PEWDIEPIE: LEGEND OF THE BROFIST / Outerminds / Android
 
 
I'm definitely not PewDiePie's target audience. I don't profess to be any kind of expert on the guy, in fact I'd never seen his videos until watching a couple expressly for this review, but when a dude has 40 million subscribers on Youtube you can't help but hear a lot of things. Between all that and the videos, I get the idea that his target audience is adolescents/teens still in that giggly, shouty "random" phase. Which is kinda like Dadaism, except way more stupid. This is a phase more likely to happen to girls, but some of your nerdier boys also go through it. It's a life stage that generally you grow out of before the end of high school (this point quite often correlates with beginning to have sex), but somehow ol' Pewds is still going at it in his mid-20s.

Of course, I don't believe the guy actually acts this way in real life -- he's identified a very lucrative niche and he's working it for all it's worth. And I certainly respect the hustle. Like the man once said, "That's the great thing about giggly adolescents screaming CHEESE at inappropriate moments, I get older and they stay the same age, yes they do yes they do." He's got an endlessly replenishing market, at least as long as he stays young-looking enough to be relatable to them. Better keep a real sharp eye on that hairline Pewd.
 
                                 Most punchable face in pixel art history?

I don't think people are so mad at this particular individual making tens of millions and getting to live in a beach resort with a hot Italian girl, so much as the general idea that you can attain a state like this solely by filming yourself screaming at video games and munching on snacks. It feels like The Game Of Life is fundamentally broken somehow when something like this becomes possible. Be Internet Famous for doing this? OK, that's fine. Get handed millions of dollars by Society At Large outside of the Internet? Now THERE'S the part where it feels like reality has utterly gone off the rails.

So, if you feel like PewDie has amassed a fortune he hasn't really paid his dues for, here's the first of his commercial efforts that might just bring some balance back to the Force. Even though he's still of a tender Millenial age, the guy *has* spent the past five years or so playing games pretty much non-stop, so you'd expect a fairly deep level of insight into what makes a good game work from him at this point. And what's kind of surprising is that, even though he doesn't seem to have any particular focus on or interest in retro games, what we get here is sort of a paean to both Mega Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
 


There's actually quite a good platformer lurking under the in-jokes and the typically iffy Android virtual controls. It is fundamentally a platformer, though it's a series of "gimmick levels" that sometimes have you flying in side-scrolling sh'mup style or driving. In some of the levels, the controls are better than just about anything yet seen in an Android platformer with a virtual stick. Unfortunately, they don't fare so well in the levels that demand precision jumping. The main problem is that you can't "throttle back" effectively to correct jumps with a touch screen in the way that you can with a stick or pad. The game still isn't difficult, since there's unlimited tries and you can just throw yourself at each level until you get through it (and none are particularly long), but a lot of deaths feel like they were due to control constraints rather than you doing something wrong.

Add in the nicely done chiptunes soundtrack (which really seems to draw on Mega Man 2 for inspiration) and polished graphics and you've got a game that actually would be very good on its own merits -- PewDiePie set entirely aside -- if you could play it with an actual real controller. There's apparently a Windows release coming shortly after I write this (which means likely already out by the time I post this), so maybe give that one a whirl instead.
 
 
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