Cult review: Team Buddies
Originally posted here for The University of Sheffield (ForgePress) on 14/05/2013
Team Buddies is a quirky game made for the PS1 in the year 2000. It starts with a cut scene showing a happy village of Lego-like pill people (the buddies) whose disco is interrupted by an ominous flying air craft. It starts dropping boxes and, intrigued, the buddies start opening them, claiming: “I’ve never seen anything like this before ‘ave you?”
Upon opening we see they contain a vast array of weaponry, and the harmonious village is no more. All hell breaks loose and cue comedic shot of the whole village going gun crazy.
The thing that makes this game so different from others is the buddies themselves. They are a collection of stereotypes, including Scottish and cockney to name a few, meaning you get a lot of cries of “freeeeedom!” and “lovely jubbly”. In battle they use profanities and insults that would never make it into any games today. Looking back, some of things they say definitely cross a line and the game could do without them, but you can’t help but laugh at imaginative and ridiculous insults such as “you spineless turd” and “oh you dozy tart” when they come from multi-coloured tic-tac men with badly voiced accents. It comes as no surprise however that the American game was censored and the game is widely renowned as being one of the rarest games to get hold of for the PS1, going now for an average of £50 on Ebay.
We can tell it is not a game we are supposed to take too seriously, yet there are enough missions and levels to make it more than your average Raving Rabbids party game. Levels include main objectives and sub objectives, and the objectives themselves are bizarre. The main objective of one level is to stop dogs that have been turned into bombs from blowing up your base, another to collect piles of rubbish (mostly dog shit) and turn some bins around. This in itself says something about the originality and humour of the game, showing it can be engaging yet silly at the same time.
Somehow a mixture of the peculiar objectives, the ability to create a variety of weapons from different box combinations and the buddies’ outrageous insults makes for an unforgettable yet risqué game, and one that most people can play due to its accessibility and addictive multiplayer levels.