The Great White Destroyer - Polished shark attack game or failure?
A shark attack game from Backyard Ninja, The Great White Destroyer is a good attempt, but falls short due to a number of flaws in its design and interface.
Concept - The Great White Destroyer - Shark Attack Game Review
The player takes the role of a shark unnamed shark. Under the command of the self proclaimed shark deity Carhtoothus, the shark must accomplish a number of goals. The aim of the game is, to be blunt, to cause as much damage and terror possible in a number of waterside locations, including beaches and docks. Not the most original concept, but The Great White Destroyer throws a massive twist at the player, who would be most used to fending off sharks in similar games. The player can activate a frenzy mode when enough death and damage is caused. Certainly not the most politically correct concept ever concocted, but good on Backyard Ninja for trying something a little out there.
The game plays out fairly quickly, with players generally having to eat before thinking, in true shark fashion. Different points are awarded for each type of bird, fish or person devoured by the player. It’s also fairly smooth, but the game gets surprising difficult in no time, with players being charged with wiping out large ships with gun-toting enemies aboard.
The second portion of the game, called Mr. Manitee mode, is set up more or less as a collection of different boss battles ranging from giant humans to electrified ships.
The unfortunate thing about the gameplay is that it is very much a novelty. After a short amount of time it starts to get a little boring, with every level essentially presenting the same situation.
The controls in this shark attack game are easily some of the most simple to be found in a game. All a player needs to use is their mouse, with different left- and right-button controlling the speed the shark travels at, and the mouse being moved around to determine what direction he is travelling in.
It can be a tad difficult to accurately move around at the high speeds, but this is more of a skill barrier than a problem with the controls themselves, and with a little practice players will soon be wizzing around the map shredding their enemies at will.
The graphics in The Great White Destroyer PC version are very reminiscent of early 1990s graphics, with large sprites, jagged at the edges, representing the objects of the game.
Some games take this style and make it an asset. Unfortunately, Backyard Ninja fails to capitalize on the nostalgic nature of such graphical styles, and the sprites are sloppy, badly colored and there are a number of glitches in the menus of the game, where visual artifacts are left by the cursor. While we do understand that the game has been produced by a smalltime developer working to the constraints of game making software, these sorts of issues simply will not do.
Other than these flaws, the game does have its humorous points graphics-wise, with a healthy spattering of blood present at most of the time.
The sound in the game is where everything very much begins to turn pear-shaped for the player. Despite lengthy loading screens devoted to the sounds being loaded into the game, on our Windows 7 test machine the sounds were nowhere to be found. Occasionally a few sounds would play, but no music or background effects graced our presence for most of the game. A quick search on youtube turned up with some game play videos which demonstrated that sound is very much included in the game, we were unable to extract any during our play through no matter how hard we tried.
The Great White Destroyer is no doubt a good dig by Backyard Ninja to enter the gaming world. Novel game play features spice up an otherwise old idea, and players will have plenty of fun playing out there fantasies of being a great white shark in a proverbial candy shop of swimmers and other juicy snacks.
However, Backyard Ninja have failed where it counts most for modern day gamers – below par graphics and sound maim a promising game and push it towards gaming wilderness.
I look forward to seeing further games from backyard ninja, but for the moment the developer is simply not ready for a mainstream audience. Buy The Great White Destroyer if you’re specifically after this sort of game, but for the casual gamer a different purchase would be more worth the money.