Review: Stalin vs. Martians

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Review: Stalin vs. Martians

Stalin vs. Martians is incredibly Russian, incredibly absurd, and incredibly not-very-good.

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zauxz

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The humor in this game is preety good actually. Everything else sucks.
 

neuromasser

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They didn't even bother to crop the pointer, it looks like a square o_O I liked the intro speech xD
 

Rhayn

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Three minutes of soviet national anthem? Oh lord.

I'm quite sure the bolshevik on a bicycle is only there to make you go 'wtf?' though.
 

InProgress

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This game had some much potential behind it. Alas, maybe it just wasn't ment to be. The multicoloured dots were the most annoying enemy in the game.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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neuromasser said:
They didn't even bother to crop the pointer, it looks like a square o_O I liked the intro speech xD
To be fair, that's actually a weird little glitch in the recording software we used. We couldn't get it to go away. It doesn't ACTUALLY look like that in the game.
 

itdoesntmatter

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I'm curious whether or not 'or die trying' really was a way to finish that level..
Did you try that "strategy"?
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Granted I haven't played it, but this game just looks like it tries too hard to be humorous, but fails terribly. And since humor was meant to be the focal point of the game, it just makes the rest look bad as well. That and the game just... doesn't look interesting. Why am I playing this game when I could play Command and Conquer or Starcraft? Because of the humor? Oh but wait, that fails, too. :/
 

KDR_11k

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The whole premise was flawed. They said they'd make a "casual" RTS without base building but that would mean appealing to newbies. Most if not all RTS newbies play RTSes as a combination of SimCity and "select all, attack move". Base building is the only strategy they know. Cut that out and you'd have to make it a game about micro and such which RTS newbies consider completely foreign. They just spam the heaviest units and attack move. There's a reason the real casual RTSes consist entirely of base building (tower defense).
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Bah! No surprise there. It was obvious that game would fail.

EDIT: There is nothing special about a Bolshevik on a bicycle., both just start with "B"
 

Dalisclock

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I figured as much when it's been out a week or so and it's already on 60% discount on steam. That just smells of desperation.
 

Frank_Sinatra_

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Indigo_Dingo said:
So Noby Noby Boy remains the best bizarre game this year?
How could it not? Stretching yourself to report yourself to a girl, and then eating things and shooting them out your but. Yep, that is much stranger than Stalin fighting Martians.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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I am such a dirty commie that I have to play this, hell even go so far as to exchange extra labor capital to buy it. Also I appreciate when people can laugh at themselves, and the fact that a bunch of Russians designed it with all the stereotypes and caricatures of the RKKA...I'm still laughing from the video and can't type.
 

headshotcatcher

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Work on the russian accent John :)
Anyway, I kinda expected this game to suck. Does the sillyness outweigh it?

Yes I do like cats :p
 

Moriarty

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well i like the "do you like cats" and the music... but im too bad at rts to give it a try when it's considered "hard" by someone who plays games for a living =/
 

RavingPenguin

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I definitely have to pick this game up, it looks hillarious, and Im thinkin I might like the soundtrack as well.
 

aww yea

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would get it just to have it

i mean cmon its stalin v martians what else do you want?
 

Daezd

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Aw man, I really wanted this game to do well.

Seriously, with an awesome premise like that, how could you go wrong?

I guess I'll have to get my fill of Russians beating people up from TF2 then...Okay!
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Moriarty said:
well i like the "do you like cats" and the music... but im too bad at rts to give it a try when it's considered "hard" by someone who plays games for a living =/
To be fair, it wasn't hard because it was a particularly hard RTS. It was hard because of clunky controls. So hey, maybe experience with RTS made me *worse* at the game, since it wasn't what I was used to. Who knows?

headshotcatcher said:
Work on the russian accent John :)
Anyway, I kinda expected this game to suck. Does the sillyness outweigh it?

Yes I do like cats :p
Yeaaaah, I know :p

Hm. The silliness is worth a bit of enjoyment. $15 bucks worth? That's a value call, honestly.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Hmm interesting review, i almost want to say i knew the game sounded too good to be true. In true communist sentiment, all RTS are equal but some are more equal than others.
 

