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DS

North America

Homie Rollerz

by Zachary Miller - March 31, 2008, 11:17 am EDT
Total comments: 27

1.5

Oh, when will death come?

One of my friends asked me the other day why I review awful, horrible, cramp-inducing shovelware without pay. My knee-jerk answer was “free games in the mail,” but there’s a larger, nobler motivation at work here. In playing such dreck as Animates, Bee Movie Game, Rockstar Presents Table Tennis and most recently, Spitfire Heroes, there comes a responsibility to relay to the public just how terrible these games are. If just one kid reads my review and avoids playing Nitrobike, it’ll all be worth it. Also, I get lots of free store credit.

Homie Rollerz is one such example of a game with absolutely no redeeming qualities. The characters alone make me want to punch a squirrel. According to the always-reliable Wikipedia, the “Homies” brand consists of a bunch of vending machine figurines which portray campy stereotypes of Mexican and Latino people. Basically, they’re all wearing bling and have sagging jeans. And the women are whores.

At any rate, Homie Rollerz drops these timeless characters into various vehicles (one guy is in a wheelchair) and forces them to race through awful, seizure-inducing racetracks. It’s not just that the racetracks are poorly designed; the fact that the camera is centered on the back of your car means that the slightest turn left or right rotates the entire landscape. With all the unnecessary twists and turns that the courses offer, you’ll get a headache pretty quickly.

The graphics range from terrible to Lovecraftian. The environments are so blocky, and the framerate and draw distance so inconsistent, you’ll swear you were playing a beta, or even an alpha (is there something earlier than alpha?). The sound is also terrible. You know how sometimes you’ll pull up to a truck at a red light, and they’ve got their bass beating away with only a faint suggestion of overlying music? That’s what you’ll find here. There’s no voicework or really even sound effects…only horrible, horrible music to go with terrible graphics and offensive characters. It’s the complete package of suck, really.

At least the controls are good, right? Well, no. Aside from the camera problems mentioned above, D-Pad movement is jerky and disorienting. You can use items, but they don’t seem to have much of an effect on your opponents. My favorite (read: least favorite) item is the one that switches you with the kart ahead of you. I imagine Nintendo would have handled this item wonderfully in Mario Kart, but in Homie Rollerz, it leads to crashing into things! You can do tricks involving hopping, leaning, and…hopping off of ramps. These altogether menial tricks award you NOS (nitro), which you can use to boost ahead. But you don’t really, because there’s no feeling of speed, and it’s not like you can ever pass anybody.

That’s another disappointing aspect of Homie Rollerz: its difficulty. It takes a significant amount of re-tries to make it out of last place during any given race. And even then, some courses seemingly cannot be won. For example, the haunted house course is rife with twists, turns, blind corners, and ill-placed ramps, yet your ‘bot opponents never have any trouble with the course design. They always go for the open lane, and know how to avoid trouble sections. But you? You’re only human. When controlled by human hands, your kart can only turn so sharply, and the draw distance only shows so much.

But wait! Perhaps things are only this difficult when you’re racing with a beginner’s kart. After all, you can…pimp your ride (my English degree just caught fire) by earning Respect, and spending that Respect on new gear for your vehicle such as better tires and engines. Sadly, these customizations have little positive effect on the performance of your kart. In some cases, improvements in one area actually decrease performance in another. The best (and most expensive) parts require an ungodly amount of Respect which would require you to continue playing Homie Rollerz past the five-minute mark, which is not a premise I can encourage.

Homie Rollerz offers up to eight-player single-card download play, but if you don’t have seven friends (like me), ‘bots fill in the blanks. These ‘bots will always win the race – a race that takes several minutes to load on multiple systems. There’s also multi-card play, but having such a feature implies that more than one person will accidentally get Homie Rollerz for their birthday, which, I pray to God in Heaven above, will not happen.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
2 1 2 2 1 1.5
Graphics
2

Big blocky heads riding on blocky vehicles through blocky environments that suffer from poor draw distance, jerky framerate, and hideous course layout. I believe the DS can probably do a lot better than this by now.

Sound
1

Oh, I’m sorry. I turned the volume down on my DS after five minutes. Silence was so much more enjoyable.

Control
2

Is “wonky” a good adjective? The environment turns more than your kart. It’s like Super Monkey Ball: Helmet Edition. There’s also no sense of speed, which is strange because I could have sworn that my NOS meter was all the way live! Do kids in the hood still say “all the way live?”

Gameplay
2

It took me five tries to get into first place on the easy course! And that’s only because I got to start in whatever place I finished in last time! And then I earned Respect, which resulted in absolutely nothing.

Lastability
1

After five, maybe ten minutes, you will suddenly remember that you have a root canal scheduled. Sorry, Homie Rollerz! Vicious, agonizing physical pain takes priority!

Final
1.5

Homie Rollerz may be one of the worst games I’ve ever played. In a way, I guess I’m happy I played it, because now I have a benchmark for terribleness.

