This is the game they make you play in Hell.
I try to see the good in games. I gnash, scrape, scratch, scrounge, and gnaw at a game’s core material to separate the good parts from the bad. I try to ignore my prejudices inherent to things like sports games, or in this case movie-based titles, and find the diamonds in the rough. However, I find myself unable to find one redeeming, decent, or even below average quality about Charlie’s Angels.
It is appropriate for me to be blunt, and I am no less blunt than a mace strapped to an opening car door to the face when I say that Charlie’s Angels is the worst game I have ever played. Not just the worst game on the GameCube… the worst I have ever played. EVER. I do not even know where to start.
The game’s claim that it is “mission-based” is laughable at best, unless the “mission” throughout the entire game is to beat up a bunch of mindless, cheap enemies (who all shop at the same clothing store) and then to press a button or use a computer after they are all beaten. Occasionally, you will be treated to the longest ladder in video game history. It’s true. It took me one minute and 21 seconds to climb the ladder in the first level. And I think I counted it short. Supposedly, the point of the game is that you are trying to stop some guys from stealing monuments from the around the world. First, the Statue of Liberty is stolen, and before you can say “Carmen Sandiego,” the crooks attempt to steal something from the Forbidden City. All the while, the evil masterminds are attacking you with a group of the worst rendered and badly animated cronies ever to step into digital code.
The difficulty of Charlie’s Angels can only be described as odd. The aforementioned identically-clad palette-swap all-stars you combat are some of the cheapest, buggy, guard-breaking, gang-fighting enemies I have ever seen. Especially in the later levels, the bad guys never stop hitting you, and they even gain the ability to chuck grenades from off-screen, sometimes without even a throw animation. It’s like they just spawn these explosives from their skin. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? But you couldn’t lose at Charlie’s Angels if you made it your life mission to do so. I beat the game with nothing but my left thumb on the control stick and my right index and middle fingers tapping X and Y alternatively, even though there are special moves like grabs and throwing things. It’s actually more dangerous to attempt that stuff, because the control responsiveness is shot. I even beat bosses using just basic punch+kick button-mashing, without them laying a scratch on me. Even if they land one of those explosives on you, and even if the camera decides it needs to wig out like it does every 40 seconds, the game inexplicably throws health powerups and 1-ups as if water onto a man engulfed in flames.
For authenticity, the three stars of Charlie’s Angels, Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, and Cameron Diaz lend their voices to the game. They give their performances with about as much enthusiasm as a severe burn ward finding a box of road flares. Their tacky, forceless, and barely heard one-liners get old quick. Even in the cutscenes, you get a feeling that the development team could only get the three actresses for a limited time, and the ladies did not enjoy their time working on the game.
This game is just a lesson in bad coding. I have experienced at least 20 bugs, such as defeated enemies floating in mid-air, characters sinking into the ground, getting caught in walls, camera glitches, and the list goes on. Ostensibly there are extras, but they amount to pictures of the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle shoot and a trailer of the same. There’s nothing here that makes the game worth buying or renting or even gazing upon. I have failed in my mission to find at least some good in a video game. I cannot recommend this game to anyone, at anytime, in any country. It is just that bad.