Nathan Karr's "Weegee", an entry into the FanGame contest, is a celebration of memes gone by. It features some funny moments, a neat gimmick in which your enemies leave behind humorous corpses, and a somewhat interesting recreation of most of the first level of Super Mario Bros. 2. Unfortunately, "Weegee" overestimates its own charm, lasting about 4 times longer than it ought to and reusing every enemy so many times that whatever novelty they may have originally possessed is completely stripped away.
The game features "Weegee", a popular image macro of an off-model Luigi from Mario Is Missing, as he goes around doing god-only-knows-what. Along the way he fights his standard enemies, koopas and goombas, before eventually stumbling across villains as bizarre and far-ranging as Father Time, Dr. Robotnik and even Pikachu. The old man from Legend of Zelda will tell you things in a house at the start of the game using a nicely scripted conversation system and coming back to him throughout the game will present new dialogue options. These might've been funny, but by the time I came back to them it was 40 minutes in, I had a headache and I couldn't tell any more.
After walking across the world, which features an icy palette swap of the first map, the aforementioned first level of Super Marios Bros. 2 and an area reminiscent of Donkey Kong, you reach a dead end. Weegee even helpfully identifies it as such. At this point, I returned back to the start. It was an agonizing quest, as I had to replay almost every battle, and many of them repeat several times. There's no strategy to any of the fights. You simply hold down the enter key and watch as you and the enemies take turns missing each other till someone gets lucky a few times in a row. All enemies drop 9,000 EXP meaning you level up quickly, but gain insignificant stats from doing so. It does at least refill your health which makes for a minor bit of strategy. Music and sound effects make these kind of fun the first time, Guile's Theme makes an appearance as does the Pokemon Stadium theme from Smash Brothers, but like so many things about Weegee it gets old.
Not really his best effort, Nathan does show that he knows how to design an interesting map and has some interesting ideas with the battle engine. I give him credit too for drawing most of the graphics himself and keeping the rips to a minimum. Maybe he was trying to do something meta where the game's joke gets as old as the joke he based it on? I suppose that's a question for later historians to consider. I'd be more disappointed in Nathan, but as we'll find out in October, Mr. Karr is perfectly capable of combining his weirdness with a good game in "No Eat".
2011 Score (Per April 30th): 65/100
Part of Gomey's 2011 Year In Review