The iconic image of Reservoir Dogs tough guys in black suits, skinny ties, and dark sunglasses represents a challenge for a videogame adaptation. In the legendary indie flick, each of the sharply dressed jewel thieves (with the colorful code names of Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr Pink, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blue, and Mr Brown) has his own distinct personality. But when you turn a charismatic, real actor (say, Steve Buscemi) into a polygonal dummy, any personality not conveyed by clothing tends to get lost in translation. The challenge: How do you make a Reservoir Dogs game that doesn't just feel like a bunch of nobodies in black suits?
Each character's dialogue is based heavily on their personality, says Project Manager Dave Manuel, and they have their own method of torturing a victim. Wait can we roll that back? Each character has his own special torture move? personally like to grab a groveling hostage and slice an ear off, which makes a cops facing me drop their weapons in the hope that I won't go any further, says) Manuel. That might help explain why Reservoir Dogs has already been banned Australia, even though, according to Manuel, you can play through the entire g without killing a single person. Australia has a rough-and-tumble tough guy imad but considering their ninny censoring (the country also banned the Grand Theft Ai series), are they really a bunch of pussies? You know, they almost chose "Walty Matilda' as their national anthem, says Manuel. You tell me..."
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Doing video game adaptations of film is tricky business. Most of the time you end up with something mediocre and occasionally you get something downright offensive to both fans of the original material and gamers alike. Reservoir Dogs falls squarely in the latter category.
Reservoir Dogs closely follows the events of Tarentino's classic crime drama. Given that the original film was based much more on tense character situations then shoot outs, this iteration of the story takes some liberties by incorporating scenes that were alluded to in the movie but never actually shown. This sounds like a good idea in theory but unfortunately, due to some terrible execution you'll find yourself glad that the film left these scenes to your imagination.
These new scenes usually involve one of the dogs either blasting his way to freedom through the game's decidedly generic levels or fleeing from the cops via car. Besides the fact that neither of these things really mesh well with the theme and feel of the movie, they're just not much fun to play. Driving offers more frustration then thrills due to the fact the controls are so loose that you feel like you're trying to steer a boat. On foot things aren't much better. The gunplay is imprecise and to survive you'll find yourself relying heavily on the game's contrived hostage system. Taking a hostage prevents your foes from shooting at you, but slows your pace down to a crawl. Issuing threats or roughing up the hostage will cause the cops to actually lay down their weapons. This gets particularly silly when you use a signature move, such as getting Mr. Blonde to slice off one of the hostages ears which causes everyone to drop their weapons. Instead of being simply methodical, creeping from hostage to hostage through each level is both repetitive and boring.
Reservoir Dogs doesn't look entirely horrible, its cutscenes effectively recreate some of the memorable sequences from the movie. Outside of these cutscenes however, character models are lack detail and animate poorly. Reservoir Dog's one redeeming quality of is its audio, and although only Michael Madsen reprises his role from the film, the stand ins do a good job representing their characters. Similarly the soundtrack is great with tracks like Stealers Wheel's 'Stuck in the Middle With You'? feature prominently.
As if Reservoir Dogs needed one last nail in the coffin, it's ludicrously short. Beating this game takes a mere handful of hours depending on how long you can tolerate it in one sitting. If you enjoyed the movie, give this game a wide berth.