Iggy's Reckin' Balls: A Retrospective On The Stupidity Of Children

by Jonathan Cusdan
  • Developer

    Iguana Entertainment
  • Platforms

    Nintendo 64
  • Publisher

    Acclaim Entertainment

If you went up to somebody on the street and asked them if kids were stupid, they would probably ignore you and walk away. If someone actually responded, there's a decent chance that they would say yes. Case in point, when I was a child, I enjoyed doing things like peeing in a bottle, sliding down the stairs in a laundry basket and pissing in a plant. I also played Iggy's Reckin Balls.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Iggy's Reckin Balls, for the blissfully unaware, is a racing game/platformer developed by Iguana Entertainment, the studio most famously known for developing the South Park FPS. To give this game credit, you do in fact race against opponents and jump across platforms. That's about all the credit this game deserves, though. To explain why this game is such a disappointment, I have to describe in detail how monotonous the gameplay gets. It's fairly simple, you control your ball thing with the control stick as expected, with A doing a jump. I guess this game tried to be cool and/or innovative by giving you a grappling tail/hook, which can be used most commonly to climb higher, and most entertainingly to hurl opponents. There's an item system in place, with all your generic kart racer items like projectiles, speed boosts, and traps, but they're never really worth using at all because none of them feel like they do a whole lot.

Look At Those Balls

The graphics aren't really anything to complain about honestly. It doesn't look too bad considering it's the N64, but tha's not exactly hard to accomplish when all you have are spheres, lines, platforms and backgrounds. You could theoretically recreate this by making a bookshelf uneven and rolling an orange across it (which I might do one day). There are 17 characters, but it's just repainting the same ball and giving them bad voices. Speaking of audio, one of the few aspects of this game I could actually consider positive is the music, which is pretty decent. Most of the tracks have a sort of Bomberman Hero vibe to it, and others really deserve a remix, although some are less than stellar. If you want a glimpse at the theoretical gold in the almost turd, I'd say you should look it up on the youtubes.

Gameplay

Iggy's Godly Ascension

You might be confused when I said a couple paragraphs back that you use the hook to climb higher. Well, that's because levels in this game, appropriately called Towers, are usually upwards climbs, with the occasional straightaway. Since you're constantly climbing up, you can't really see how far you've come, or how much of the tower is left. Actually, you can't really see that when going left or right either, and since the "map" is just a straight line, this leads to the biggest problem of this exciting racing game: It never feels like you're ever fucking going anywhere. This is not fun. You want to know how boring this game is? I popped the game in a year or two back to see if I still liked it. I couldn't even get past the tutorial.

Not Much To Do, Not Much To See

There are 10 "Worlds" in this game, each containing 10 Towers, which totals out to 100 levels, which is way too many, considering they're mostly the same and all have the same problem of dragging on and on and on and on. You can see why I'm so baffled that I used to love this game. Unlike other bad games I enjoyed as a kid like Buck Bumble, which had bee soccer and a godlike theme, or even Bubsy, which I somehow enjoy today, I just can't see what I used to see in this game. It wasn't the music, little Jon wouldn't have payed much attention to that. It couldn't have been the multiplayer, because my sister barely remembers playing it. The only reason I can think of as to why I used to enjoy this game is because kids are dumb, and I was one dumb kid. Nostalgia can save a lot of things (It's why I'm enjoying the virtual console port of Donkey Kong 64), but it can't save this.

WRAP UP

Article Summary

The Good

  • Has good music
  • Grappling is kinda fun

The Bad

  • Gameplay drags on endlessly
  • Ascension based levels gets old quickly

Never trust your own taste

Iggy's Reckin' Balls certainly tried to do something unique with its blend of racing and platforming, but the tower based level design and simple gameplay leaves much to be desired.

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