Published by: Good Shepherd Entertainment Developed by: Vile Monarch Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch & Mobile
Review code provided
Have you ever looked at a sequel and thought “but why?” I don’t mean that in a malicious way per se. What I’m referring to is when one game comes out, does its job by bringing something different to the table but it just doesn’t warrant a sequel. For this case in point, I present to you Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast.
When the first game came out, I was fair with the review. The game was alright, the presentation was eye catching, the humour was childish but inoffensive, although I did criticise it for its over reliance on Monty Python. On the plus side, The Hollywood Roast has done away with said references, but what we’re given instead is something that’s fairly boring and does little to distinguish itself from the original game.
As with its predecessor, players are pitted against one another, or the AI if you’re really lonely. Though the original game featured original caricatures, video game characters and H.P. Lovecraft, this version turns its gaze on the movie industry. You’re given characters such as Wisecrack, the superhero that’s blatantly not Deadpool, Dirty Potter – a what if scenario if Daniel Radcliffe had a whisky habit, and the ever so borderline racist Chop Sue E. Even thinking about her is making me shudder so I won’t put a punchline to that character.
Your goal is very simple, you are given a list of insults to gel together to come out with a slightly amusing anecdote. The better your barb, the higher the points which damages your opponent’s health bar, only in this game it is suitably called ego. The most important thing is that insults have to be coherent, otherwise you’ll be penalised.
Each fighter has their own strengths and weaknesses to exploit. For example, Marilyn Nomore can’t take insults about her age or beauty, so if you can find any insults about plastic surgery, then it’s best to use that to your advantage. While this feature was in the previous installment, it’s still very tricky to discover these weaknesses without perhaps the use of a trusty internet guide, but there is a level of satisfaction of discovering these weaknesses. However, it’s infuriating that each opponent you spar against doesn’t have more insults to cater to either you or your opponent once these weaknesses are discovered.
One of the most significant changes over the first game is the ‘Comeback’ meter. As your ego takes damage, your meter fills up, which gives your insults a particular sting. Your character choice affects the kind of insult produced. For example, if you picked “The Greasy Wizard” which in essence is Gandalf, expect Lord of the Rings flavored comebacks.
All insults are now tallied up as a score but that’s about it for major changes. If you played the first game, you know what you’re getting for the second game, albeit with a more robust roster and level options. To Vile Monarch’s credit, the presentation is once again eye catching and the attention to detail is apparent. There are also personal goals to achieve in the single player campaign, which brings some longevity, but only if your boredom level doesn’t peak after two hours of picking the same insults over again.
There’s a chance we’re being a little bit facetious here, but The Hollywood doesn’t introduce enough to warrant its own separate release, despite how cheap the games are. If it was bundled into a DLC pack for the original game, or something along those lines, there probably wouldn’t be too much of a protest.
It also doesn’t help that the jokes in ‘Oh Sir….’ don’t often land the way they should. The vast majority of the humor would be too immature for older games, yet it’s also too vague in its Hollywood references for younger gamers to understand. Unless you’re a major cinephile that can’t get enough fart jokes, you might miss out on a lot of laughs.
There’s every chance that Vile Monarch could turn ‘Oh Sir…’ into a franchise with different themed outings, but they need to identify their who their intended audience is. Everything is in place to make ‘Oh Sir….’ a fun little series, from its presentation to its unique premise, but they need to have a think on where to go next, rather than settle on an already tired formula.
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It’s a game and it works, but it doesn’t break any new ground and Vile Monarch need to have a big think on where to go from here with the series.
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