Review by: Jason Purdy
Published: December 28, 1998
I could try to describe Wild 9 to you, but I know that I would never be able to come as close to capturing the essence of the game as well as the designers did when they said, “Imagine if George Lucas co-wrote Star Wars with Lewis Carroll. And imagine if George Lucas then co-directed it with Tex Avery.”
Having said that, I’ll also say that if every game being released today had a storyline as fleshed out and well designed as Wild 9′s, critics would have to start getting together and handing out literary awards. I mean, sure, Wild 9 is total pulp sci-fi, but it’s damn good pulp sci-fi with a sense of humor that will have you rolling on the floor, desperately clutching at the control pad.
The game’s story is that of Wex Major, a typical teenage guy who happens to get lost in another galaxy where he meets up with a scruffy band of intergalactic orphans who are possessed with super powers. Wex bands the group together under the moniker “The Wild 9″ and they set off to defend the galaxy against the evil Karn. Karn is a 376 year-old enormous face with god-like powers, but with certain maturity issues. He is targeting the Wild 9 because our pal Wex has been named by an ancient prophecy to be the “Chosen One,” which means he has the power to control the galaxy’s most powerful weapon, the “Rig,” and will one day liberate the billions of inhabitants of Andromeda.
Sounds interesting, right? You haven’t heard anything yet. The Wild 9 consists of eight of the most unlikely heroes you’ll ever see without first turning to Dark Horse comics. There is Nitro, who is deadly allergic to heat, light, dust, air, loud noises, and pretty much everything else. When he’s exposed, BOOM! — he detonates, taking out everything in his immediate vicinity. Seconds later he reassembles himself and is ready to go again. Pokkit is a neurotic, furry little blue experiment in biowarp technology with chronic self-esteem problems. He wears a jacket with an infinite number of pockets, from which he can pull absolutely anything. His only problem is that, when the heat is on and he’s under pressure, he chokes and invariably ends up pulling out something completely useless. There is also Pilfer, a psychotic lizard with over 200 separate and conflicting personalities; Volstagg, a gigantic musclebound brute with antlers; Crystal, a drop-dead gorgeous solar-powered super genius with living hair; Boomer, who gets her powers from a kilt that was once worn by her Scottish superhero ancestor, the “Tartan Spartan”; MacSheen, who is basically a walking toolkit/arsenal with the attitude and hormones of a teenager; and finally, there is B’Angus, a little chihuahua-like guy who lives inside of Wex’s Rig and is on the run from a maniacal chainsaw-wielding supervillain named the “Black Sheep.” Needless to say, zaniness abounds.