THE REVIEWS Episode 56: Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure (GameCube)
It’s a Universal Studios game!
I miss those days. The days where we were able to roam around freely. Go anywhere we wanted, travel to any country we desired, and even be at some places we don’t wanna be in, like school. Man, I miss those days.
Now, with COVID-19, movement is, no pun intended, strictly restricted. Due to the ever-rising cases along with deaths, we went into lockdown mode, in which we can only stay at home unless we need to go out urgently for important reasons like buying food and water. Because of this, plans to travel overseas were canceled, outings were pushed back indefinitely, and even concerts were cut off. It’s a sad life, but we are gonna get through this. Hang in there!
I remembered I went to the Universal Studios theme park in 2019, way before the coronavirus. It was fun. I especially loved the Transformers ride because it was thrilling, exciting, and amazing. I enjoyed my time there, and I really wanted to go there sometime in 2020 again. Unfortunately, it couldn’t happen, and now I’ve not been there for over two years. It’s sad and I frankly missed those fun times.
I wanted to relieve those memories of the great theme park. I looked at pictures of it, but it doesn’t seem to make me feel like I am in there. I watched videos, but it doesn’t seem to please me. I even tried using Google Maps, but that shit doesn’t work because it only stopped at the entrance. Fuck, man. What am I gonna do?
I hopped onto the Internet in hopes of finding any Universal Studios content. I searched high and low for literally anything. The rides. The roller coasters. Even the damn shows that were held in the theme park. However, one day, I found something related to Universal Studios, and it is not a video, picture, or a Google Maps thingy. It is…a game.
The game is called Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure, and it’s for the GameCube. I can’t believe it. A game based on the Universal Studios Theme Park itself? My eyes aren’t deceiving me. It really is a game! Damn, why didn’t I discover this back in the days? This looks fucking good, man! A game based on an attraction park? That’s cool!
This game, made by Nai’a Digital Works and Kemco before being released in 2001, was set in the Universal Studios Japan park and has games based on the movies like Back To The Future, Jurassic Park, E.T., and even Jaws! Yes, the very famous, well-known, popular shark movie in the 90s, JAWS! You are able to explore the theme park yourself, and Woody Woodpecker is the guide, which I’m not really fond of, but let’s get this show on the road!
“NOTICE: This game is not a true representation of Universal Studios™Theme Parks, but an interactive game based on the Universal Studios™Theme Parks, and some of the characters featured are not associated with the parks.” That is what was written on the back. Well, that makes me more hyped. It’s still based on the park.
The park looks okay, I guess. It kinda looks like the Universal Studios I always go to, but yet it doesn’t. You play as a boy with a pink shirt and cap. You get to talk to Woody Woodpecker, where he tells you it’s a stamp collecting contest and ‘try not to get lost in the park’. Okay, thanks, you ugly shit. Lemme play my game. I don’t want to hear your annoying voice any longer. I wanted to say the graphics aren’t the best, but hey, this was released in 2001.
This is where I encountered my first problem. Look at this camera angle. Can you find where I am? Take a closer look.
Here’s the answer. I’m the guy circled in orange.
The camera angles are ungodly. Holy shit, they are so atrocious. Each time you move on to a new screen, the angles are all fixed. That means that sometimes, the boy I’m controlling can be seen clearly because the camera angle is near to him. Other times, the point of view is so far away from the boy that he looks like a speck of dust! This makes going around the park a hard ass job because half the damn time, I can’t even see where the fuck I am at! I need to strain my damn eyes just to find him! What is this fixed-angle bullshit?! Why is this game programmed like that?! Who the hell wants this?! Alright, let me cool down. Maybe the other parts of the game are okay.
You get to talk to some people too. Just go up to them and they’ll tell you something like “You earn a red stamp for scoring high in an attraction, but you’ll earn a blue stamp on Easy mode” and “Do you have a map? Get one from the park entrance.” I don’t have a map? Really? I’m not given a map? And I have to go back to the entrance just to take it? Why isn’t it given from the start? Granted that I’ve been to the real theme park numerous times to a point where I know where some of the rides are located at, but this ain’t a real representation, right? So I wouldn’t know how this park is designed. Whatever, I’ll just go get the map.
Anyways, back on track. I’m just wondering around the park. The map, of course, didn’t help much. The navigation in this game is so confusing, so I’m just randomly running around. With that, I got into my first ride: the E.T. ride. Well, it’s a boring driving game, where you control a bike and you move from Point A to Point B with obstacles on the way. It’s pretty easy to get through this, and I completed it within two and a half minutes. Wow.
With that, I got a stamp…out of eight stamps. From there, I could see the stamps I need. Jaws, Jurassic Park, Back To The Future, The Wild Wild Wild West, BackDraft, E.T., Quiz, and Universal Studios. Huh, there’s a quiz? A QUIZ?! IN A GAME? What is this? A game or an educating product?
Anyways, I went to find the next minigame to play. This time, it’s Jaws, but…I can’t seem to get in. I tried clicking every single button on the damn controller, but Woody the fucking irritating mascot tells me this every time:
T…too many people? TOO MANY PEOPLE? I only see four people queueing for the ride, and you tell me that there are too many people?! Why the hell are there lines anyways?! In real life, you need to wait for your turn, I get it. But why here? This is a game, damn it! I want to enjoy PLAYING the rides, not WAITING for them! Jesus christ! I tried going back to the E.T. rides too, but I’m met with the same fucking dialogue! IT’S FRUSTRATING!