Guvnorium

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Rhayn said:
Three minutes of soviet national anthem? Oh lord.

I'm quite sure the bolshevik on a bicycle is only there to make you go 'wtf?' though.
I actually have that recording (a very famous one) on my Mp3 player.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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I got this game and loved it. It makes lots of sense to have you loose half your troops though, it's basically their strategy. I mainly love this game because of Stalin though. That just makes it 10x better and funnier.
Also, that die trying thing. Should say "Not a step backwards." Now that would truly be Stalin-esque.

Oh, and if you want to know. A Bolshevik was a political party in USSR in the 20's, at least I believe it was in the 20's. I'm not sure why one of them riding a bicycle is funny though.

One more thing, the USSR anthem is skippable. I of course decided against skipping it though ;)
 

John Funk

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Frank_Sinatra_ said:
Indigo_Dingo said:
So Noby Noby Boy remains the best bizarre game this year?
How could it not? Stretching yourself to report yourself to a girl, and then eating things and shooting them out your but. Yep, that is much stranger than Stalin fighting Martians.
The key term was best. As in, the most enjoyable game that attempts to be as bizzarre as possible.
 

Nerdfury

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Could this be the start of a new reign of VS games? Trees vs Cats! Handtowels vs Mice! Lightglobes vs Army Men!
 

Nikral

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itdoesntmatter said:
I'm curious whether or not 'or die trying' really was a way to finish that level..
Did you try that "strategy"?
Nope, you fail :p lol
That's from experience too. All truth!
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Nice review.

I've been following this game since I saw the first trailer. I figured the gameplay wouldn't be very good. I'd still like to play it though.
 

Clashero

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Here, John, a bit of info:
Bolshevik on a bycicle is a reference for real Soviet history buffs (such as one of my friends). According to him, it's a reference to drunk Bolsheviks during the 1920-1950's. Bolsheviks were known for riding bycicles, which were considered even back then in Russia to be a "working man's vehicle", something intended for the proletariat.

Class dismissed.
 

Shapsters

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This looks hilarious! They don't expect people to pay for this do they?! They should've made it a free flash game! Then it would be critaccly acclaimed!

I do like Kittahs!!! DDKR!!
 

CuddlyCombine

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I'm willing to wager huge money that the only reason this was made was because some game developer was drunk on vodka and his friend said, "Hey, I bet you'd never make a game called Stalin vs. Martians". Most evil things on this earth have their beginnings set in alcohol.
 

BonsaiK

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Nov 14, 2007
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Game looks pretty meh. Base building and resource management is the fun part of RTS, without that and without good unit control I can't see it being much more than "click this, attack that" which would get old quickly... I haven't played the game but I agree with the review in principle.

I think the reviewer needs to work on his video supplement voice scripting and pacing though. Talking about "do you like cats" and the "die trying" bit should have raised a chuckle but didn't, probably because those elements were dwelled on at too great a length. If something is funny/amusing/weird it doesn't need that much underlining. More than five seconds spent on a single humourous element of a game review is too long and the amusement wears thin. Listen to a stand-up comic doing a visual presentation might help to get an idea of the correct pacing. I am being nitpicky though, good review overall. I now know not to buy the game.
 

Kiutu

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It is not a complete waste. The cover makes a fun desktop background. (I have it as that currently cause its funny when people see it and are like "...what?")
 

TitsMcGee1804

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christ almighty, when will the escapist realise that their viewers dont want to hear some 35 year old uber nerd try to be funny or have personality...

stick to writing and stop trying to crack rubbish jokes

express your opinions yeah, but if you cant pull off a joke then dont even bother trying

we let zero punctuation off because his voice suits his personality and its not supposed to be taken very seriously, but when i see a review i want to see a serious, good or bad approach to it..
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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TitsMcGee1804 said:
christ almighty, when will the escapist realise that their viewers dont want to hear some 35 year old uber nerd try to be funny or have personality...

stick to writing and stop trying to crack rubbish jokes

express your opinions yeah, but if you cant pull off a joke then dont even bother trying

we let zero punctuation off because his voice suits his personality and its not supposed to be taken very seriously, but when i see a review i want to see a serious, good or bad approach to it..
It's very hard to make a 3 1/2 minute video review of a game like Stalin vs Martians and be completely serious the entire time :) Plus, these are video supplements to the reviews, not the actual review. If you want the full, serious review, you need to read the words that go along with the video too.

