See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Incredible crisis

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Video games are often a sublime release for aggression — a priceless tool for fist-o-matics to channel their violent behavior. Yet some games defy this unwritten rule.

Plunge into the unruly PlayStation 2 world of AquaAqua, for instance, where little dewdrop demons with lollipop smirks and childlike peculiarity wander freely among a broken landscape. Mountains rise, summits collapse, all under the control of your wicked, button-smashing fury.

Hours will be spent attempting to complete the prerequisite training mode alone, and then an entire day pushing through the first level of frustrating gameplay. The reason: AquaAqua’s 3-D plane causes indefinite faults. Similar to Tetris in concept, you must plop various styles of terrain onto the game’s floating landscape. But when positioning commands above locations (like raise, lower, etc.), it is extremely difficult to be exact. Shadows and unfriendly angles obscure your view, along with an irritatingly speedy reaction meter. If you don’t act fast enough — only mere seconds — chances of success are extinguished without forgiveness.

Some gamers might argue that AquaAqua is a puzzler, and puzzlers are designed to be tight on the nerves, but this game
isn’t simply tense; it is repulsively, agitatedly vapid. Even ardent players of the genre won’t get drunk on this castoff.

As an alternative, just turn your head toward Incredible Crisis, a seriously ingenious import that packs hip scenarios and outrageous CG effects onto one disc. So relax, salvation is only a PlayStation away. Ironically, this game is built upon maintaining sanity — not causing it — by your performance of insane button-crunching patterns, rather than creating a mind-numbing pulse like AquaAqua.

Here, main character Taneo and family are treading on thin water. Disaster is only moments away from each member, and it is up to you to rescue him/her from an animated, Tex Avery demise. From an elevator car plummeting toward a garage floor death to a sensual, Ferris wheel massage, 24 minigames are present.

And unlike real life, when these inexpensive brain-buzzers begin to radiate, simply unplug. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Jon M. Gibson investigates the triumphs — and pitfalls — of games and other technological poundcakes. E-mail him at


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Jon M. Gibson

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit