Whenever I'm given a game to review that doesn't have a bad children's show in the title, it worries me. Stake is so bad, I think it might have been an unrelated product that was accidentally labeled as a video game. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this was a round graham cracker that just happened to kind of work in my XBOX. So I'm writing about the following two greatest challenges in the game under the assumption that I've been the victim of a practical joke.
Stake Challenge One: Sound Setup
First off, this game has no sound effects. I figured this had to be my fault; maybe my TV audio's suck channel was set too low. Even Stake - Fortune Fighters couldn't forget sound effects, right? I went to an option called "BGM" to turn them up. The only option there was "Default BGM." So I clicked it. It made the game's elevator music start over. What the fuck kind of reason would I need a button for that? I figured maybe, theoretically, if you did this enough times, you could memorize the pauses in the music, then, by punching an enemy at precisely those times, sound effects may be audible. Theoretically.
Stake Challenge Two: Conquering Death
After I was silently defeated by enemies I couldn't see because of the bad camera, I thought I'd watch the Stake demo for tips. The sample fighter jumped across the floor while fighters from off camera bombarded him with fireballs. As it is in life, fruity leaps are no match for fireballs, and he eventually died. It said, "YOU LOSE" and sent me back to the main menu. Ahh, so that's how you do it.
I didn't exagerrate any of that shit. The game's practically silent and you can't see anything killing you. I called the editors to double check, concerned that I might have accidentally grabbed an unfinished review copy or something. That's how big a failure this game was-- playing it made me think I was fucking up in the regular world.
Originally appeared in issue #170