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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stick It To The Man! Review What's That Coming Out Of Your Head?

Joe, I mean Ray so fi- la di-do
Stick It To The Man!

What have you done with your hair, it's simply marvelous. The pink spaghetti look is so in this Winter. I just want to shake your hand and now I can reach up to your head and do so.

Stick It To The Man! is a gem that came to the PSN a few weeks back.Now let's go inside my head about it, wait is someone in there already!

Stick It To The Man! puts you on a point-n-click adventure where you must solve puzzles in a paper cut-out world. You can solve these puzzles with the long pink arm coming out of your head only you can see. Other people's thoughts become stickers and so does the scenery, including teeth quite often. You can rip off some one's teeth or memories and put them on to someone else/something else or into others memories.

You do this as the lovable, average Joe, Ray. Whose name isn't average Joe Ray. It's just Ray and he happens to be an average Joe. That's not a baseball team affiliation either. He's a regualr guy trying to earn a honest buck by testing out hard hats of different designs, the one made of trash should not be your top pick in safety. A can of something hits Joe, I mean Ray, dammit. It hits Ray in the noggin, clocking him out. Now as Ray you wake up to a world where you can see into other people's minds and literally pick their brains, not in a gross way, in a probably unethical way if we got down to it. I'll wait for the future when we have psychics and have to deal with psychic crimes to go over what's wrong or right.

It feels right to now wake up and have some sort of psychic third arm. Not to Ray though, he's freaked out. After mostly freaking out, you'll notice you've been targeted by The Man. Not just a broad generalization of higher powers, but a real mysterious dark figure, smoking like an ode to the X-Files own Smoking Man.

So in this point-in-click tale you'll have to try and figure out what's wrong in your head. You'll dwell in the city solving problems of others that ultimately help you. Get a bad rap by "The Man" and get targeted. Go inside your own head, more than once. Be imprisoned in a secret Area 51 like army base. Get put up in an asylum and ultimately make it into outer space.

Through this long path you'll encounter individuals with problems, which are your problems. This games sure teaches you about community or how annoying other people can be. This is where the game shines. Problem solving other people's bizarre and horrible problems is the game.

How do you open a door in an army base? Get a man pregnant! Ahem, well that and let's going into the mechanics of how this is done, ehh not this though.

Let's go back to teeth stealing. You need a ride somewhere? Oh, this is going to take a while. The driver of the taxi cab is going to kill himself because his girl left him for an older man. Not for money, not for power, not for love. For pearly whites. This girl doesn't love diamonds she loves pearls and by that I mean teeth, son. You"ll figure this out later on through going into people's heads.

One of the best features is being able to hear people's thoughts when you enter their head with your pink spaghetti arm. With control of rewinding and fast forwarding what people say, completely voice-acted. So if you've heard it before, hear it super sped up and get to the info you need.

This person needs this, this person is afraid of that. Ooh, stickers, take their thoughts peel'm and put them onto something else, problem 1/64 of hey way solved.

In the long an arduous journey of getting a ride, we never left that mission, you'll have to get in touch with a man who loves Silver Surfer for the NES. Oh, does he love that game. Even in his probable final moments does he remember his love of mastering it. You'll have to save him, so he can beat the Mafia Don who was going to kill him to win the dance competition. Wait, what? Don't you worry, it all ties together. The Don is the new beau of the Taxi Cab driver's girl who loves the Don for his teeth and not much else, which in her own inner thoughts she questions if she's okay making these choices.

This all comes with a sense of humor worthy of a Lucas Arts title from the past and maybe much thanks to Ryan North. North known for his online comics and comedic writing wrote the game. He tackles long-winded jokes and instant burst laughter that will be triggered by helping others, really helping yourself, when reading some one's innermost thoughts. Oh, Balloon girl doesn't have much in her in head.

The game really held me by bringing back past people that were helped and destroyed by you, not directly, mostly your fault though. There either heads or zombies towards the end. Not all of them, it's just a great callback.

Art style trounces other games out there today by being distinctive. It's an indie cartoony comic book world of cut-outs and stickers. The world asks to be pulled apart by you to find out what's going on. It's an advent calendar that never stops giving because you can get into people's heads.

Plenty of little doodles, sketches and hidden jokes can be found in the game. For instance the Lady Taxidermist's Best Friends Forever shop has Doublefine's two-headed logo hidden inside. It's one of many little gems you have to keep your eyes and mind open for.

There are some minor bumps, not all puzzles are that easy, but isn't that the point? Sometimes getting past guarded areas can be a real hassle with multiple tries. The game has auto-save, but an odd sort of close enough auto-save. It doesn't seem to save you direct last action more of a general save, so if you don't finish an area or a certain puzzle you may have to go back.

Probably the best written title and most humorous game coming out the end of 2013. Joe, I mean Ray really needs your help. He's got something wrong with his head and that only means a great adventure for you. Developer Zoink! and publisher Ripstone give us a great game to chuckle at over the holiday season.

Buy it now!

*Space Station Mom, I love you!

Reviewer was given copy by publisher for review purposes