I have been very lucky to have lived through all the major generations of consoles, and have kept them all. So I have a nice library to choose from when I decide to do a Retro Review. As I continue to work on my gameroom I finally uncovered a large amount of my OG Xbox and PS2 games. Evil Dead: A Fistfull of Boomstick was one of those titles in the stacks.
To be honest I couldn’t remember if I had beaten the game or not. I fired up my copy and from the date on the hard-drive I saw that it had been one year and one day since I had played the title. Oddly enough, I saved and quit the game at the last boss. I played it a bit and realized that I never pulled the trigger and beat the game. So I started this review out by beating the game, then restarting it. I did the same thing with Twilight Princess a decade or so ago for some reason.
Once again, our favorite Ashley Williams, is back at the forefront of an Evil Dead outbreak in Dearborn, Michigan. This game takes place three years after the events in the PS1 and Dreamcast’s Hail to the King and eleven years after Army of Darkness. Ash is telling this story to some individuals and he tells them that during a live taping of the show Mysteries of the Occult they play Professor Knowby’s recording of the translation of the Necronomicon. This, of course, causes all Hell to break lose.
Ash comes on the scene and realized that he must get to the television station because the Dead are using the giant antenna to enter our world. As Ash you must battle in present day Dearborn, 1600’s Dearborn, 1800’s Dearborn and Evil Dearborn, all to kill the Queen of the Dead and send them back to Hell!
For a seventeen year old game I was pleasantly surprised by how good the graphics were. The in game graphics aren’t muddy or gross. The areas you visit aren’t confusing and I never found myself getting lost because of poor design. The cut-scenes were amazing, once I beat the game and saw the ending cut scene I was blown away by how pretty the scene was.
Usually games like this are ugly, or made with no care or love. VIS Entertainment, truly cared about this franchise, Ash looks like Bruce Campbell and even has some of his mannerisms. This wasn’t a throw away cash grab to drain fans of their money (Marvel’s Avengers anyone?). This was a true sequel to the movies and prior game that we all know and love.
The controls do take some time getting use to. Pretty much every video game now has very similar layouts which makes it easy to jump from game to game. Evil Dead has a different set of controls and one that took me a few tries to get use to.
Since Ash is missing a hand you can have some very interesting weapons attached to it. You start off with the chainsaw but after finding that you can upgrade to some really OP weapons. The developers decided to make each hand a different button to shoot. I used the first controller layout offered to me, there are 2 more that may have made my time easier, but it is the one I used years ago, so why not? X is your Left Hand attack and A is your Right Hand attack, you get a slew of weapons for your disposal and it makes for a fun time. I mean who wouldn’t want a Gatling Gun Hand and a stick of dynamite to fight the undead?
With the Right Trigger you can use magic and with the Left Trigger you Target enemies. LT is basically your lock-on, this will be handy, especially during the final boss fight! To swap through you arsenal you press the white and black buttons, each one is designated to different hands. Walk is Left Thumbstick and camera is Right Thumbstick; this is normal. The attack controls are what take getting use to!
I would usually call this topic “voice-over,” but seeing that Campbell reprises his role as Ash I decided to name it after him. There is no way that this game would have worked if he wasn’t voicing our Anti-Hero Ash. Since he is telling the tale there is a lot of dialogue from him, which is pure perfection.
Campbell hits all the quips perfectly and has his usual air of superiority about him as the character. The other voice actors in the game do well too, but they simply cannot compare with this legend. He is one of the top ten voice actors in video games, and I wish he did more.
This game does hold some memories of my mid twenties which is part of the reason I wanted to play it. Little did I know I never beat it and would beat it five minutes into playing. Evil Dead has been a part of my life since High School and I simply love every aspect about the movies, comic books and video games.
If you like the series, Bruce Campbell or horror games you should try to get a copy or way to play this game. It is fun, unfortunately short with no replay value, but that one playthrough will have you laughing your ass off. I’m glad that I went back to this title and I can’t wait to play Evil Dead: Regeneration again. Grab your Boomstick!
Evil Dead: A Fistfull of Boomstick
Oddly enough the three Evil Dead games were some of those titles that were not trapped in licensed game hell.
- Bruce Campbell playing Ash in any way is always amazing.
- The graphics are surprisingly good for a 17 year old game
- This is just good fun in a game, something we don't see as often anymore
- Game is short
- There is no replay value in this title