintin, Peanuts, Garfield, all complete dogs. Maybe North & South…hmm.

    As for Speedball 2, every word I’ve seen about it is negative – another shame.

  13. po says:

    “their passive faces washed in explosions and gore”

    Well at least they’re getting washed. He can’t complain about that.

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    AbyssUK: I was agreeing with you. We should totally have posted about Speedball 2.

  15. MPK says:

    S’good for the complexion, gore.

  16. AbyssUK says:

    J R : Ok.. right well then… yeah.. go write a post or something

  17. Andrew says:

    A post about the Hellboy demo would be ace.

  18. The_B says:

    Jim: It’s not like I didn’t send an email about Speedball 2 or anything… *ahem*

  19. Jim Rossignol says:

    We’re very lazy. Actually *I’m* very lazy. I’m the only RPSer not busy working on something at the moment.

  20. Chris R says:

    But Jim! You’re here keeping us entertained… that’s gotta be the toughest job there is.

  21. Slappeh says:

    Mr.Brand says
    I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a comic/cartoon-based game since North & South on the Amiga :/

    What about TF2!!!

  22. Andrew Mayer says:

    Well it’s a shame that this is so bad. Asterix is a good license that could probably lead to some fun games if handled well.

    Menhirs and Boar for everyone!

  23. Al says:

    What about best demos ever, as a counterpoint to the worst? Has anyone actually done better than “Cannon Soccer”, the two level custom demo for Cannon Fodder, the first level of which “pitched” you against a heavily armed football team and their thuggish supporters?

  24. Jens Arnesen says:

    Slappeh: TF2 has a comic look, but it’s not based on a comic the way Asterix is.

    Anyway. It’s odd that such a large amount of studios doesn’t seem to bother with the fact that demos will, in many cases, be a person’s first impression of the game – why put more money and attention in the box art if the demo is terrible? Which one will make or break a sale?

    (Granted, Bioshock and its lovely metal box would’ve had me sold even if I hadn’t played the demo first, but that’s a special case. It was very purdy!)

  25. ishatra says:

    I saw a full trailer for Olympics today for the Wii, it looks pretty awesome to me, the “Sam Fisher” character and the “paper mario” is a riot. I got me a PAL copy and I can’t wait to play it when I get home. (which won’t be until Saturday, sadly. )
    Note, it’s standard 2P co-op bashing, and then, appropriately enough, olympic mini games.

  26. malkav11 says:

    There was a Tintin game?

  27. terry says:

    Three apparently, two of which passed me by completely.

    Tintin on the Moon on the Spectrum was the one I was thinking of, a mysterious title considering the game ends with Tintin arriving on the moon and doing approximately bugger all on the surface. The game was mostly about untying Captain Haddock who would blithely run around the shuttle getting captured and extinguishing fires which appeared around the shuttle, for some unexplained reason.

  28. malkav11 says:

    Four, according to your link. Huh, never knew.

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