you ever bite into a plate full of ice cream only
to discover that it was mashed potatoes instead? What
do you mean, "no?" Perhaps the roast beef
and carrots beside the steaming white mound should
have given it away but I had my mind set on ice cream.
Now that I think about it, the gravy covering it should
have been a dead giveaway also. Anyway, the point
is, when you're expecting one thing, and get another,
it can be quite a shock. As the dinner guests will
concur when I spit the mixture right into the overhead
like watching American Chopper. I enjoy watching someone
else get yelled at for a change, and I also like watching
someone that gets more irritated than I do. In case
you don't watch the Discover Channel, American Chopper
is a reality show that documents the day-to-day activity
of the Teutel family and staff as they customize a
bike each week within some self-imposed deadline.
The business is called Orange County Chopper and is
located in the state of New York. Paul Sr. is the
cranky, short-tempered dad and Paul Jr. is the laid
back son that appears to be the most talented at customizing.
The fun part of the show is when Paul Sr. freaks out.
say I was disappointed in this game would be an understatement.
While the TV show is all about customizing, (and a
study in human interactivity) this game only features
it in the shallowest of contexts. Instead of a game
that takes its inspiration from the show that it's
based on, it appear to have been more inspired by
GTA than anything else. And if you can imagine how
bad a budget title of GTA would be, you can imagine
how bad American Chopper is.
decided to choke back a beer and give this game a
chance. I am a professional after all and I should
not be prejudiced by my own expectations. I must be
open to new directions. However the beer made me violent
and I found myself looking for that fat, brother,
Mikey to push around. I just wanted to push his face
into that man-shaped punching bag they use on the
gave the game a chance and it still didn't do anything
for me. If I were the Teutels, I would not only be
embarrassed over this game, I would be horrified as
it involves running pedestrians down as well as other
indiscretions. Using every biker cliché, this
game manages to take the industry back to the dark
days before the Hells Angels became a corporation.
Are they trading on the markets yet?
begin the game by entering into the Orange County
Chopper universe as a new employee. You won't be customizing
any bikes, instead you'll play the gopher as you perform
a series of fetch-quest missions as dictated by Paul
Sr. Some of the missions involve getting some spark
plugs but there is an ominous tone to the game that
makes it seem like Paul Sr. has ties to the mob or
some underground biker network. Some of the missions
involve escaping from rival gangs and trying to force
them off their bikes. You will ride through town constantly
dodging traffic as though everyone is out to kill
you. You must prove your worth to Paul Sr. if you
want to progress. I know this is a fantasy premise
but it really sends out the wrong message. I would
say that even if this game were good.
of the customizing is purely esthetic. You can only
get into the shop in between chapters which consist
of six or seven missions. Instead of actually customizing,
you will be able to choose from various bikes from
the show including the POW, Black Widow and Jet bike.
They feel a little bit too light and it's easy to
drive off he highway if you're not paying attention.
Not that there's much to look at since the environments
you might expect from a budget title, the game looks
very low-res. The characters do speak but their lips
aren't in synch and what they have to say is somewhat
out of the character. The animation is stiff and clipping
occurs constantly. Sometimes you'll be able to pass
right through other vehicles on the road as though
you were a ghost. The bikes don't even roar. They
sound like anemic Volkswagens.
have come to identify with the Teutels through their
show and find them to be decent, caring, talented
and occasionally volatile, human beings. It's a shame
that this game does not commemorate their contributions
to both the motorcycle industry as well as the entertainment
industry. Anybody for ice cream?