Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

Posted by Jess Beebe.
First posted on 03 April 2012. Last updated on 03 April 2012.
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Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass
Brain wins the title belt.
Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass
Angry wrestlers demand that Brain give up his prize.
Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass
Simon looks around in the Wrestle Zone's changing room.
Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass
Defender interrogates Ice Cold.
Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass
Brain enjoys a puppet show at the beach.

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass Limited Edition CD

The Limited Edition CD of Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass includes, in addition, a MP3 soundtrack, exclusive trading cards, and a 3D animated short starring the game's characters.

There are many plot devices used in adventure games which have become so prevalent that they have almost become clichés. Examples include ancient civilizations (like Atlantis and Egypt), secret societies (like the Knights' Templar), protagonists with amnesia, and the many generic entities and settings from the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

Every once in a while, however, an adventure game explores a plot device that has rarely been used before. Such is the case with Icebox Studios' Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass, a game that is centered around a subject scarcely mentioned in other games in its genre—professional wrestling.

Da New Guys is the team name of a wrestling trio: the soft spoken, contemplative Defender; the muscular, gruff, but good natured Simon; and the feeble, somewhat inappropriately named Brain. As the game opens, a wrestling match is being played out between Da New Guys and The Forces of Destruction. Against all odds, Brain is able to defeat the opposing team and win the title belt. However, the team's celebrations are short lived. After receiving a visit from a mob of irate pro wrestlers who feel that he does not deserve his prize, Brain attempts to escape but winds up getting kidnapped in an unmarked gray van. Simon and Defender are determined to find out who is behind the kidnapping, though little do they know that this is just a single piece of a larger plan.

The world in where the game takes place is quite large, and over the course of the game, the player assumes the role of each of the 3 members of Da New Guys (even controlling 2 members of the team at a time in some scenes). It is wrong to assume that the end of the game is close once Simon and Defender have located Brain. This is because that there is still much ground to cover, puzzles to solve, and enemies to fight before the game credits roll.

The game's graphics are simple for the most part, but they still do a good job at portraying the game's zany setting. In fact, the basic appearance of the art is sometimes used for comedic effect: Ice Cold, a wrestler with far more muscles than intellect, is drawn with incredibly thick, angled black lines, and he rigidly hops instead of walks from place to place.

The game's puzzles are numerous and varied. Although a few of them can leave the player stumped for a while, none of them feel illogical or out of place. When the player is controlling both Simon and Brain, the characters' markedly different personalities and physical appearances give the puzzles a whole new level of complexity. For example, a particular puzzle involves dyeing a sock white. The problem is that the only available sock is Brain's, and the only white paint to be found is in the basement of a bar. Simon refuses to touch Brain's sock, and Brain is too young to be allowed inside the bar—making what is otherwise a simple task a genuine head scratcher.

The game's music can be as playful and innocent as the tune accompanying a puppet show or as hardcore as the heavy and thumping beat of a song that is played during any of the game's several wrestling matches. Whichever the case, the song always complements its scene excellently. The voice acting is also well done and adds a level of humor to the game over that of the written dialog. The voices of all of the protagonists suit them very well (though Brain's perky squeaking may annoy some gamers). Most interestingly, they are all voiced by Chris Burton, the game's creator.

There are many parts in the game that have a cinematic feel to them, making it feel as if the player is watching a cartoon rather than playing a game. However, there are plenty of puzzles spread out between these parts, so the game never starts feeling like an overly long interactive cut scene. The game also has several achievements which can be unlocked to score rewards, such as access to the game's concept art.

Among the few small complaints I have with this game is that the game only allows 3 slots for game saves, with 1 slot reserved additionally for automatic saves. Since the game is rather long, it seems unnecessary and unfair to allow such a small number of saved games. There is a bit of screen tearing at times, and there is occasional audio stuttering during a scene change. However, none of these glitches are significant enough to detract from the overall gaming experience.

Overall, Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass is a great game, even for gamers who are not fans of professional wrestling. The simple graphics may not be to some gamers' taste, but for a game developed almost entirely by a single individual, the production is truly impressive. It is easy to see just how much love and effort have been put into this game by the developer. For fans of indie adventure games, Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass is a title that simply cannot be passed up.

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