For the past month, the Shed has been the scene of many arguments concerning little Dizzy. Jon's against him, I'm slightly for him, Andy couldn't care less and various other Future people keep popping in and offering us their views. It seems that everybody has their Dizzy opinion (except for Andy) and I'll be glad when this latest release is on the shelves and no longer the Shed's main topic of conversation. Honestly, tempers really are getting rather frayed at the edges.
Only the other day Jon and Adam (from Amstrad Action) got into a tizzy with one another and started an elastic band fight. This soon escalated into a full-scale Dizzy war with other people coming along and taking sides. It was awful, Andy and I had to hide underneath our desks 'til they ran out of 'laccy bands. I'm sorry, but like a quiet Shed!
The cause of all this excitement is now safely snuggled up in the Shed +3, the programmer travelled 90 miles just to bring it to us! Yep, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy has arrived, and I bet you're just dying to know what it's like. Well, in away, it's not really worth me telling you is it? If you hate Dizzy then you're not going to believe me if I were to tell you how excellent this game is. On the other hand, if you're a die-hard Dizzy fan you've probably already put in an order and there's no way you're going to take any notice if I should start ranting on about how awful the whole Dizzy thing is.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE...
But don't worry, I'm not going to enthuse and I'm not going to rant. What I am going to try and do is work out why this Dizzy game is £9.99 whereas all the others were £3.99 and whether or not worth it. The first point to get of the way is that old moan that the anti-Dizzy contingent always put forward - the fact that all the arcade-adventure type Dizzy games are exactly the same. Well, of course they are! That's what makes them so darn popular. Each Dizzy game sells more than the last one and the earlier games are still selling by the cartload. People like formulae, they know exactly what they want from Dizzy and they always get it, The Codies have got the right idea - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Every Dizzy game is exactly the same in the way that something like Just William books or any school stories are the same. You always get the same characters, although ocassionally a newcomer might appear for a while. The plot is always broadly the same, it's the old good triumphs over evil story over and over again. But so what? Dizzy is a strong character who acts in a certain way, he wouldn't really be at home in any other kind of game. Dizzy in a Street Fighter 2 scenario would be as ridiculous as Bob Monkhouse as the new Dr Who, Dizzy games are all written along the same lines for a reason, not out of laziness
Like all Dizzy games, this one's got a nice little storyline. Everybody in Dizzyland is happily enjoying a nice sunny day. Everybody that is apart from Grand Dizzy, he knows that the treasures of the Prophet Zeffar have been stolen from the Ice Palace and that soon, according to some ancient scrolls, a curse will fall upon the land. It's obviously up to Dizzy to wander across the land solving puzzles, somersaulting over nasties, using objects, picking up points and collecting some important treasures.
Dizzy's main objective is to return old Zeffar's sacred objects to their shrine in the ice Palace. It's true Crystal Kingdom Dizzy does look and play exactly like every other Dizzy game, but I don't mind that. I like the way Dizzy moves and somersaults and I like the way I can never solve the puzzles - it's a solid and dependable part of my life! But most of all, I love the way that Dizzy fans so obviously enjoy these games. I love the maps they draw and the tips they send in. In fact, I think that I could have easily been a Dizzy fan myself.
But! What I don't like is the price tag. This game isn't radically, or even slightly, different to any of the previous Dizzy games. Dizzy fans are going to buy this one, but it's going to cost them six quid more than usual and boost CodeMasters' profits. Crystal Kingdom Dizzy would have been a mid-eighties score, but that price tag really does knock the score down.
DIZZY THE DEBATE
Taking part are Adam Peters, staff writer on Amstrad Action, and our very own Jon Pillar.JP: Why is Dizzy an egg?AP: But I know why he's an egg.JP: Why?AP: I'm not telling you. I know the answer so I'm going to win the argument.JP: Tell me!AP: Not 'til we start the argument. (You already have! Ed)JP: Why is Dizzy an egg? Of all the things in the world why did they go for an egg? Why not a courgette, or a stick of celery, or a fluffy animal?AP: But they don't do somersaults, that's why Dizzy's so appealing. According to David Darling, one of the main reasons for Dizzy's success is the fact that he can turn somersaultsJP: Monty Mole somersaulted.AP: Ah, but that was a mole. There hadn't ever been a somersaulting egg. The Codes wanted a character so Philip Oliver drew a nice big face, then the face needed to move so they gave it arms and legs. Philip Oliver admitted that he's not a very good graphic designer, so all he could come up with was a big face that mutated into an egg. And what's wrong with eggs? They don't hurt anyone. But I'm not sure whether or not he's officially an egg.JP: The Codies call him an egg, and certain sad people keep making crap egg jokes.AP: Eggsactly!JP: I can't believe you said that. Anyway, that's why he's an egg is it?AP: Yep, and I don't think there anything wrong with having an heroic egg.JP: So why are the games crap then?AP: They're not, the kids like 'em and buy 'em, so they can't be.JP: They like 'em 'cos they fluffy and innocuous, like some pop songs. The fact that they're best-sellers doesn't mean they're any good at all.AP: But people aren't going to buy games which they think are crap. You might think they're crap but the people who are buying them obviously don't. You're just taking the high intellectual ground. Dizzy games are among the best games coming out at the minute. And they make money. We are living in a material world.JP: But when the Codies put some thought into things, they can come up with something like Steg. Dizzy is just an easy way outAP: Did you know that Andy can knock cups off people heads with elastic bands?JP: Can he? if we put this plastic cup on Linda's head, will he be able to hit it from over there?AP: Well yeah, but shouldn't you finish drinking the tea first?JP: No of course not, that'd take half the fun out of it.(Oi! Ed)
Dizzy's just about to go into Daisy's room, but not 'til she complains about what a state he left it in last time! What's more, Dizzy actually picks up a whip from the chair. Filth!
It's obvious really, isn't it? Dizzy's got to pump up the power and then Dora will be so pleased that she'll give him a cake. No doubt it'll come in useful.
Oh, look! Doesn't Dizzy look sweet? Jon got quite excited when this screen appeared. D'you know his idea of fun? To drown poor Dizzy! What a blighter!
Thankyou, ladies and gentlemen! And for my next trick I will somersault onto the torch above me whilst extinguishing the flame by spitting at it. Thankyou!
It's the amazing somersaulting egg! He looks so good when he does this! Unfortunately, he's probably about to smash his head open.