What to say about Bill and Ted's Wyld Stallyns? There was a time when movie tie-in games were considered some of the very worst that you could play. There were a couple of diamonds in the rough, but for the most part film games were the sort of thing that your Grandma bought you for Christmas because she didn't know any better.
To call Bill and Ted's Wild Stallyns a call back to those far-from-golden days would actually be doing a disservice to generations of rubbish movie shovelware - because it's worse than all of them.
It's not just that it's dull, because it is very dull, but the shambolic way it tries to tap in to the series it's supposed to be reminding you of. This is an experience that's so devoid of joy that any residual enjoyment - maybe you just had a nice sandwich - will be sucked into its gaping maw and crushed into disappointment.
BogusWhere the Bill and Ted movies were slacker culture made mainstream, tied together with a whole bunch of important lessons about being yourself and how awesome Socrates and Martian robots are. The game, on the other hand, takes things in a different direction.
It's a casual RPG that sees you building up a team - not of historical figures - but of band members. And while you do travel through time, for the most part you're travelling between different patches of forest in time. You can only figure out where you're supposed to be by looking at the monsters you're fighting.
Fighting knights? Oh then you're almost certainly in knight time. There's dialogue to go along with every fight, but it's like it's been written by someone who's only ever heard some bad impressions of Bill and Ted and thought that was enough to get a whole story out of.
In terms of gameplay you're taking part in simple turn-based battles. Each of your characters has two attacks they can use - one on a cooldown timer, and the other you can hurl out whenever it's your go. There are items as well that can damage your foes or strengthen your own offence and defence.
Everything about the game is generic. You get a few nods to the Bill and Ted films, but in all honesty they're all so half-arsed that you're either not going to notice them or they're going to annoy rather than delight you.
There's nothing pure or wholesome here, no moments of idiotic camaraderie or gleeful accidental success. There's none of the utopian future ideals that wove their way through the films either - this isn't a game that wants you to be a better person.
Non-non bogusIt's rare that you can't find something nice to say about a game, but I'm really struggling with Bill and Ted. If you stripped away all of the awful trimmings, it'd still be a pretty bad game. It's boring when it needs to be interesting, and difficult when it needs to let you sail through.
So I'm not going to say anything nice about Bill and Ted's Wyld Stallyns. The best I can do is say that it isn't broken. Everything it sets out to do, it manages to pull off. It's just that everything it sets out to do is miserable.