Riviera: The Promised Land

Riviera: The Promised Land
Developer: Bandai
Publisher: Atlus
Genre: Turn Based RPG
Release Date: 6/29/05

Yes, it has taken me two weeks to write this review? Why? Because I hate this game that much. Riviera is in Wrestlemania XXI, CIMA: The Enemy and Nightmare of Druaga territory of bad.

I have the unfortunate fate of having played through Riviera twice. Long long ago, back in 2002, people would ask me, “Hey Alex, why did the Wonderswan fail?” And I would hand them my copy of Riviera shuddering all the way. I was not at all impressed with the game back then. It was mediocre at best. And that would be if I was in a really nice mood because Pokemon became real and they all decided to live with me and Electronic Arts lost the exclusive license to NFL video games.

Professional decorum prevents me from using the descriptive language I would have to verbalize in order to say what I thought of it on a normal day.

But then Atlus, my beloved Atlus, announced they were bringing the remake over here. I raised an eyebrow. But then I saw the graphics. WOW! It didn’t even look like the same game! It was by far the best looking game I’d seen on the GBA EVER. It has cut scenes. PSX quality graphics! And I was promised voice acting. Because I am generally blindly loyal to Atlus save for awful games like Samurai Western and that bass fishing thing they published, I agreed to review it. In my head I pictures a happy review about how horrid Riviera was on the WSC and comparing it to the totally awesome and tubular to the max remake Atlus had brought over with their wisdom and insight into quality RPG’ing.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Man was I wrong. Wowie Zowie was I wrong. And what’s worse, after this new version of Riviera, I hate the game even more. We’re talking Final Fantasy 8 levels of loathing and wishing the developers would have frozen plane feces land on their noggins. Every day. For eternity.

Why does this game anger me so much? Because it’s pretty much the GBA’s equivalent of FFVII. Amazing graphics and sound, and fecal matter everywhere else. The game has a plot that is nauseatingly bad to begin with, and the American translators dumb the game down so much that I almost couldn’t make it past the first hour due to the inane dialogue. The controls, gameplay, and every little thing about this game is annoying awful in everyway, but because it’s PRETTY, we’ve got the idiocy of the lowest common denominator effect coming into play. The average gamer is floored by the looks and thus negates the most important part of the game. You know, PLAYING it. Ugh. And reading the reviews out there already has just disheartened me to the already amazingly across the board awful quality of reviews out there nowadays.

Riviera is awful. VERY AWFUL. And I will now go into every single detail why. Do not buy this game. Kick your friends for buying this game. Develop a time machine and beg the Wonderswan development team who originally came up with Riviera to make something else. Set fire to the homes of those who brought this game over. Steal their children and pets until they write a letter of apology for bringing this game stateside. Let the streets flow with the blood of all those responsible!

Sheesh. I’m kidding. I dislike the game. But not to that level. Besides, it’s just my opinion. I’m sure lots of other people can enjoy it. I mean, people managed to find games like Flatout or Tomb Raider 4 worth their hard earned cash and some even enjoyed them! Me? I think Riviera is a worthless cart with little to no redeeming value. I am saddened I agreed to review Riviera and that this game typifies everything I despise about gaming today. Again though, this review is just my opinion and is not meant to be taken as the word of God or anything. But of course, since I am the Showstoppa, some of you will. ;-)

Let’s Review

1. Story

Here’s an idea? Who wants a plot of Angels vs Demons with good barely winning and having to look up the gods of evil only to fall comatose immediately afterwards? You do? Great! What if we add some amazingly erroneous Norse mythology language and terms? You’re still excited, right? Well then, what if we add Angels and constant “Who is good? Who is bad?” plot swerves until you are wondering if this game was designed by Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera? And to top it all off, how about some of the worst characterization you will ever see in a video game, including some downright bloody terrible translation that reads like a Dick and Jane novel? Seriously people, even a mentally handicapped person would find the repetitive dialogue and downright awful styling of the writing of this game to be both beneath them and contemptuous.

As I said earlier, if you can get past the first HOUR of this game, congradu-f*cking-lations! You are able to stomach garbage far better than I. The dialogue flows like this.

Main Character: Hello. I am a retard! Watch as every phrase I say makes you, the player, instantly dislike me!

Less Stupid Angel: Yes. You are a retard. I will talk to you as if you are 4 because the human player is you and this is how little I think of their intelligence and comprehension skills.