Summary

Pros
  • Up to eight-player multiplayer
Cons
  • Awful license
  • Demonic control
  • High level of difficulty
  • Horrifying graphics
  • Poor course design
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

The world needs to see the teaser trailer for this game.

http://www.dsfanboy.com/2008/02/28/homie-trailerz/

Illustrious ChenMarch 31, 2008

i think its worthy of being hosted locally on your server

GoldenPhoenixMarch 31, 2008

Is it just on my side, or is the formatting a bit goofy? The final ratings columns don't even line up.

Nah, it's something we've noticed when the TalkBack thread is created for reviews.  I'll point it out to the relevant authorities.

Chen, I refuse to let that video touch NWR.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusMarch 31, 2008

Whew, dodged that bullet.

KnowsNothingMarch 31, 2008

One time I had to do some sketchy work in an empty lot in the poor latino area of Providence, and during my break I went to this sweet spanish bakery place for some food and on my way out I bought me a HOMIE.  I found it strange that this particular bakery would support these particular stereotypes.

Anyway I got this sweet dude standing up at a podium, he looked like a priest or the leader of a radical white hate group.  Is he in this game?

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 31, 2008

What I don't understand is that we live in a time in which even the smallest things send the media into a frenzy and demand for it to be removed. Yet, these little toys are being sold as images of the Latin race and nothing...

I'm sure they counterpoint is that its a joke, but keep in mind that if they were stereotypes of white people, black people or even Arab people they would be canceled in a heartbeat...

GoldenPhoenixMarch 31, 2008

I am waiting anxiously for Kairon's impressions of this game.

Sister Mary LeFeverMarch 31, 2008

Oh, I love reviews of horrible games. Maybe I'm sadistic in this way, but I just love to read of the reviewer's pains.

ShyGuyMarch 31, 2008

That trailer makes me want to punch Carlos Mencia.

KDR_11kApril 01, 2008

I wish Mario Kart had a fixed camera, I always drive like a drunk when making bigger turns because I use the camera orientation instead of the car model orientation to define "forward".

I'd like to bump this two-year-old review because I feel that it is one of the best written reviews in NWR history.

That is all.

Mop it upApril 13, 2010

For shame.

BeautifulShyApril 13, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I'd like to bump this two-year-old review because I feel that it is one of the best written reviews in NWR history.

That is all.

Are you sure you should be saying that?

Wow. I'm honored, Neal. I think?

By good, I mean freaking hysterical, of course.

StratosApril 14, 2010

And hear I thought it was a new game that stank to high heavens until I read the comments.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 14, 2010

Quote:

And the women are whores.

That's the best single sentence from any NWR review ever too. :)

vuduApril 14, 2010

Quote:

The characters alone make me want to punch a squirrel. According to the always-reliable Wikipedia, the “Homies” brand consists of a bunch of vending machine figurines which portray campy stereotypes of Mexican and Latino people. Basically, they’re all wearing bling and have sagging jeans. And the women are whores.   

I have no less than 30 of these vending machine figurines on my desk right now.  I'm not even joking.  ;D

Quote from: vudu

Quote:

The characters alone make me want to punch a squirrel. According to the always-reliable Wikipedia, the “Homies” brand consists of a bunch of vending machine figurines which portray campy stereotypes of Mexican and Latino people. Basically, they’re all wearing bling and have sagging jeans. And the women are whores.   

I have no less than 30 of these vending machine figurines on my desk right now.  I'm not even joking.  ;D

I remember collecting them for like two weeks in middle school. My friend got the dude in the wheelchair. I think he has a theme song.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 14, 2010

Quote from: vudu

Quote:

The characters alone make me want to punch a squirrel. According to the always-reliable Wikipedia, the “Homies” brand consists of a bunch of vending machine figurines which portray campy stereotypes of Mexican and Latino people. Basically, they’re all wearing bling and have sagging jeans. And the women are whores.   

I have no less than 30 of these vending machine figurines on my desk right now.  I'm not even joking.  ;D

Pics or it didn't happen.

Mop it upApril 14, 2010

Homies are an actual line of figurines? And this is the best game they could think of to put them in? What a waste of potential.

vuduApril 15, 2010

Quote from: Pale

Pics or it didn't happen.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v144/kingvudu/Homies.jpg

Mop it upApril 15, 2010

Wow. I can't believe they're actually real...

I'm amazed that they found that many ethnic stereotypes.  The designers must hang out exclusively at package stores in low-income areas throughout the U.S.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 16, 2010

I can't believe Vudu collects them.

Save that image and post it any time he mocks UB for buying too much Nintendo stuff. =P

KDR_11kApril 16, 2010

Is that green dude in the bottom left The Riddler?

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Genre
Developer

Worldwide Releases

na: Homie Rollerz
Release Oct 2007
PublisherDestineer Studios

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