The Lords of Tantrazz
Review by Orb
Anybody remember MTV's great animation show, Liquid TV? This
was, for those of you that missed it, a weekly half hour of various
shorts from a wide range of artists of varying styles. The
Lords of Tantrazz is like an extended-play version of a snippet
from a Liquid TV episode. Now anybody who may remember
these will quickly realize, thinking back, that some of these
were very clever, oneAeon Fluxdoing the job
well enough to earn its own spinoff. Also, one may remember some
of these were really stinky and badly done and you had to sit
through them to see Aeon Flux.
Guess which kind The Lords of Tantrazz is like?
Let's get the basics out of the way first. The story is played
out in six chapters, and any chapter can be accessed from the
main screen. The game itself was done by Kane Roberts, who has
played guitar and cowritten songs for and with Alice Cooper. Alice
himself is featured as a villain named "The Hunger."
You follow the character of Super Agent Veronica Callahan on a
seek-and-rescue mission. Don't bother worrying about the restit
didn't make any sense to me, and it won't to you either. The player
starts off hopefully, with a promising intro scene flying over
some fairly interesting looking landscape and then ... is jolted
back to reality.
I think Roberts, whose nickname is apparently "Rambo,"
really believes himself to be some kind of Rock and Roll Renaissance
Man, and he may seem that way to a 13-year-old groupie. He has
drawn and put together this game himself, overstepping the boundaries
of his abilities, and apparently is unaware he has done so. The
story indicates that the male protagonist is the heroine's ex-lover.
At the end, you find out he's her father. This was extremely,
for lack of a better word, icky. I think this was not on purpose;
it honestly looked like the writer forgot the first part of his
As far as the music goes, there is an intro song, written and
sung by Roberts, that's of the fairly decent headbanger sort.
Unfortunately, the player is not treated to any more of this.
There is one other song that sounds as though it were recorded
by a garage band playing in an empty beer bar with Cherie Curie
at the mike (anybody remember The Runaways? Chhhchhhchhherry Bomb!).
The voice acting is of a caliber heretofore unheard of in the
adventure gaming community. If these actors were not in a high
school bathroom recording on a portable tape recorder, I'll eat
my hat. To facilitate the recreation of talking while in a helicopter,
the lead "actress" apparently decided what was called
for was YELLING while in a public bathroom. And Alice Cooper sounds,
The game consisted of around eight really simple puzzles and
a lot of talking, following by long periods of my computer computing
while I stared at a "loading" screen. The best part
of the game was a reflex puzzle whose manual tips offered the
advice that I could win by "cleaning my mouse," which
came in handy as I had forgotten to do that in a while. It made
my computer spit up a couple of times.
The graphics are done comic-book style, apparently drawn by Roberts,
and in my personal opinion, this man needs a date, as the women
in the game indicate he's very lonely (or incredibly shallow,
but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt). As far as I can
tell, real women don't have bodies like these unless they've been
surgically altered. Pamela Anderson Lee comes to mind. And I'm
not sure why Roberts put clothes on her at all except that maybe
he thought he couldn't find a distributor if he didn't. Lara Croft
ain't got nothin' on this dame. In other words, the game is nothing
but guys with big muscles and girls with big ... guns.
There are very small amounts of animation. No character's lips
move. There is some incredibly gratuitous violence, of the Spike
and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animated Film Festival variety.
(For those of you not in the know, this is where Beavis and Butthead
emanate/spawn from.) The pictures are still and played out slide-show
style. There is one straight-line path through the game, mostly
sitting and listening, no looking around for the most part, keep
your eyes on the road mister, thankyouverymuch. And it's not that
the graphics are dated (I've played other things with dated graphics,
and if the design is sturdy to begin with, it doesn't matter),
it's just that they are bad.
There are serious slows and glitches, some of which are mentioned
above, the rest I won't bore you with, throughout the game. I
never got the save feature to work. There were no instructions
on how to access the interface.
Ego-wise, this title is comparable only to Queensryche's Promised
Land, which wallowed in that band's own wonderfulness and
"depth." And I would give this point a score, except
that I don't want to encourage anyone. And why did I trash this
game, seemingly with so much relish? Because men like this always
deserve that kind of treatment from level-headed women, something
of a hobby of mine.
The original gag in Aeon Flux was that she died at the
end of each episode after heroically struggling, and this title
sure could have used a little of that (the quick death, not the
heroism). At least: (1) the game was mercifully short,
(2) there was no maze, and (3) Roberts failed to make good on
the promise (read: threat) to publish a sequel.
Developer: Kane Roberts
Publisher: Atlantean Interactive Games
Release Date: 1997
Four Fat Chicks Links
486/33 MHz or better
SVGA video card
4 MB free HD
8-bit Windows compatible sound card
8 MB RAM min
2x CD-ROM drive
Win 3.1, Win 95 or better
68040 33 MHz or better
4 MB free HD
2x CD-ROM drive
System 7 or better
Sound Manager 3.0
Where to Find It