Sega’s booth at E3 finally offered me a chance to catch up with Ash, the rabbit prince of hell who has his dignity compromised when an embarrassing photo surfaces online. Learning that one hundred monsters have seen the photo, Ash promptly sets out to accomplish the only reasonable course of action, killing everyone who saw said photo.
With brush strokes reminiscent of the works from inmates at a Guatemalan insane asylum, Arkedo has created the most vibrant digital offering shown on the floor of E3. Hell is a honeycomb maze where cartoonish gore constantly splashes the screen, shiny gems glisten in the muck, and one hundred beautifully drawn monsters wait for Ash to bring about their violent end by the most ridiculous means possible.
In order to navigate the perilous pitfalls of hell, Ash quickly receives a spiked wheel of death, not entirely unlike General Grievous ‘ ride in Revenge of the Sith – except that Ash’s wheel can also boost upward through the environment. Landing jumps on some moving platforms can prove a little tricky, but the mechanic generally allowed me to tear through the environment like a bull in a china shop while a radar screen in the corner pointed me toward my next victim.
Hell Yeah! gets straight to the business of dispatching those one hundred monsters, requiring a certain number in each area to be dealt with before opening the way forward. As Ash encounters each, players will often fire off a barrage from their machine-gun or rocket launcher before triggering a WarioWare like mini-game, that if successfully completed, summons screen filling doom for the monster in question.
Those mini-games and the subsequent attack animations they trigger steal the show, finding the means to raise the ridiculous cartoon violence with each new turn. I’d find myself navigating a truck down a road while avoiding obstacles, sticking my finger in a beehive to steal honey while a guard had its back turned, and answering a pop quiz where the correct answer was “WTF?”
The resulting animations might see Ash do everything from running down a monster with a semi-truck, unleashing a barrage of carrot shaped missiles, and even launching some sort of shark based missile system from an orbiting space station.
As you might have gathered by now, Hell Yeah! is completely batshit crazy, entirely tapping the spirit of titles long past like Earthworm Jim, making me as nostalgic for my Genesis as I had hoped it might prior to E3 this year. There was at least one instance where an attack animation saw a second use against a monster, and with the over the top spectacle like nature of the insanity acting as the primary draw, there may be times where the game could feel like a grind as players chew a path toward every monster. But Hell Yeah! offers something vibrant and unique on the digital download front, and quite frankly, is a title you’ll have to see to believe.