And sorry, but we like to give the video supplements personality. Because the readers like it :)
 

Abedeus

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Clashero said:
Here, John, a bit of info:
Bolshevik on a bycicle is a reference for real Soviet history buffs (such as one of my friends). According to him, it's a reference to drunk Bolsheviks during the 1920-1950's. Bolsheviks were known for riding bycicles, which were considered even back then in Russia to be a "working man's vehicle", something intended for the proletariat.

Class dismissed.
Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_the_Soviet_Union was called "Bolsheviks" (Bolszewikowie in Polish), and every single one of them was an asshole. Especially their leaders.

School dismessed. Not a typo.
 

Combined

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What's so special about a Bolshevik on a bicycle, you ask?
...Well, he has a bicycle.

Other than that, this is what I assumed would happen. Also, remember that Russian strategy is to send huge waves of armed men forward in hopes of crushing opposition. With their own machine guns turned on their backs.
 

Clashero

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Abedeus said:
Clashero said:
Here, John, a bit of info:
Bolshevik on a bycicle is a reference for real Soviet history buffs (such as one of my friends). According to him, it's a reference to drunk Bolsheviks during the 1920-1950's. Bolsheviks were known for riding bycicles, which were considered even back then in Russia to be a "working man's vehicle", something intended for the proletariat.

Class dismissed.
Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_the_Soviet_Union was called "Bolsheviks" (Bolszewikowie in Polish), and every single one of them was an asshole. Especially their leaders.

School dismessed. Not a typo.
Yes, Bolsheviks were Lenin's supporters, while the Mensheviks (probably wrong spelling) were the opposition. In an ironically democratic way, the lowest common denominator won the revolution, that denominator being the Bolsheviks, represented by the proletariat, which made up more than half of the population of Russia.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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ColdStorage said:
NoMoreSanity said:
I knew something with such an absurd name couldn't be good.
Plants vs Zombies?
and that's actually good, and cheaper than Stalin versus Martians.

Actually, currently on steam, plants verus zombies is 10 dollars, and the deal for defense grid is 5 dollars, so if you've got 15 bucks to burn, go for those.

Now, despite that this game looked awful and this review "confirms" it I suppose, there's still this nagging feeling in my mind that I MUST play this.
 

Alleged_Alec

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Abedeus said:
Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_the_Soviet_Union was called "Bolsheviks" (Bolszewikowie in Polish), and every single one of them was an asshole. Especially their leaders.

School dismessed. Not a typo.
And how exactly do you know they were all assholes? It seems like a rather bold statement to make.


And a nice review, I enjoyed it. I might still buy the game though, since I'm a sucker for pythonesque humour.
 

ZBrisk

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This game is another abomination that garners a load of undeserved hype and a deserved load of negative reviews. It isn't clever or funny and anyone who falls for the stunt and buys it probably needs to wipe the drool off their keyboard.

Clashero said:
Here, John, a bit of info:
Bolshevik on a bycicle is a reference for real Soviet history buffs (such as one of my friends). According to him, it's a reference to drunk Bolsheviks during the 1920-1950's. Bolsheviks were known for riding bycicles, which were considered even back then in Russia to be a "working man's vehicle", something intended for the proletariat.

Class dismissed.
Your friend is making shit up.

Clashero said:
Yes, Bolsheviks were Lenin's supporters, while the Mensheviks (probably wrong spelling) were the opposition. In an ironically democratic way, the lowest common denominator won the revolution, that denominator being the Bolsheviks, represented by the proletariat, which made up more than half of the population of Russia.
Please stop posting about something you clearly know very little about.
 

Abedeus

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Alleged_Alec said:
Abedeus said:
Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_the_Soviet_Union was called "Bolsheviks" (Bolszewikowie in Polish), and every single one of them was an asshole. Especially their leaders.

