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    5 Reviews
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      16.02.2010 02:41
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      Thumbs down

      "Pen Pen" is a racing video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 by Infogrames. In the United States, the game received a guidance rating of "E" which deemed it appropriate for all ages.

      Glancing through the other reviews on this video game brought a smile to my face. While this is certainly not worthy of a prospective purchase, the criticism it receives is largely undue. In Pen Pen, players assume the role of one of several hybrid alien races which inhabit "Iced Planet". Human scientists don't know what exactly they are, though due to their close resemblance to the penguin they're given the alias "Pen Pen" until more proper discoveries can be made. This underlying plot has little effect on the actual game as it focuses on their apparently favourite activity: racing and the annual "Trilcelon" racing tournament.

      Unimaginative Japanese to English language translations aside, the player assumes the role of one of eight Pen Pen creatures. Once a selection is made, players may select one of four race tracks which each contain five variants. The variants do little to alter its designated race course; as little as a few stumbling blocks in the centre of one race course was enough to be considered a variation. Once a race course is selected it's off to the tournament. The gameplay experience itself is very limited and doesn't boast much by the way of a challenge. Computer opponents wander aimlessly which leaves the player repetitively striking the A button to propel his or her Pen Pen forward. Unfortunately, Pen Pens move at a very slow pace which regularly wears out my trigger finger by the end of a single race. The ratio of button strikes in relation to movement is far too unbalanced and I have never found myself all that interested in mashing my game pad into oblivion to reach the finish line. Once a race is complete it's back to the main menu to restart the process.

      The title's presentation features are its only redeeming points. Despite their slow movement, Pen Pens consistently animate with a smooth frame rate and boast bright colour schemes which leap out from the arctic scenario. Courses keep with the idea of an "iced planet" well, though they feature little by the way of visual differentiation. The same well designed wall textures repeat themselves throughout a single course to create a uniform track from start to finish. The soundtrack features an abundance of memorable upbeat tunes and simple sound effects such as a "bop" noise which follows the Pen Pen's dash through the race course.

      I often wonder when I will find this game disc useful. It's possible that small social gatherings would make good use of the game's multiplayer mode, though it's highly unlikely that this video game would keep a single player gripped for any period of time. I would not recommend it to prospective buyers.

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      16.09.2001 06:22

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      Pen, Pen – a Japanese game, as most are with names so crazy and non relevant to the style of game or aspects to do with the game, and to be honest, it doesn’t really matter, this game is so poor that you’ll regret paying that £5 for it, from Amazon (hoards of people rush to see if it’s correct) so don’t waste your money (Yeah, ok 1pence out, sorry), as Pen, Pen is the worst racing game, around. Why I bought this is beyond me, something to do with having very little money to spend on a game, so this ‘quirky’ racer was the only thing that leapt out at me. After picking the game off the floor, I thought it must have either been possessed (in order for it to leap out) or to have been knocked over. Anyway, the game is stupid. Who could have thought of a game that would appeal to mass audiences, which involved racing multicoloured penguins around flamboyant, but ridiculously designed levels, themed on totally random things like Halloween – why? Ok, so there is a bit of creation and I can see that Pen obviously indicates “penguin” as the characters in the game, but when you have sluggish fatsos, which look more like toads than Emperors, you really should just stop. Turn the game off, advertise it now and be done with it, enough is enough – this game is mad! It has a four-player option, which is effectively the main game, or the mode you should play in most, if any, but I warn you. The handling is poor - the graphics are simple and way too bright for this country and the controls, speed sensation. Not there. 1 star gaming, it’s disgraceful. This will last you as long as take to sell it. Laughable. Literally.

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      30.08.2001 06:53

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      • "No fun!"

      CRAP - Advantages: Cheap - Disadvantages: No real gameplay elements, Terrible sound, No fun!

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      30.08.2001 06:29
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      Pen, Pen – a Japanese game, as most are with names so crazy and non relevant to the style of game or aspects to do with the game, and to be honest, it doesn’t really matter, this game is so poor that you’ll regret paying that £5 for it, from Amazon (hoards of people rush to see if it’s correct) so don’t waste your money (Yeah, ok 1pence out, sorry), as Pen, Pen is the worst racing game, around. Why I bought this is beyond me, something to do with having very little money to spend on a game, so this ‘quirky’ racer was the only thing that leapt out at me. After picking the game off the floor, I thought it must have either been possessed (in order for it to leap out) or to have been knocked over. Anyway, the game is stupid. Who could have thought of a game that would appeal to mass audiences, which involved racing multicoloured penguins around flamboyant, but ridiculously designed levels, themed on totally random things like Halloween – why? Ok, so there is a bit of creation and I can see that Pen obviously indicates “penguin” as the characters in the game, but when you have sluggish fatsos, which look more like toads than Emperors, you really should just stop. Turn the game off, advertise it now and be done with it, enough is enough – this game is mad! It has a four-player option, which is effectively the main game, or the mode you should play in most, if any, but I warn you. The handling is poor - the graphics are simple and way too bright for this country and the controls, speed sensation. Not there. 1 star gaming, it’s disgraceful. This will last you as long as take to sell it. Laughable. Literally.

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      • More +
        25.03.2001 21:57
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        I managed to pick this up for £7 in a bargain bin. Thank god I didn't pay anymore for this worthless stupidity. The objective of PenPen is to race your "cute" little penguins around the tracks, constantly hitting A to give yourself a push forwards. At first I ignored the cutesy graphics and hoped for a decent game, and that's what I found... for about 10 minutes. The first track is like a frozen iceland, you set off and jump onto your belly. Pushing yourself along with the A button (timing your strokes of course) you go down a few slidey bits to cross a line. At this point the game turns into a slow walking simulation, as you run along and occasionaly jump a few obstacles. Pretty boring. Over another line and into swimming mode. Pretty similar to the sliding but with another dimenion of movement. Out of the water and back onto your belly to cross the finish line. Every track in the game takes this form, switching between the 3 different movement types. Each level has it's own special theme, the others are jungle, sweety land (or something) and haloween. Yes that's right, only 4 tracks. Each track has 3 different difficulty levels which basically just shortern them so that the really awful players can avoid the hard bits. Pretty lame in my opinion. Only 4 tracks is just not enough in a racing game. Damnit, it's the year 2001, these tracks are nothing special - just a little more effort could have made this game worthy of 3 stars but ooohh noooo. With so few tracks you will soon tyre of this game, though it's fun for about an hour, it'll soon become a placemat for your drinks. The penguin selection (your racers) are equally as stupid. Each has their own "wacky, comic, in your face" design, yet none handle distinctively and add nothing to the game. Overall this game seems pretty rushed. It was an original Dreamcast launch title and that is very plain to see. With absolutely no
        depth at all I can safely say that this game will go straight back into the bargain bin from whence it came. I can only recommend this game to little kiddies (and only if you see it very cheaply) or stoned teenagers. The developers should be ashamed. The cute graphics in this game are just a lure for mummy's (or daddy's) who don't know a thing about games. The worst game I own - stay well clear.

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