4cr Plays – Stick it to the Man (Wii U)
Stick it to the Man has finally been released on the Wii U after releasing on the PS3 and Vita. What has changed? Is the game still funny and easy to play? Let’s find out!
For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Stick it to the Man was made by the team at Zoink! Games, and was published Ripstone. If Zoink! rings a bell, it’s because they’re behind the awesome Wii concept for Weewaa which, unfortunately, was never picked by a publisher.
Stick it to the Man is the story of Ray, a helmet tester. As in, he tests helmets to see how much damage they can withstand before the person wearing it feels the hit. Ray is hit in the head by falling object, ironically while he’s NOT wearing a helmet. The hit does a number on him and he starts hallucinating that he’s inside of his own head, trying to drain the fluid that is making his brain hurt.
This sets up the mood for the whole game since things only get crazier and weirder after this. After being discharged from the hospital, Ray realizes there’s this giant purple spaghetti-like arm popping out of his head. To make things worse, it seems he can now listen to people’s thoughts, and can even convert some of them into stickers that can be grabbed and placed somewhere else in the world.
The first couple of chapters set up the premise for the whole game, and once you’ve made it to Chapter 3 you’ll be trying to help a guy to recover his girlfriend, go inside Ray’s head to analyze what’s going on with him, and escaping from some secret organization where the men dress in black and are out to pulverize you.
Since Ray can die from any of these interactions (or from the classic standby of falling down a good, old-fashioned bottomless pit), the game provides the player with several checkpoints for each chapter, and to go along with the paper-like look for the game, these checkpoints print a new copy of Ray every time he dies.
The Wii U version takes this one step further, allowing the player to lift the Wii U Gamepad to aim it at the screen, using the gyroscopes to zero-in on the brain of a person (or animal) to see what exactly is going through their noggin. On top of that, the map for the current chapter is displayed on the Gamepad’s screen at all times so that you can always know if there’s something of interest nearby. Also, if the TV is not available, you can switch to off screen play on the Gamepad, which is always a plus.
Something that was weird on the PS3 and Vita versions, and still persists here, is that the loading times are a bit on the long side. This isn’t a real deal-breaker since they only happen at the start of a chapter. But I was expecting the loading time to be considerably lower as was the case with the PS3/Vita to Wii U port of Zen Studios’ Castlestorm
Stick it to the Man is a fun, crazy and funny game that does not overstay its welcome. The game is going for a paper look, and it works great for the characters and the environments, giving them a very particular charm. Add to this the funny writing and great voice acting and you got very good game.