Besides shaking hands with some of the characters and gaining points from it while walking around, you’ll find that you STILL can’t get in the rides. Do you know what you have to do? I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I will.
You need to gain points to buy movie-themed caps to play the fucking minigames. Wow, what a nice game. Instead of telling you straight from the beginning, they send you on a wild goose chase, making you look like a dumbass. Stupid Woody Woodpecker, you can’t even tell me that. The worst part…is that even if you shake ALL the damn mascots in the park, it wouldn’t be enough to buy all the caps, because there are so little people to shake hands with! You know what you need to do to gain points?
The Universal Studios stamps is find the letters that spell out Universal Studios, and they’re scattered all over the park, and each letter gives you a hundred points. That sounds okay, but remember: there’s the shitty camera angle. You’ll really have a hard time finding the letters because sometimes they can be so small you’ll run right past them without even knowing they’re there! There’s an easier way to get points though. But…man…I’m so shocked by this I…*sigh* Let’s just get on with it.
First, you have to find a man in a cowboy suit. Then, you have to talk to him. This man will say, “People should throw garbage in garbage cans! That’s pure common sense!” After that, you walk around, and ta-da, your first piece of rubbish appears on the floor. Pick it up, and collect as many rubbish as you can. Lastly, find a rubbish can, and voilà, you get points.
I got so many questions. Number one, why am I the one picking up the fucking rubbish? Are there no cleaners in this big ass attraction park? Number two, why does all the rubbish suddenly appear only when I talk to the guy? Is that man a magician? Why couldn’t he clear all the rubbish instead of putting it across the FUCKING park? Or do people start littering after they hear him, trying to prove him wrong? Number three, what does fucking rubbish have to do with a Universal Studios theme park game? Bewildering. I pity this boy. He has to be the bigger man and pick up all the trash these people mindlessly throw on the floor without getting paid. He came here to enjoy the rides, and yet he has to do this.
As usual, the rubbish are so small in size, and with the fixed camera angles and the random people blocking your view, it’s a recipe for a horrible time. The rubbish cans? They’re so god damn hard to find in this enormous park. You expect that there would be many rubbish bins with these many people littering, but no. Of course not. That’s pure common sense, right?
After a damn long time of picking up RUBBISH, I finally get to buy the damn caps. Man, that was TEDIOUS as hell. I wish I don’t have to go through that same process all over again. Thankfully, once you have the cap, you are able to play the specific movie-themed minigame unlimited amounts of time. The rest of the minigames, however, are just as boring as E.T., or in some cases, even worse.
The Wild Wild Wild West is just shooting at targets. Jurassic Park is shooting at dinosaurs while the car is moving. In Back To The Future, you’re controlling a DeLorean stopping Biff Tannen, who is also driving a DeLorean. Jaws requires you to throw things at Jaws, but the controls are so shitty I had a hard time getting a stamp for it. The quiz trivia…holy shit…it really feels like I’m taking a school test. I don’t know much about the Universal Studios movies at all. Every time you lose, I think, three lives on the trivia, you get Winnie Woodpecker telling you that you lose and you need to watch more movies. Fuck off, you stupid piece of shit. The last thing I need is a woodpecker telling me to try her shitty trivia again. It’s like a big ‘fuck-you’ to the non-stans of the Universal Studios films. It’s like Woody telling you, “You don’t know the movies? Well then, fuck you, you ain’t finishing the game, you lil fucko.” BackDraft. You run around, trying to put out fires with shitty controls that change upon going from one screen to another. Except for BackDraft, which lasts 10 minutes, every other game last two to three minutes. What a disappointment.
WaterWorld. The live water show in which there would be water stunts. Damn, this gotta be exciting. Please, let this be amusing. This is the last hope to make this an okay game. But, Kemco said no. It’s just the seaplane crashing into the water. That’s all. No matter where the hell you are seated at, it’s the same scene playing over and over again. You would think they’d at least play a part of the show, but all we get is just seconds of it. Man.
After collecting all the stamps on the damn board, you can go back to the red piece of shit and ask him for a ‘Hollywood Magic’ show. Turns out, it’s a boring and bland slideshow of the attractions as well as the Universal Studios logo and Woody’s face as he waves goodbye. Oh fucking god, I’m finally done with this game.
This game is horrendous in so many ways. I can’t even believe a game this shitty would be made by ANYONE. The rides should’ve been the main part of this game, but nope, the main part instead was FARMING POINTS TO GET THE HATS TO GET ON THE RIDES! How did anyone allow this to be published and put in stores? This is so mundane, tedious, and awful, and all that hard work just for some shitty full motion video. There’s even MULTIPLLAYER IN THIS! After going through all this shit, would there be anyone who wants to play this dreadful game?! Picking up rubbish? Horrible camera angles? Asinine gameplay? NO THANKS! Picking this game up is a mistake. It doesn’t remind me of Universal Studios. It reminds me of my torture playing this piece of shit!
*takes out the CD and throws it into the dustbin*