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Oh... Sir! The Hollywood Roast (Switch) Review

by James Jones - January 24, 2018, 6:43 pm PST
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Your last game inspired headaches and your script smells like a dog.

The Hollywood Roast is a self-indulgent tradition, where a celebrity subjects themself to an evening of stinging insults delivered by their famous friends. It works because the jokes are delivered by people who know the “honoree” best, and because those doing the jokes are backed by an army of writers. Oh...Sir! attempts to bring the humor of these glitzy evenings to Switch, and succeeds only at creating a game with all the depth of novelty refrigerator magnets and the sophistication of The National Enquirer.

In Oh...Sir! you select from a cast of uncreative, unamusing, and uncivil celebrity caricatures to take into competitive one-on-one Hollywood-themed insult mad libs. The two sides take turns picking from a list of phrases, with the intent to string together nouns, adjectives, verbs, and conjunctions to produce the most stinging commentary of their foe. Each insult is scored, though the scoring often seems arbitrary, and the total score is dealt as “damage” to the opponent’s fighting game-inspired health bar. Bonuses are awarded for repetition and for needling an opponent's personal sensitive subjects. Unfortunately, none of this content is funny. All of the writing is of the laziest and most base quality.

For a game built around insults, the writing should be dramatically better. Using the list of shared phrases in conjunction with my personal tiles I crafted the following insult: “Your favorite director got beauty secrets from a stain-ridden casting couch and was a ghost the whole time but your archenemy watches soap operas in the activity room.” I don’t understand how watching soap operas is supposed to be a hard slam.

However, it’s hard to miss the insult components that demonstrate a dramatic unawareness of the cultural currents in Hollywood. Among the offered phrases are references to the Weinsteins, who a seemingly endless number of women have accused of sexual improprieties. Also included are insults featuring the ever-controversial Woody Allen and the above reference to a “stained” casting couch. While this game was released on Steam prior to the #MeToo movement, the Switch version was not. Their inclusions were known and willing.

The characters themselves fare no better. Chop Sue E. is everything your mind is certain she can’t be. A stereotypical “Asian” actress, she speaks with an inflection from a Charlie Chan film and references various cultural artifacts from a variety of East Asian societies. It is entirely possible to use these kinds of antiquated racism in the service of parody, but there’s none of that here. This is merely being used for cheap comedy and fails utterly at it. Marilyn Nomore is old. That’s the depth of her character; she’s a centenarian Marilyn Monroe who bristles at jokes about her age or beauty. The most “creative” character is Dirty Harry, a Harry Potter/Clint Eastwood hybrid. Even he fails to create any comedy and this chimera devolves into a gruff voice talking about witches.

The “campaign” mode has you take one of the “stars” into a gauntlet of five matches. These matches are dressed up by pre-fight story sequences. The sequences are exactly the same, regardless of the player’s selected character. Given the small number, about ten, they should be better written than they are. But alas, much like the characters and the insults, they lack any humor.

It might seem excessive to detail out all the strangely crass, untimely, lazy, and poorly executed humor. However, this game is selling itself as a Hollywood Roast. Humor is the currency of this game, and it is completely bankrupt. The inclusion of some elements is troubling, and actually made me feel uncomfortable to use them. Without humor, this game is nothing more than a series of phrases you pick from a list. My intention was to pepper this review with insults in the style of this game, but that may well imply a more deft hand was used in crafting them than was actually present.

The game does feature multiplayer modes, including online roasting. However, the matchmaking is totally empty. I was only able to connect when Daan Koopman, also reviewing this game, deliberately got online so that I could. It ultimately feels no different than playing against the computer. Local multiplayer is probably more fun, but there are dozens of games using actual cards that would undoubtedly provide a better social experience than this two-player insult generator.

Visually, the game certainly has a style, however that’s more to its detriment. The characters are big-headed, fleshy, polygonal monsters. Clearly intended to evoke the work of a caricature artist, they’re just unpleasant to look at. The sets are full of visual gags, but they don’t execute with any more skill than their written counterparts.

Oh...Sir! The Hollywood Roast is a game so thin that almost all the content can be seen within hours. It is a comedy game so inelegant in its humor that the only emotion it made me feel was discomfort. It is a game of no discernible value that fails to effectively skewer the most skewerable of industries. The one moment of joy this game brought was watching it uninstall. In case there remains any doubt, do not buy this game.

Summary

Pros
Cons
  • Characters are uncreative and hideous
  • Gameplay is paper thin and, ironically, best left to card games
  • Stereotypes, casting couches, therapy, and the like are all the game has to make jokes about
  • They really didn’t redact a reference to the Weinsteins in a 2018 release

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Game Profile

Genre Simulation
Developer
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Oh... Sir! The Hollywood Roast
Release Jan 18, 2018
RatingTeen
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