Dashin’ Desperados

Well, here’s something you don’t see every day – a split-screen, head-to-head obstacle course game.In Dashin’ Desperados, two cowboys race against each other through various landscapes while making jumps, avoiding hazards and looking out for shorter routes.The prize for first place?A woman. Nice.

What, you didn’t think these two hillbillies would be killing each other to win a first edition copy of The Great Gatsby, did you?

Aside from a subtle endorsement of objectifying women and using them as prizes, DD’s other most interesting feature is that it’s probably the first game to have AI programmed specifically to be an asshole.And I don’t mean to say that playing against the computer is hard.I’m saying that the computer acts like a total douchebag when you play against it.There’s a difference.

See, if the computer really wanted, it could probably destroy you at this game.There are a ton of obstacles and branching routes in each stage, and you don’t get a lot of room to see what’s up ahead.So until you play the game enough to memorize each stage, you’ll probably have a few missteps, and before long, the computer will get such a big lead that he no longer appears on your screen.Now, playing a game where you get boat-raced by the AI every time isn’t much fun, so like most other racing games, the computer does some things to let you catch up.

But here’s where it differs from other racing games – in most other games, the computer guy might start going slower, or crash into something, or whatever, and give you a chance to close the gap.In Dashin’ Desperados, he just stops and waits for you, and then when you get close, he starts throwing bombs at you.Or he’ll find a way to knock you into a trap.Or he’ll start rolling back and forth just to taunt you.Whatever he can do just to piss you off.

A lot of times, it backfires – in fact, just about every race I ever won was because the computer waited around for me to catch up, and then messed up in it’s attempt to screw with me.But that not a really satisfying way to win – beating an AI routine because it got cocky isn’t quite the same as doing it to a human, especially, when the AI routine is being unrealistically stupid.And even its even worse when you lose.You think its bad losing to a computer normally?Try losing to one that’s a complete asshole.

Ultimately, this makes Dashin’ Desperados more stressful than anything.

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