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Updated November 20, 2004

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Alex David: Bane of Suburbia

"This time, it's for Squirrel Blood!"

Alex David isn't just another teenager in the tiny suburb of La Grange. That's because Alex really hates squirrels... and squirrels really hate Alex. In fact, Alex and the squirrels have been battling each other since Alex was a child.

However, the feud would escalate to new heights when the squirrels decided to steal Alex's motorcycle engine. Overcome with squirrel rage, Alex goes on a one-man hunt to get back his equipment and end the feud with squirrels and humans once and for all!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Alex David: Bane of Suburbia is tileish. Really tileish. The houses you see in the town are made up of a single tile with a door drawn in. About the least squared object within this RPG is the bushes that Alex uses to recover his HP. I also noticed a relatively small tileset that is cycled back and forth to represent a number of objects.

The battle screen, which is turn-based, also leaves much to be desired. About half of the screen is taken up to display the battle, which is exchanged through dialogue. On the top of the screen, you see Alex, who occasionally moves to show what weapon he is using as he attacks the creature deviously placed to his right. Battle continues until one emerges victorious. The stores in Alex David are perhaps it's definite weak point in terms of graphics, though. While in a store, the game switches to a text screen until you leave.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Most of the sounds you'll hear in Alex David take place during the turn-based battles, which are fueled with PC speakers. The blips and bleeps include the sounds of the various weapons you buy at the stores, and the attacks the enemies use. The battle music is one tune that cycles throughout the game.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
Travelling around La Grange and learning new guerilla tactics allow the gameplay to gradually get better as the story goes on.

This is one of those games where you start at one place, work about thirty minutes or an hour for experience levels, go to the next town, buy weapons, and repeat until the game is over. But within that formula Alex David is constantly learning new spells that give the game more depth. For example, the beginning of the game Alex can only fight with his knuckle punches. Later on, he'll be able to carry some firepower and blast some squirrels to kingdom come.

The spells are what make Alex David a unique experience. "Feelgoodtime" is a spell that gives Alex more HP by dreaming about guns. "Snipersight" improves Alex's ability to snipe when he's using a firearm. The rest of the spells also have strange applications, though "Feelgoodtime" and "Squirrel Rage" are most often used.

The items sound disgusting, but they're just rehashes of standard RPG items. Squirrel blood gives you HP, and so does Gatorade. Other items include a Chicago Bulls hat and Kevlar Vests. Satirically, all items can be purchased by wiping out enemies and gathering "Pepsi Points" in place of gold.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
Let's put it this way: PETA would not be very pleased with Alex David's overagressive behavior on squirrels. While the trademarks also help make the game a little more familiar, there are too many references to various commerical folks (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, etc.) that the story ends up feeling unoriginal.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Average. The game itself is annoying only if you don't know what you're doing or if you're lost (which is particularly easy in the Graves manor, since the puzzle is designed so that every room looks the same.) However, there are enough features in Alex David's game to bring you back. Alex does have a mixture of experience gathering and item purchasing, without much focus on RPG puzzle elements. Also, if you like a game that isn't on the Medevil Times/Ancient Asia bandwagon and in fact goes out of its way to be different, then perhaps Alex David: Bane of Suburbia is for you.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
All in all, this game isn't really that hard. The places you go to are relatively small and easy to remember.  Except for the mazes, which are run using a coordinate grid, there isn't really much toughnes when it comes to getting lost. The battles, as long as you stay a gradual pace, often guarantee success.

The true challenge are Pepsi points, which are slow to earn. Alex David must fight an unusually high number of creatures to get the Pepsi points he needs, and often he isn't strong enough to pass a section unless he buys the weapon from the stores he finds along the way.

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
Maybe this game needed some variation. Overall, it's a lot of walking from dungeon to dungeon, banging occasionally into enemies and using the best stuff you have everytime. There really isn't a time when the story becomes less linear or you have a choice of which direction the story goes. It might be picky, but when a game doesn't carry a lot of visual detail the game should try to compensate by innovating the gamer and introducing new ideas. To some extent, Alex David does do this.

However, this game requires a bit of patience in your part if you're going to enjoy the guerilla-style plot of Alex David. If you forge ahead too fast you're going to get creamed and frustrated. If you earn experience you're going to get tired. Either way does not lead to euphoria.

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 8 hours Final Rating: 11/35

To download Alex David: Bane of Suburbia (134KB), click here.
wTo play Alex David: Bane of Suburbia, unzip the file and run "ALEX.EXE".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Homepage URL
Final Rating
11 out of 35 points

The Highs: An RPG with lots of items, spells, and secrets to be discovered.
The Lows: The battle text is rattled with spelling errors and math mistakes, making checking your HP at all times a must.

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