Annoying Cat: I am the main character’s cat. I think he is an idiot too, and I shall constantly demean him because it is funny. HA HA HA!

Main Character: Oh my god! A gameplay situation! What do I do?

Annoying Cat: You should press the A button. Now I will make an insulting comment towards you.

Main Character: I will make a comment that only reinforces your judgement of me. You said I should press the A Button!

Annoying Cat: Yes the A button! Press it! Press the A button!

Main Character: Very well! I shall push the A button.

Annoying Cat: Random insult about the main character!

Less Stupid Angel: ……. I am dark and emo.

And I wish to god I was exaggerating here for comic effect. But this is the stripped down cyclical nature of the first hour’s dialogue until…MAJOR PLOT SWERVE THAT YOU ARE HIT OVER THE HEAD WITH SUCH DEMEANING COMMENTARY THAT YOU CAN’T MISS IT! It is by far the worst hour of gaming I can remember. WMXXI was better, and that game’s story was “You are a sweaty man. Hit this other sweaty man with a steel chair and lay on top of him. Repeat for 20 hours.”

The core plot is Angels of Asgard and Demons of Utgard (which is so not even remotely close to Norse mythology it makes this folklorist weep tears of pain) The good guys won by creating Dark Angels at the cost of their existence…which the game instantly contradicts itself by then saying the Gods fought alongside the “grim angels” to finally defeat the demons. Where your opening demo/plot explanation contradicts itself a paragraph in, there’s a problem. The Gods seal away the demons and leave a core of 7 wise humans to rule humanity wisely.

BUM BUM BUM! And if you don’t see how the plot is going just from the demo, you should never ever be allowed near an RPG again.

Yes! The demons wake up! And two new grim angels are created! But how? All the Gods are dead? Plot screw up #2 and we haven’t actually STARTED THE GAME YET!

The Grim Angels are commanded to head to Midgard/Riviera. Don’t worry about the name switching! The game will happily go into an amazingly bad bit of dialogue in that first hour about it, repeating itself like an American tourist screaming loudly and slowly at a Frenchmen in hopes he can get directions to the nearest KFC.

Eventually at the end of this hour of “Beverly Hillbillies with Religious Symbolism: THE RPG,” you get your first of many annoying plot swerves. You encounter a mute enemy that seems to have holy powers. Yet Hector of the Magi commands you to attack her. Again you are hit over the head with what is obviously to come. The translators lack both subtlety and the concept of FORESHADOWING. Suddenly the main character, Ein, disappears and Hector and the other Angel (Ledah) assume he is dead and keep on with their plan to activate the “Retribution Device” which will destroy all demons, along with Riviera. But it’s okay, because Hector has told the Angels Riviera is nothing but a land of sin and evil. Purge purge purge!

SWERVE AGAIN!

Ein is not dead. He wakes up on Riviera, where he is mistaken for a Sprite (basically humans). It turns out the Sprites are sweet and loveable! Not evil at all. Is Hector a liar? Is he evil? Who knows? Ein has amnesia and greatly reduced stats! And he’s slightly less idiotic, probably because he doesn’t have the self-esteem depleting duo on his case anymore.

And so Ein sets out to save what he was once going to destroy. Oooh! Irony!

What’s sad is the dialogue gets only marginally better. Again, it’s written like some horrible Archie comic gone wrong with dialogue no one would ever say in real life. You do often gets dialogue choices to say to your teammates in an attempt to be a fourth rate dating sim, but there’s almost only two choices, and the right one is painfully obvious. Unless you want the characters to hate you or you are blind, you’ll always be able to pick the safe one easily. If you want an RPG/Dating Sim mix, there’s Star Ocean 2, Sakura Taisen, and Thousand Arms. All are superior games in every way.

None of the characters are likeable. Especially Lina who talks in the third person and is given pabulum to spew out. I do not remember a single instance where I enjoyed any of the writing. I only remember a constant stream of nausea. It’s every single Japanese RPG character stereotype on the planet.

I am aghast at people somehow enjoying the writing for this game. It’s one of the worst I have ever encountered in my 2 decades of playing video games. That first hour, as I have already said, is the worst written bit of gaming I am quite sure I have ever played.

Vile, awful plot. And the translators should hang their head in shames of the job they did.

