PO'ed: Definitive Edition Review - by DJ MetalWolf

“What the hell am I looking at?!” These were, no joke, the first words in my head and the first words out of my sister’s mouth when I first booted up PO’ed: Definitive Edition. Of all the games I’ve played, this one really tops the list of weirdest games I’ve played.

Surprisingly, the story is the only thing about this game that isn’t weird. You play as Ox, an overweight chef on a ship transporting space marines that crashed into a military outpost, killing all but the chef, and now it’s up to you to escape. I’m not really going to bash the story in any way as stories in 90’s shooters were sorta non-existent, but I will say it did remind me of something Troma Studios would’ve made and that’s not really a bad thing.

I will say that it’s not the best looking game out there. The game was released originally on the 3DO, which really couldn’t do 3D games like this well (Look at the 3DO port of Doom as an example), so the environments are very basic and very ugly, with some being too opened for their own good, leading to levels where I had no idea where to go or what to do. However, I do want to praise the sprite-work as they are nicely detailed and animated, with a few having some unique dying animations once you kill them.

PO'd Gunplay

The gameplay is where I’m really mixed with PO’ed. Firstly, to get the positives out of the way first, the weapons are unique enough to stand out and fun enough to use, save for one of them. To begin, you start off with a frying pan before upgrading to a butcher’s knife that you can throw at enemies. Later, you get a decent little blaster that does a surprisingly good amount of damage, two rocket launchers, a fast firing and a controllable one, and a machine gun which the game calls an Uzi but the manual calls ‘The Wailer’, which I found to be effective against flying enemies. It’s the other weapons where I began going “WTF, starting with a drill that, admittedly, I barely used as it requires you to get up close and personal with the alien scum (though, in a neat touch, when you get blood splattered on the screen, Ox will wipe it off), a pulse gun that I found to be really effective, a ‘meat ball launcher’ (no joke, it apparently fires meatballs), and a flamethrower. The weapons, outside of the drill, are fun to use and ammo is plenty so you’ll rarely run out, though I am surprised at one thing: There isn’t really a shotgun counterpart in this game. I mean, you could argue the drill is this game's shotgun, but it still would’ve been just a bit nice to have some sort of shotgun variant. But this does lead to my first main complaint with PO’ed and that is switching weapons is slow and tedious. Whenever you switch to another weapon, the screen shows what gun you’re switching to first, then it vanishes, followed by Ox lowering his hand slowly, then pulling out the weapon of choice. In some situations in this game, like those involving the flying enemies, this can lead to some unwanted damage taken.

Movement is another sour point as it really feels like you’re walking on ice most of the time, though this is sorta helped by how slow Ox walks. That is, until you activate the sprint function (which has Ox put shoes on cause apparently he’s walking barefooted? OK) and he becomes just a bit unruly to control. Same goes with the Jetpack but I’m kinda confused by how it works. So, the jetpack has two functions, the main one being able to ascend and descend areas, though some areas are still inaccessible to the jetpack. The other function, though, I can’t really figure out. The manual said it’s a ‘turbo’ function, but unless I used it wrong, it seemed to be the same speed as the standard mode. The manual also states that it uses petroleum as fuel, but if you’re playing on Easy Mode, you won’t have to worry about fuel.

POd2

Moving onto the enemies and this is where the biggest source of the weirdness comes from: These enemies are some of the most creatively designed I’ve ever seen’. You got your standard ones like robots and turrets, along with flying enemies that are probably the worst ones to fight just due to how fast they are. But THEN you got the weirder ones, like a red flying demon that shoots its jaws, literally, at you, a brain attached to a set of wheels, and, I swear I’m not making this up, walking butts that shoot literal shit at you. See why I say this is something that Troma Studios would’ve made? Still, even though the enemies are creative, I still did find some that were annoying to fight, mostly the aforementioned flying enemies. I feel like these guys were designed for a lower framerate as they are just a tad too fast to take out and I ended up wasting a lot of ammo in doing so. I also noticed that it is way too easy to get hit in this game and hearing Ox grunt what feels like every few seconds got really annoying. Normally, I’d say that at least the music helps cover up the sounds, but I can’t as there isn’t any music in the game, which is a shame as an atmospheric soundtrack or, perhaps, music by Primus could’ve helped add to the weird atmosphere this game has going for it.

I have other issues with this game as well, like how the levels are just too open and I was sometimes lost in figuring out where to go or what to exactly do in order to beat certain levels and how sometimes it’s a bit too hard to die from enemies. I found that most of the deaths I had in the game were either from being ganged up by a whole swarm of them (which I will commend the game for being able to handle a ton of enemies at once, though don’t expect Dynasty Warriors level of enemies) or, one level in particular, because I got knocked off a ledge and couldn’t get out of a harmful area. I will admit that level did get me a little frustrated.

It’s funny, for all the annoyances this game has, I still found myself having fun playing it. I equate it to finding a bad movie while looking for something good to watch; You know it’s a bad movie but you can’t help but enjoy the film and that’s how I feel about this game. PO’ed isn’t a good FPS and I don’t see this being on many ‘Best Of’ lists, but it’s one of those games that I honestly enjoyed playing and can see myself going back to once in a while. Still, it’s cool seeing another 90’s FPS getting remastered by Nightdive Studios and I can’t wait to see what they got in the works next. Perhaps, say, Armonies: Project S.W.A.R.M?


GF Review Scores:

Graphics: 3 - The sprite work is nicely done, though the environments are too simple, despite some creative locations.

Gameplay: 3 - Slippery movement and a slow weapon selection does hurt what is, honestly, not a bad FPS.

Sound: 2 - Despite the occasional alien noise and the sound of your weapons and Ox grunting, the game is surprisingly very quiet, no thanks in part due to the lack of any music.

Final Score: 3/5 

“What the hell am I looking at?!”

Gaming Furever was provided a copy of the game for review by the Publisher


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