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GBA

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Zoey 101

by Jeff Shirley - April 9, 2007, 11:30 am PDT
Total comments: 8

2

Zoey 101? I didn’t register for this class.

You know, it’s getting hard to justify the licensing of some of these games. I mean, it is one thing to license some kind of show about sports or anti-terrorist units or even game shows. They all have one thing in common, which is a general point or "goal" for the characters in to try and achieve. Even, say, a sitcom like Coach has a goal, which involves winning some sort of division title. But Zoey 101 appears to be just a regular school-type sitcom about a girl named Zoey dealing with the sudden co-educational status of her previously all-male boarding school, Pacific Coast Academy, which is about as intangible a goal as you can get, at least where a video game is concerned.

I’m sure you are all waiting with bated breath to hear about the living conditions at said Pacific Coast Academy, and I’m here to say that the government should probably investigate this place soon if not now. The second Zoey sets foot in this place, she is assaulted by the requests of her female roommates, her male roommates, and from the faculty itself. These "requests" are in the form of mini-games, most of which are tedious and awful. I feel a list coming on:

Disc Golf – This is probably the best one. Zoey throws a Frisbee™ at a goal in a game loosely based on the rules of golf. Most of the time I just threw the Frisbee™ at the goal straight on and won. Sometimes I would have to throw it twice. Simple.

Basketball – This is a very painful exercise in moving to the left and right and shooting a basketball when the ball symbol and the net line up.

Quinnventions – Sorry, word processor, I know. This word doesn’t exist. This pun is the brainfart of character Quinn Pensky, who delivers it as such… "They are my inventions. I call them ‘Quinnventions’ get it?" No comma, no new sentence. Just straight out "get it?" What there is to "get" about "Quinnventions" is that you have to put them back together when they explode in some sort of jigsaw puzzle. Random robot explosions should demand further investigation by the authorities.

Prank Week – As the cliché states, boys will terrorize girls as soon as their previously all-male academy becomes co-educational. This mini-game is all about running in the hall as quickly as possible in order to avoid toilet paper and water balloons. Also simple.

Jet-X racing - This is probably the worst game of the lot. It’s some sort of go-kart racing on scooters, with controls from hell. The track is much too narrow to support four of these scooters, so there is a great deal of contact going on. It took me a long time to win this one because of the frustration of bumping around.

Sushi – Plays like a Cake Mania/Diner Dash style restaurant game where you take and fill orders and serve the customers their food. This one has the capacity to get quite challenging, but they never press it too far. Usually I just fulfill the requirement and wait for time to run out. The FDA might also want to ask them about the presence of raw octopus on campus.

Rat Chase – Ugh. This one plays like a rolling puzzle in which you must guide a rat to go back into his cage by way of blocking his path. The less said about it, the better. It’s just too much trial and error. Any sort of mistake is deadly, and this is the most frustrating of all of the games. The frequency of escaping rats might also be of interest to the investigators.

Chemistry – Zoey’s chemistry teacher does some things and you have to repeat them. Think the Flagman Game and Watch game, except much, much slower.

Wrestling – This is the home of the best sprite in the game, which is Zoey flailing her arms about in terror of being pinned by a grotesque wrestler. This idea here is that you just run around him until he gets tired, and then you run up and pin him. Feminists, start your engines.

After enough games are played and enough "semesters" are survived (that’s how the game divides the mini-games), a graduation party commences and Zoey must DJ it. So some partiers walk up and ask you to switch the music playing. I’ll let this mini-game be the embodiment of the entire game. Firstly, some character requests a playlist and you have to remember it as you peruse the library, with such charming hits as "Stank," "Freemasons," and… I’m sorry I made those up. Honestly, I can’t remember the names. Once you meet the requirement, the game goes into a "bonus mode" where you keep playing the music until time runs out. But I didn’t care. All I knew is that this was the last game. The credits would roll after this, and then I can move on to something else. So I purposely let time run out while the character looked at me with a Botox smile. Let it end, please.

I don’t think I have ever really been this bored with a game. I mean, Zoey 101 just attacks any sense of fun present in the human brain. The mini-game "requests" just keep coming, and despite the wide selection of them, there is actually no variety. And furthermore, I question Ms. Zoey’s intentions at this academy. She wants everybody to get along and not form cliques. Is such a goal possible? Especially after the Feds are most likely going to shut the place down after she and her cohorts arrive, causing random explosions, food poisoning, rat infestation, and general ill will towards girls? I already don’t like her, so she automatically fails.

And her game sucks too.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
3 4 3 2 1.5 2
Graphics
3

There are some quite gruesome sprites in this game. In particular, what drags this score down is the Jet-X racing game. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded if they just stole Nintendo's Mario Kart: Super Circuit code outright and just switched the sprites. It is seriously that bad.

Sound
4

I haven’t watched the show, so I don’t know if the "theme" is in it or not. But I do know the music is droning and bland, whose only good point is not being loud enough to interfere.

Control
3

Jet-X Racing again drags this game down. That mini-game controls like greased ball bearings. The other mini-games don’t really have a lot of control in them to begin with, so no bonus points here.

Gameplay
2

I wanted this game to be over so bad. The tedium sets in fast and never lets go.

Lastability
1.5

I’m adding a half point due to the uses of Zoey’s flailing sprite. If I could only extract it somehow…

Final
2

I think I should also point out that this is another game that falls victim to my working theory of the inverse correlation between number of corporate logos before the start of a game and the quality of said game.

Summary

Pros
  • Reaffirms the scientific fact that electricity, when manipulated, can produce visual signals on a liquid crystal display.
Cons
  • Boring. A new dimension of boring.
  • No general point whatsoever.
  • Password save. This is 2007. Even That’s So Raven has battery backup.
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Caffeinated CheeseApril 09, 2007

Look, all I'm saying is that Nickelodeon needs to try to get Zoey 101 back to it's platforming and speedy roots, and stop trying to add in all these extra mini-games. They just ruin the pacing.

CericApril 09, 2007

Its games like these that make me glad I'm not a reviewer.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusApril 09, 2007

Are you kidding? Reviewing these games is fun! And no FAN pressure either.

joshnickersonApril 09, 2007

I would TOTALLY buy a "Coach" game.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorApril 09, 2007

These are totally the types of games I'd want to review.

Provided that I didn't have to, you know, pay money to get the game. Playing them would be punishment enough, don't you think? Paying for something like this would be like paying a hooker to give you herpies or something. I guess the hooker would probably be more fun.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusApril 09, 2007

Quote

Pros:
# Reaffirms the scientific fact that electricity, when manipulated, can produce visual signals on a liquid crystal display.



That is pure gold. or at very least gold plated.

So err, I am guessing that Zoey = Hillary Duff.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusApril 10, 2007

No she's somebody different/

Quote

Originally posted by: Deguello
No she's somebody different/


IMDB says it's Brittney Spear's sister.

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Zoey 101 Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer THQ
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Zoey 101
Release Feb 26, 2007
PublisherTHQ
RatingEveryone

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