Jesus. 4 pages of bile and I could keep going. Let’s just leave it as the plot is cliche, it’s badly written and plotted. It tries to be clever but ends up only pathetic. There are literally 100 games out just for this generation of systems I could name with better plots than this. Run far away from Riviera if you like a good story.

Shame on you Atlus. You of ALL companies should know better.

Story Rating: 1/10

2. Graphics

ON THE OTHER HAND…

Riviera is by far the most beautiful game I have ever seen on the GBA. This game looks better than some PS1 games. The quick full screen anime scenes, the character designs, everything about this game’s graphics is sheer brilliance.

Although a lot of the monster designs are repetitive, what they do have here is brilliant. There’s very little that won’t impress you considering this is the GBA.

The backgrounds are excellent as well. There’s a lot of detail put into them, even on simple things most gamers would completely ignore. Things like the moon and the night sky. The flapping of a bat’s wings. Shadowing and lighting effects. Things like that.

The four female characters who join your team all have a distinct look, even if they are still laden in RPG stereotypes. Cierra is by far my favorite.

If you’re a graphics whore with a Game Boy Advance, then you’ll want to snatch up Riviera immediately.

In every way that the plot of Riviera is craptastical, the graphics will make you stare in disbelief at what a GBA is capable of. You will walk away impressed. VERY impressed.

Graphics Rating: 10/10

3. Sound

I still can’t believe it. A ton of voice acting on a GBA cart. Excellent voice acting at that, even if the dialogue is rubbish. How they can get the vocals onto this game, yet Game Freak refuses to let Pikachu say well…”Pikachu,” is beyond me.

I’ve seen some voice acting before on the GBA. Mainly games like Lunar Legend. But not to this quality. And especially not at this quantity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like a console game where you’ll be hearing consistent voices speaking for large portions of the game. The commentary will be limited to in-battle only. But there is still more voice acting in this game than any three other GBA carts put together. And that deserves some respect. Again, Riviera is amazingly impressive in this regard. And the voice acting is top notch to boot, giving it some more well earned points.

The score is excellent too. It’s again, one of the best on the GBA. The music fits each aspect of the game perfectly, from in town exploration, to spooky dungeon crawling, to the battle hymns. Riviera is aurally brilliant. It’s just too bad that if you’re an on the go gamer like myself, often times you can’t have the volume, nor can you wear headphones for various reasons. And it’s a pity, because the auditory aspects of Riviera are one of the best qualities of the game.

Rivera’s the electronic equivalent of an attractive woman who works as a phone sex operator but has the intellect of a gopher with a concussion.

Sound Rating: 10/10

4. Control/Gameplay

Ready for a mood swing back to me being foaming at the mouth ENRAGED with this game? Good! Because it’s time to point out why I think this has some of the worst gameplay ever.

Imagine you had a game that took all the things even Final Fantasy and Ogre BATTLE fanboys hated about those games, left out all the good stuff, and then pureed them together? Guess what? You have the battle engine of Riviera.

You have a game with annoying long special attacks you can’t cycle through. You have to watch the entire thing. Remember how annoying FF7 or 8 got after the billionth time you watched that summon attack? It’s like that here!

You have battles where you have to pick and choose items before hand (but only four!) and use only those in battle. However, like Ogre Battle, you don’t really get to pick who you will attack as most of the attacks are random. And of course that usually means they will overkill a dying enemy instead of go after the really powerful jerk one you wanted to hit. I hate that in a game. It’s an RPG. There shouldn’t be any of this random attack crap. I can’t see in any battle ever in the history of fiction or reality where some character would go “I’m going to blinding hit something now. Wheee!” However unlike Ogre Battle, Riviera lacks all the quality aspects of that game, such as a good plot, reputation management, having to watch and control armies, and so on.

What else needs to be berated? Oh! The dungeon crawling aspects. The game feels like Super Mario 1. There’s levels and then tons of stages. You’ll see things like Stage: 1-5 or 2-4 or 3-who cares? I keep expecting to see a badly pixilated mushroom saying, “We’re sorry Ein, but the princess is in another castle.” And because battles are MAINLY fixed, the running back and forth rewards you with absolutely nothing.

Notice I said MAINLY. You see, the designers of the game decided to make it so you could have practice battles with random monsters whenever you wanted. Basically Riviera is the dream come true for all those sad little Gygaxian roleplayers who run around for hours getting into battles so their characters can be maxed out by the time the game is only a quarter through because they somehow think it’s macho or cool to run through a game without having any challenge because they decided to cheese. This is amazingly lame, and sadly, the game all but forces you to have to go through this due to the amazingly messed up difficulty scale monsters are placed on. One battle will be super easy, the next will be appalling hard. No rhyme or reason. And especially no warning. Any game that tacks on play length by pretty much forcing you to do “random” battles is asinine.

