|Editor Rating:||4.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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It seems as if they'll make a game about anything these days. Based on an old Japanese television show, Irritating Stick can loosely be described as a puzzle game. The premise of the game is to navigate a stick through a labyrinth without touching the sides. If you touch the sides, you'll receive an electric jolt, and you'll have to start over at the beginning, hence the irritation. For maximum effect, this game is best played using a Dual Shock controller. The analog stick makes maneuvering through the maze much easier, while the Dual Shock vibrates like mad when you screw up.
If this weren't wacky enough, there's a variety of play modes that wilt help add longevity to this title. There's a Television Mode that re-creates the feeling of the original game show, and an Al Mode that increases the level of difficulty depending on how well you do. Finally, there's a Course Edit Mode that lets you design your own courses, which can be arranged with windmills, churning pistons, moving chambers and more.
With over 70 courses and a two-player mode, Irritating Stick might be the perfect party game for families with lots of kids. Although some things may change from the Japanese version, the simple premise is easy to grasp and may prove to be a hit when it arrives in January 1999.
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You know, I couldn't come up with a more apt i name for this game. Who would have thought moving a metal stick through an electrified maze would be so damn irritating. But I think our news editor, Chris Johnston, best summed up this game when he said, "For a game that sucks, Irritating Stick sure is addicting." It's not just the huge variety of obstacle courses that kept me playing; I found myself wanting to master the tricky controls. You can adjust the speed of your stick, but you never really get used to just how touchy this thing is (and you definitely want to use analog to achieve maximum control). I can't count the number of times I'd be cruising through a maze, trying to reach the next checkpoint before the time expired, only to careen into a wall at the last second because control seemed to just slip away from me. You get more than enough courses, including a group that adjusts their difficulty to match your skill. And you can build your own courses, too. Above all, Irritating Stick is a just plain weird game that'll no doubt appeal to kids and make a great diversion at parties. The two-player and tournament modes are really the best way to play (if for nothing else than to make fun of the goofball announcer), but Irritating Stick is just too frustrating to really enjoy solo.
Fondly referred to as "Irritating S***" by most people that spend longer than 30 seconds with the thing, I can honestly say I can't think of any reason to own this game, apart from to show people how bad it is. I can't remember what the buzzy-wire thing it's based on is called, but at least it's more fun. And the "forfeits" it wants you to do? Forget it. At some point in development this underwent some kind of funectomy.
This is a really tough call. At first, Irritating Stick seems totally inane. Guiding a dot through several different electrified mazes trying to avoid touching the sides seems like a weak premise. Not to mention incredibly frustrating at first. But low and behold, it draws you in like so many simple games do. It's that conquest thing in action. Bottom line, it's mildly fun but not $50 fun. If it's priced under $20, maybe--otherwise no.
This is a prime example of a game that should never have come out on either side of the Pacific. The game tries to capture the wacky nature of the offbeat japanese TV show, but it loses a lot when you don't see an actual guy getting SHOCKED. Sure it's challenging, but so is trying to collect a ball of lint in my mouth. I can't even recommend renting this just to satisfy your curiosity. Stay away from the Irritating Stick.