Pop culture reference filled parody games were never really my cup of tea. And they haven’t really been popular lately either, feeling more reserved to the 90s era. Let me write about games a lot of you will probably not enjoy: Red Comrades Save the Galaxy: Reloaded, Red Comrades 2: For the Great Justice. Reloaded and Blue Estate.
Red Comrades Save the Galaxy: Reloaded is a remaster of a classic RU point and click adventure, the very first big(ger) budget one, which was so influential it essentially borne a new sub-genre of typified “Russian quests” (“quest” being how “adventure” genre was known due to Sierra series) – wacky pop culture heavy parody adventure games. And yet, despite always having a soft spot for adventure titles, this was my first ever time playing it, simple due to how incredibly pop-culture reference and cheap comedy reliance, which is not something I ever liked.
As a glimpse on what late 90s post-soviet parody/humor could be, it’s a great history piece. And it’s also a surprisingly well put together, quite well animated and relatively well paced game in its own right – it doesn’t feel “cheap”, rather – intentionally ugly, but with a lot of polish and thought underneath. That said, given that a lot of its humor is based on racial, gender and historical stereotypes and typical jokes of late-/post-soviet times, you might not get it or find it funny. Personally, I wouldn’t find it particularly funny even in the late 90s, but I’m still glad I went with this experience and finally played the game.
Red Comrades 2: For the Great Justice. Reloaded is a sequel to the original that, honestly, feels more like a strange short expansion, then a sequel. Where the original followed a proper adventure game structure, told a (silly) story and just put a very unique spin on “western” adventure games, the sequel feels like a very quick and dirty rehash of similar ideas. It’s extremely short, it doesn’t really follow any particular storyline, it focuses on pop-culture references and bad jokes even harder and becomes a parody on itself.
Which, maybe, was the intended effect, really – just turn everything to 11 and poke fun at your own success. But whenever it was intended or not the game is not particularly fun to play and isn’t really worth it.
Blue Estate is a solid dumb on-rails shooter that can be a fun time if you get it in a bundle or on a discount. It’s goes for the “dumb over the top and full of stereotypes, some of which are quite offensive, 80s action” style, which surprisingly works quite fine (like House of the Dead: Overkill dumb grindhouse style works well) and fun to play. And it plays with the genre conventions in a pretty neat way as well. Check it out if you have some time and like on-rails shooters.