Then there’s the leveling up system. You don’t gain levels in Riviera. You gain skills. By using certain weapons enough times, you get rewarded by new skills and stat points as well. However sometimes the stat gains make no sense. “Wow. I used a Scythe and gained a skill from that. Why am I getting a ton of magic for that, but only one point to my strength?” There’s no real explanation of why certain weapons give you certain abilities. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just an odd thing. An explanation would be nice. This does of course mean you will get new items and use them instantly and exclusively in a desperate attempt to gain stats. And this also means a LOT of practice battles because using these new weapons are the only way your characters will get more power. After a dozen battles and all you have are spider webs and Triffid droppings, happiness will no longer be an option for you.

Weapons are an interesting aspect of this game. Like Koudelka, you have only a certain amount of uses with each weapon before they shatter. Of course, it doesn’t matter as there are plenty of chests for you to open and gain new items from. So it’s just a matter of hitting the buttom for your random reward on something you don’t already have.

You can also hold only a limited number of items, and you’ll get one after almost every battle, so you will be discarding a lot. And again, because new items = new skills, you’ll be hoarding weapons and not keeping things you probably should need like Potions, because you’ll wonder if there will ever be the chance to get certain weapons again. Yay paranoia!

There’s also a point system that rewards you for each battle. You collect a score and a letter rating for each battle. Depending on how you do, you get extra points in your TP Gauge. This leads to one of the more original ideas in the game: The Look Mode. Entering Look Mode gives you options on the screen for what you can examine. But to do so you have to give up a TP point. When you run out of points, you can’t examine anything. This is an interesting idea in theory, but in practice it is utterly useless, for you will almost always get a battle rating of A, B, or S (if you kill enemies with special moves). This will max your TP gauge, thus making the whole idea irrelevant. I had maybe one battle that ended with a C. 95% of the battles ended for me with a B or S.

Finally, the only aspect of the engine left to examine is the Street Fighter/King of Fighters Super Special bar both you and your enemies have. They fill up from attacking or being hit. For the enemy their bar goes down a bit when they use normal attacks, but it can also only go up to 1 level. Your side can max out their super special bar to 3. These allow you to use massively powerful attacks and eventually the shallow nature of the gameplay reveals itself as it becomes both you and the computer just dicking around until the bar has filled enough for you to do one of these attacks. The game becomes amazingly boring and repetitive after you realize every battle follows the same format of “Use new items to get a skill/super attack/repeat.” It requires no thought or skill at all to play this game

Last, but most hated is the stupid timing tests the game has at some points. Sometimes it is a rhythm based test. Other times it is an equally annoying “mash buttons in a specific order with little to no time” test. Passing these tests gets you objects or points, Failing equaling a big chunk of damage. Hurrah. They are not fun. They are not challenging. They are simply annoying mood breakers that probably sounded like an interesting change of pace to the developers, but do nothing to make the game better. Only stupider.

This my friends, is Riviera. The gameplay consists of a great deal of suck combined with a lot of ideas that sounded good in somebody’s head or on paper, but have little to no effect on actual gameplay and often times are amazingly useless. It is simple, it is shallow, it is annoying, it is repetitive, and it is boring. If you can somehow find enjoyment in any of this, please, enlighten me. Because I will happily give you a LIST of games that manage to do the things Riviera tries to, but does them better. There’s nothing Riviera does right, and only a few things it does even half assed.

If I hadn’t had to play through this game I’d have stopped at about the ten hour mark and sold this thing on Ebay. Hmm, I probably still can…

Control/Gameplay Rating: 3/10

5. Replayability

Riviera, thanks to the dating sim aspects, has roughly half a dozen endings, all based on relationships with the other members of Ein’s team. There’s also a lot of unlockables such as audio and visual clips. There’s also some extra stuff to allow you to continue playing after the game is “over.”

There’s also going back to get new weapons or skills you might have missed out on before, or some paths you didn’t take the first time around. Although in regards to the latter, I don’t see how, considering it’s almost impossible to make a more linear game than this one…

If you’re an anal-retentive completist, Riviera holds a decent amount of replay value. Although god knows how you’d be able to stomach the game more than once. But hey, if you somehow enjoy this game, you’ll get many many hours out of it. But once you’ve seen the half dozen or so endings, there’s nothing left.

