Roundabout - Review
Depending on how you feel about FMV (Full Motion Video), Roundabout will be either one of the best or most cringe worthy games you ever play. It's a master of the sort of low-budget, 70's nonsensical cheese that's so absolutely horrible in every way that it becomes hilarious despite itself, and Roundabout leverages this against a goofy mechanic to keep it from ever becoming too much to handle. As professional limousine chauffeur Georgio Manos, you must navigate the streets of Roundabout City, picking up passengers, battling the bad guys, and taking special unicorn "medicine" to make sure you stay the absolute best driver in the business!
But what sets Georgio apart, you ask? Her constantly revolving limo of course! With it she can traverse the windiest roads, the highest roof tops, and the most populated beaches twisting and turning around obstacles (and only killing a few thousand innocent bystanders in the process).
It's legitimately absurd, yet the act of driving a continually rotating car around these sandbox levels is surprisingly satisfying once you get a hang of the confusion, and provides a level of controlled hilarity as you attempt to navigate some of more maze like environments and inevitably wind up crashing into things along the way. The lack of any penalties for completely wrecking your car keeps the frustration away, and the game simply becomes a lot of goofy fun as you drive/crash your way through the surprisingly large environments collecting all manner of limo swag and miscellaneous stacks of money left lying around as you go from one crazy mission to the next.
What really makes Roundabout so great though is the sheer ridiculous of its FMV cutscenes, which are so incessantly outrageous and over the top that it's hard not to laugh and groan at them in equal measure. There's a look and feel to them all that's almost like watching your friend's bad homemade movie, laughing at all the wrong places and loving it for the wrong reasons. Only in this instance Roundabout it in on the joke and laughing right along with you.
If there was anything I could say against Roundabout (aside from the disappointing performance issues that will hopefully be fixed in a patch), is that once you get through the FMV in about 3 hours, the novelty of a rotating limo has all but entirely worn off and there's really little more for you to go back to. It's a great ride if you can appreciate it for what it is, but even as someone who greatly enjoyed it the ticket price still seems a tad higher than it maybe ought to be. If by chance you actually have an aversion to FMV and B-movie stupidity, I'd be surprised if you come away from Roudabout with anything but a confused look on your face, wondering what you just witnessed and why I'm raving about it.
To that I say, phooey on you!