Late December, 2006, New Jersey. There was I, a then-13 year old dumb MTV aficionado on vacation in NYC with his parents, looking for some new games for his then-loathed Xbox 360, which he bought at launch. He thought he had found the solution for his problems when he bought Pimp My Ride: The Game. Oh boy…
I can simply summarise the level of “quality” this game has by telling who developed it. It was the same team behind Ride to Hell Retribution. Is that enough for you already? Can I finish this review and end my suffering? No? God dammit…
So what do you do in this game?
The premise is quite simple: choose a car to pimp from a list of a dozen bland and unlicensed vehicles. Then watch said a ridiculously poorly animated Xzibit visiting said car’s facial expression deprived owner, followed by the owner having some sort of lunatic seizure due to the game’s horrendous animations. Future of gaming, everyone!
After this cringe-worthy intro scene, it’s time to pimp the poor soul’s ride. First of all, you gotta earn some money to afford all the customizations. How do you do this? By ramming your (actually, someone else’s) car into Pimp City’s (A+ for originality) traffic, of course, just like any other normal person in real life does, duh. May I remind you, this is a game in which the main objective is to FIX cars.
You can also earn extra cash by “crusin”, which basically consists in passing by a group of people in low speed, pressing three buttons in a row, and calling it a day. It is as exciting as it sounds, trust me.
The final method of earning cash is by “ghost riding the whip”. This consists in walking and dancing next to your moving and unmanned car. If the idea of doing this in real life already sounds depressing to the point of making you lose faith in mankind, you cannot imagine how worse it looks like in a game with animation coding which makes the Atari Jaguar look like a powerhouse.
After you raise enough gold coins (incredibly faithful to the source material, isn’t it?), it’s time to finally pimp some rides. What it really means is that you will rush like a blind hippopotamus to different garages around the map and do incredinly stupid garage mini games (press up and down as fast as you can, rotate the stick as fast as you can, press B like crazy, y’know, everything you loved the most about games like Mario Party) to buy and install parts for the car. Those parts range from the usual tuning stuff like rims and decals, to the borderline stupid like a punching bag or a turntable set.
By the way, you only have two minutes to do this. Oh, and have I told you that the driving mechanics are downright horrendous, which makes driving from garage to garage almost impossible? Yeah, sounds really fun, doesnt’ it?
After the timer reaches zero, you deliver the car back to the seizure-suffering reanimated corpse and get a grade for your exhilerating hard work. That’s the entire game for you, ladies and gentlemen. Rinse and repeat for another 15 cars. An experience you probably won’t forget, may I tell ya
As mentioned before, the visuals are uninspiring, looking bad even for a PS2-generation game. And we’re talking about an Xbox 360 release. The controls are infuriating, with driving mechanics so slippery and imprecise you’ll start wondering if the game was initially intended as a bumper car simulator.
The sound is, somehow, a small “redeeming factor”. While the voice acting is downright awful (with Xzibit delivering his lines with the same enthusiasm as you when you’re doing your taxes), the soundtrack is somewhat decent. IF you’re a Xzibit fan, as that’s the only artist featured in the game.
And that’s Pimp My Ride, a pathetic excuse for a cash-in game, a product so poorly designed and developed it makes other reality show based games like Wipeout and Duck Dynasty look like absolute masterpieces. A game that makes Ride to Hell look mediocre, but not an abomination, in comparison.
I paid 60 dollars for this. I actually paid 60 dollars for this…..
Thankfully I got Gears of War not long after!