Replayability Rating: 6/10

6. Balance

Yeah…umm. Another amazingly low score here. Battles are either super easy or super insane with difficultly that you will survive, but just barely. The game rewards you with “Practice Battles” which allows you to power up and just cheese through the whole game, which I suppose was the developers way of offsetting the “If you don’t, you will die terribly” aspect that occurs if you refuse to use this tactic.

As well, on the off chance you DO die, the game gives you the chance to restart the battle with your characters at full health and recovering any lost items, but the CPU opponents are weakened both in health and damage. Wow! It’s like unlimited continues in an RPG! I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate this? You REWARD a player who can’t somehow get through a shallow game based on nothing but a “Fill up my meter first” concept? Yes! let’s reward crappy players by not forcing them to rethink their previously failed tactics. Let’s make the game even easier for them!

Ugh. Ugh ugh and triple ugh. That right there is one of the worst ideas for an RPG ever. I’m just not going to talk about it anymore because I don’t think I can rationally. And I’ve gone so many pages without swearing too.

There is no balance to this game. This game is totally out of whack in this regard and it disappoints me to no end. Riviera’s remake has only been physical, while all the things that made me hate the original version of the game are still intact. And I think that makes me hate it even more. I mean, I’m a very pretty man, but at least there’s substance behind me. :-P

So yes, if you do practice battles the game is pathetically easy. If you don’t, you will use a lot of naughty four letter words one can not say on America television. Just another aspect of everything that is wrong with this game.

Balance Rating: 1/10

7. Originality

Let’s see. Is there anything new? Cliche characters, Cliche plot, aspects of games taken from Shenmue to Ogre Battle, a 2D fighter’s special bar, the shallowest dating sim aspect to a game I have ever seen that actually includes one, and that’s about it.

Oh wait! A look system that doesn’t really work! And a bizarre but interesting way of “leveling up.”

That’s it. That is the two tiny miniscule bits of the game that hold any level of originality. And of course the game is also a remake, which would usually lose a game points in this category, but it’s rock bottom in this regard anyway.

If you’ve played one RPG, you’ve played some part of Riviera. Hell, if you’ve played one RPG, you’ve most likely played a BETTER game than Riviera.

Originality Rating: 1/10

8. Addictiveness

Umm…you guys aren’t REALLY going to make me discuss this aspect, are you? I’m ten pages in! I think my answer to this is self evident!

Oh, fine. You heartless slave driving bastards.

It took me two weeks to review this game. Anyone who saw me playing this game heard lots of bitching and moaning and complaining. And way too much profanity. And I’m usually Mr. happy upbeat optimism incarnate…not that you could tell from this review.

After that first hour of gaming, I never wanted to play this game again. But I kept going. And hated every filthy minute of it.

The game was pretty, but that was it. I’ve already beaten the storyline and translation with a cartload of dead horses, so I won’t repeat myself there.

I don’t remember the last time I had such a hard time getting through a game due to sheer suckiness. WM XXI, which got a 2.5 from me was more fun than this, and that’s because I wrote up the review as if I was possessed by the Macho Man Randy Savage! Who am I going to do that with here? Ein? I’m sorry, the review would then consisted of “Duh. Me am smrt.” Lina? No, Referring to one’s self in the third person would be annoying. Just not as annoying as Riviera. Jedah? The review would be mainly “……..”

I’ve played some terrible games with some fun qualities before. Riviera is a beautiful game that simply hideous when it comes down to the meat and heart of the game.

Trust me on this, this game is good for mindless time killing and nothing more. If only because the manual is what you’ll end up using for toilet paper.

Addictiveness: 1/10

9. Appeal Factor

Okay. Here’s the thing. I realize I’m in the minority here. I realize that on gamerankings, there are 12 reviews of the game, with Riviera getting an average of 8.0. That’s a high score indeed, meaning a lot of reviewers love this game. I’d be curious to see if those reviewers are also fans of Final Fantasy games or to look at how most of them focus sheer on the shallow things like looks and sound and ignore the majority of the engine problems and the horrid story. Or how many actually went to their junior prom.

