We could probably count the games that have made us laugh consistently on one hand. Maybe on two fingers. It is so, so difficult, not only because humour is wildly subjective, but comedic timing is incredibly hard when the player has control over that timing. It’s a wonder that funny games even exist.
Albacete Warrior is a comedic achievement. But not because it manages to join the elite club of games that are genuinely funny. Albacete Warrior is, without any doubt, the least funny comedy game we have ever played. Which is, indeed, an achievement (and we’ve played Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard). The badness feels willful, like the developers wanted that crown. Somehow, it manages to make us sigh and cringe at the same time. We singe.
Let’s give you a taste. The Spanish ninja, Benito, grabs the neck of a chicken and uses it as a weapon. But that chicken is white, so for the entire remainder of the game Benito makes jokes about his white cock, strangling his cock, flashing his cock at ladies, and riding his cock to a new level. It goes on and on and frigging on, like that annoying person who thinks you haven’t heard a joke, so keeps repeating it, over and over, getting closer and more frantic and desperate. Cock. Cock. COCK.
Bosses don’t just attack you, they fart, crap and flash themselves at you. Trump turns up, because that’s funny enough by itself, apparently. It’s a bit like Jim Davidson taking over the writing of a Mrs Brown’s Boys episode, if you can imagine that.
What makes all of this a comedic hellscape is that it’s poorly translated, too. Albacete Warrior is clearly written by someone whose English is not of the highest standard, and that’s fine. But when combined with the smutty jokes, you often just get confusing burps of crudeness that don’t make much sense. If it was on Game Pass, we might have encouraged you to try it for free, just to see what it’s like. It’s an experience.
The graphics redeem things a bit. We quite like the look of Albacete Warrior, riding as it does on the very popular 2.5D art style. Flat 2D sprites trundle around on a 3D environment, like Octopath Traveller if everyone took some LSD and started a farting competition. It’s got some nostalgic hints of Starfox-era 16-bit games, and we felt right at home.
The music’s great too. While we were groaning from the comedy, confused by the story, and bashing our heads against the living room table thanks to the gameplay (that’s a treat we’re yet to reveal), then at least we had a good soundtrack to enjoy. There’s an eclectic mix of styles here, which fits the whole ‘Spanish ninja’ culture-mashup to a tee.
But the gameplay. Oh gods, the unholy gameplay. Albacete Warrior is an action-platformer. We would have paid cold, hard cash for it to have just stuck to the ‘action’ bit, as the platformer suffix is nightmare fuel. We still can’t believe we managed to complete certain platforming sequences in Albacete Warrior.
Where to even start. There is the most pronounced, confusing lag to the jump that we have likely ever experienced. We counted actual seconds between pressing the jump button and the jump occurring on-screen. This is made worse – worse – in situations like wall-jumps. You can be clinging onto a wall, pressing the jump button, but have no reaction at all from Benito. He continues to slide down, blinking at us and probably thinking about cock.
When he does jump from the wall, that jump is utterly random. It might be a huge leap, springing with more speed than he really should. Or it could be a diddy one, leaving barely any room for a double-jump or dash that would get you to the other platform. It’s a complete roll of the dice. Now imagine twenty, thirty of these jumps in sequence, and you have to start again if you fail. It’s water torture. We have given up, spun around, picked up the pad, had another go, and then given up more times than we can count.
Depth perception is a thing, too. Benito, presumably because he is 2D, casts no shadow, so jumping into or out of the camera becomes a minefield. A minefield with no depth perception.
We could list these issues all day. The double-jump sometimes doesn’t bother triggering. The rush, too. There’s a slight slide as you begin and end a jump, so you can easily tumble off platforms if you land close to an edge. Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus, Albacete Warrior is a travesty of a platformer.
It’s certainly better as a brawler, but we have to be careful here. The combat is so, so much better than its platforming that it’s easy to go over the top and celebrate it as some kind of second-coming of combat. But, with some detachment, it’s merely okay. The 2D sprites in a 3D environment leads to an awful lot of imprecision, as you think you’ve sidled up to a sombrero-wearing enemy, only to find that you are off by a pixel. The depth perception attacks again.
But connect with an enemy, and there’s some fun here. Combos can be formed with the X, Y and B buttons, and a blink-out-of-existence RT move is a refreshing take on the dodge-roll. Bosses, when they’re not walking punchlines, are pretty good too. They come packaged with multiple phases and attacks, and killing them is a genuine challenge. They also come with the reassurance that there won’t be any sodding platforming for the next five minutes.
There’s one solitary review of Albacete Warrior online, at the time of writing, and they were gushing with praise for its humour. It shows how subjective comedic games can be, because we found Albacete Warrior to be dumbfoundingly unfunny, like a wet fart at a funeral. Actually, Albacete Warrior would have chuckled at that one.
But when that clunky humour is coupled with some stunningly bad platforming, you have a game that you’d have to be truly masochistic to try. Honestly, it’s not worth it.
You can buy Albacete Warrior from the Xbox Store