Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast is a fighting game with a twist – instead of fighting combos, you must construct insults to defeat your opponent.
A roast, for those uninitiated, is an organised dedication to an individual who willfully volunteers to be made fun of – in most cases with no holds barred. The victim of the roast also participates, to in turn insult their roasters and to make fun of themselves.
The Hollywood roast is an old tradition, with the first reported roast occurring in 1910. Dean Martin’s roasts are remembered today as being some of the best, and Comedy Central still runs regularly roasts of celebrities including the likes of Charlie Sheen and Justin Bieber. US presidential candidates participate in a friendly roast during their Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, and some TV shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race include a roast as one of their competition tasks.
Developed by indie company Vile Monarch, Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast is a spin-off for their 2016 title Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator. It consists of a roster of six playable characters: Dirty Potter (mash-up of Harry Potter and Dirty Harry), The Greasy Wizard (a Gandalf-inspired character with questionable morals), Marilyn Nomore (has-been performer based on Marilyn Monroe), Wisecrack (superhero clone based on Deadpool), Chop Sue E (a stereotype of the portrayal of Asian actresses) and the CFO (the boss who has all the money). There is potential for more characters to be unlocked as well as the ability to customise your own Hollywood clone.
Once you defeat all five other opponents you win the game, completing the career for your character – rewarding you with opportunities to expand your character with, gaining additional comebacks, and unlocking a character.
In each battle, you create your insult in a turn-based manner, with you and your opponent both vying for many of the same words. The longer the sentence, the more damage your insult will inflict, and you receive bonuses from triggering your opponent’s weakness (such as beauty and age or the law), and by using the same theme multiple times, such as ‘your mom’.
The game will penalise you for using bad grammar and you receive no points for an attack if you are unable to complete your sentence. If your attack is powerful enough, you can cause your opponent to lose their train of thought, countering the attack they were developing.
While the premise of the game is original and some of the insults generated are quite hilarious, you will find that many of the insults simply do not make sense. And the battles seem to go on for quite a long time, and takes away from the fast-paced fighting game genre it is meant to be emulating. The reason for the long battles is clear that you only need to beat five characters in career mode to see the end game credits.
The game is set up to encourage you to replay the game multiple times, but as there didn’t seem to be much of a challenge playing through, many gamers would not bother trying to develop characters if there was no challenge for them to overcome in doing so.
Most of the jokes in this game are quite juvenile, but it is certainly not a game for children and contains a lot of sexual innuendo. The artwork is quite original and the quirky animation style matched the game perfectly. Having only a small selection of characters makes one question why the developers chose to create Chop Sue E. This character was not only not funny, but was quite insulting.
Novel concept, but not a knock out
Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast has the potential to be a really fun game and could quite easily become a party game classic. However, as it stands currently, it lacks replay appeal with a limited cast of characters and an insult structure that becomes weird more times than funny.