I’m kidding! My tongue was firmly in my cheek with that last paragraph. Aside from the reviewers who are praising this game, the people I’ve actually talked to that play games simply for fun have all had the same problems I have, but not to the fanatical degree of psychotic rage I do. The highest score I’ve heard anyone would give this game that isn’t a reviewer is a 6. This leads me to two conclusions.

1. This game, in fact, does appeal to the fans of Final fantasy style games of style over substance.

2. This game appeals for Hardcore RPG fanboys who will generally buy anything from a certain publisher value name brand over quality.

And don’t get me wrong. There’s hardly an Atlus USA or Atlus Japan title I haven’t owned at some point. Heck Atlus Japan sent me a ton of neat collectables when Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment got put through the marketing wringer back over there. I can easily fit into column two most of the time.

There’s also a third conclusion, that is most likely the correct answer. The game appeals to a good amount of people…just not me. And that happens. There are some games I just don’t get. I have never understood the Appeal of any Final Fantasy game. I never understood why people bought Tomb Raider. I didn’t get the love for Beyond Good & Evil. I was mystified that people had fun with CIMA: The Enemy. But these are all games that got a lot of praise or sold a lot of copies. It happens. No two people have the same exact tastes. And I just happened to have been stuck with a game that rubbed me the wrong way. More the pity for it and Atlus if this is the case.

So I’m going to be nice here and give Riviera the benefit of the doubt and give it a 6/10 here even though if we went on my opinion ONLY it’d be getting a 1/10 in this category.

That’s the key. Being objective and being able to look beyond one’s own point of view. I’m a critic. A reviewer. And objective even when I want to be a fanboy or give a game a low score because I want emotion to override rationality.

Be happy, because without this or the jaw dropping graphics and sound level of this game, it’d be getting a 2-2.5 easily. These three categories have pretty much doubled this games overall score. Heh. Just imagine what I’d be giving the Wonderswan version.

Appeal Factor: 6/10

10. Miscellaneous

There’s a few unlockables. There’s some extra endings. But in the end, there’s just no quality to this game. There’s no heart. It was poorly designed with the only energy being placed towards graphics and sound. Yes, this is the best the little GBA has ever seen. But I am always incensed when the engine and the play control are what get ignored in favour of making the game give a good first impression and a lousy second to infinite impression.

I didn’t enjoy a single aspect of this game. And the unlockables did nothing for me. Wow! CG screens and sound/score clips. Just what I needed! A reminder of exactly why I HATE this game.

People, listen to me. With the next gen of gaming upon us, all we are hearing is talk of graphics. With the DS and PSP we are saying good bye to the last vestige of 2D gaming with good graphics and even better gameplay and saying hello to awesome graphics but dismal gameplay. There was a time when a game could look like ass and still be one of the most fun things you would ever play. Dragon Warrior 7 for example. Or Shadowrun for the Sega Genesis. Adventure for the Atari 2600! These are FUN games that don’t look like much, even in their console’s day in the sun. But they were still wonderful amazing addictive super FUN games.

Riviera hits home for me in the same way Square-Enix has made me ill over the last few years with how bad Final Fantasy has gotten with each successive game. This horrible lowering the bar for gaming has now spread to the Game Boy Advance, which has been a lock for excellent RPG’s and it scares me that reviewers would give a game I find to be absolutely crap such high scores. The GBA is the home to Pokemon! To Knight of Lodis! To Shining Force! To Phantasy Star Collection! To Lunar Legends! I could keep going on and on, but there are literally dozens of better RPG’s out there for this system. Go for those. Not for this. Ignore the hype and save yourself thirty bucks. If you have to buy it, go to the secondary market and get it used for a fraction of the actual cost.

Spend your money supporting quality, not something that simply looks and sounds nice.

There. I’m done ranting.

Miscellaneous: 3/10

The Scores
Story: 1
Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Gameplay/Control: 3
Replayability: 6
Balance: 1
Originality: 1
Addictiveness: 1
Appeal Factor: 6
Miscellaneous: 3
Overall Score: 4.2
Final Score: 4.0 (poor)

Short Attention Span Summary
By far one of the worst games I have ever played. I find Riviera to be a 2 trick pony. It looks and sounds good, but everything else is an awful experience and I want those double digits of hours of my life back so that I can spend them doing something less painful. Like eating plutonium or urinating on an electric fence. The game has a much higher score than I feel it deserves, but the numbers don’t lie. This is a poor game. And I can’t wait to unload my copy on some poor sucker who actually wants it.