School dismessed. Not a typo.
And how exactly do you know they were all assholes? It seems like a rather bold statement to make.


And a nice review, I enjoyed it. I might still buy the game though, since I'm a sucker for pythonesque humour.
They were responsible for Poland's communistic government after the WWII.

And they were the ones that came up with the awesome "Our country doesn't have enough money? Let's print some more!!" strategy. That, of course, gave quite the opposite results.

Besides, that's like asking "why Stalin was bad for your country". I don't think anyone should doubt it.

At least mr. German Nazi Leader was polite enough to be clear about his actions. When he oppressed us, it was a clear oppression. He didn't try to brainwash people with propaganda and pictures of himself with smiling children.
 

John Funk

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Just wondering... Did you have just two different type of units to control? As in just conscripts and soviet tanks?
 

Brett Alex

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The_root_of_all_evil said:
At least we didn't see Stalin's grave, I'm sure that's a Communist plot.
Really?! What the hell?! How do you sleep at night.

Reading that poor attempt at Soviet humour just makes me see Red...
 

Alleged_Alec

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Abedeus said:
They were responsible for Poland's communistic government after the WWII.
Technically, there's nothing wrong with this, if done well.

And they were the ones that came up with the awesome "Our country doesn't have enough money? Let's print some more!!" strategy. That, of course, gave quite the opposite results.

Besides, that's like asking "why Stalin was bad for your country". I don't think anyone should doubt it.

At least mr. German Nazi Leader was polite enough to be clear about his actions. When he oppressed us, it was a clear oppression. He didn't try to brainwash people with propaganda and pictures of himself with smiling children.
I think you're overgeneralising here. It's like saying everyone in Nazi-Germany knew exactly what their government was doing and agreed with it.
 

Abedeus

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Alleged_Alec said:
Abedeus said:
They were responsible for Poland's communistic government after the WWII.
Technically, there's nothing wrong with this, if done well.
It kept fucking us for nearly 50 years. I think it was worse than wars. At least with war, you know what was going to happen.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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holydog said:
Just wondering... Did you have just two different type of units to control? As in just conscripts and soviet tanks?
You get more units as you advance through the game.
 

Asehujiko

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Speaking about coincidence, this came up on my winamp playlist while reading the review.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTqd9vYQ-9g
 

John Funk

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I knew just from the title this would fall flat on its face. And it did lol.

Lazy devs looking for a quick buck is what this is.
 

Sigenrecht

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All I can say is that from the first news post, I told you all it was going to be bullocks.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Bottom Line: Dated graphics, lack of customization, clunky and imprecise controls.Stalin is a strategy game that feels like it rewards strategy less and big waves of mass units more. The presentation can be funny, and it's so absurd at times that it you really have to experience it for the sheer audacity of it, but ... the game itself is below average at best.
Sooo...it's just like being a REAL Russian general!

HAHAHA, RUSSIANS!

Seriously, maybe it was a design feature?
 

YukoValis

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I like a game that makes fun of itself. Where the people making itcould throw in whatever random stuff they want. I mean sure it doesn't play well, but it's funny. Sometimes that's all you need...oh and probably cheat codes. Yes for a broken game that's funny you need cheat codes.
 

TitsMcGee1804

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ooo, a shout from the brass! you dont get that on regular forums...

you made some good points...i suppose you are right

and yeah, SvM is probably a hard game to be serious about

i just think that, they are writers, not presenters, and have trouble delivering some of the humour (see fable 2 suppliment...that was tragic) and it makes it seem a little unprofessional, but like you say, its a supplement, not to be taken as a main course ;)

thanks for your counter-argument
 

Hashcurt

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it's tempting to us comrade, and i have to give it run when potatoes sold. Reminds me of Capitalist RTS games Cannon Fodder and Soldiers: Heroes of World war 2* for abusrd Top down Comrade's part in great union's victorious war against Pixar Martian.

(*Probably just me, it's the tank rolling and general sillyness to the title that reminds me of the oldies. Fail broken english ends now.)