LGR – Xmas Lamers – DOS PC Game Review

LGR – Xmas Lamers – DOS PC Game Review


“Christmas?!” Yeah I thought that would work. Hey can we just uh, can we just talk? “Christmas!” Or something? Cuz. I’ve really mostly just got questions at this
point. Well I appreciate the sit-down, um. “Christmas!” Yeah, so this has been a long time coming. “Christmaaaass.” This has been going on for years, as you know. “Christmas!” And I’m still very much confused as to your
existence. Uh, why do you look like me? Are you okay? *incoherent babbling and chuckling* Do you
need anything to eat? DO you even eat? “Christmaassss.” Anyway, I don’t even know where I’m going
with this. But uh, I guess this is how things are. It is December, and that means it’s time for
Christmas Lazy Game Reviews! *Candion music plays* Lemmings! In the early 1990s it was one of those overnight
hits that became almost too popular for its own good. DMA Design’s puzzle game is one where a
bunch of braindead green-haired rodents are dropped into a level and it’s up to you
to make sure they don’t mindlessly off themselves in spectacularly stupid fashion. It was ridiculously cute, but it also came
loaded with a dark comedic undercurrent, with its splatting rodents, nuclear detonation
buttons, and maps that delve into the fiery pits of hell! So of course it was the ideal candidate for
a Christmas makeover, in the form of Holiday Lemmings, with four increasingly complex Christmassy
versions being released over the years from 1991 to 1994. But we’re not here to talk about Holiday
Lemmings again, because today, it’s time to talk about Lamers. Yes, Lamers for MS-DOS PCs, a juvenile reaction
to the cuteness and popularity of Lemmings. It’s a short 10-level game released for
free onto bulletin boards in July of 1992, designed by someone going by the name Scrull
alongside a handful of presumably demoscene folks calling themselves Cocktail. The twist is that instead of trying to save
the lamers, your goal is to kill them before they make it to the exit. This is accomplished by using bombs, mines,
a machine gun, or a pistol, with each weapon only working for a limited number of uses,
just like the various tools provided in Lemmings. And man, not only is it ridiculously easy, but it’s
filled with various bugs and is super choppy to play, suffering frequent slowdowns on a
386 and playing way too fast on a 486. Probably a good thing then that it can be
beaten in five minutes, with not a single failure happening along the way if you’re
even half looking at what you’re doing. It’s just one of the many forgettable ‘90s
games that sought attention by reacting to something popular, basically the digital equivalent
of going into a bathroom stall and writing “Lemmings sux.” In dry erase marker. Sure it got the point across for a minute
and it’s not harming anything, but was it really worth your time? Apparently so because it was followed up in
December of 1992 with Xmas Lamers, developed by Scrull once again, this time with a new
edgy team calling themselves The Mental Crew. The lame idea of Xmas Lamers is just as lame
as Lamers. That is, kill the lamers before they reach the exit, this time with snow and santa hats. But it also seems the devs used the extra
months to update the engine a bit with things like better Sound Blaster support, which they
promptly used to rip off the song “Tim 3” from Lemmings… *Tim 3 ripoff song plays, shoddily* That’s not the only thing that’s changed
from Lamers though. Despite the same basic gameplay as its predecessor,
Xmas Lamers feels like they started over from scratch when putting it together. Not only has it received the expected and
appropriate holiday makeover, but the core gameplay has gotten much more complex and
less predictable. You still use weapons from Lamers that have been reskinned, like snowballs, presents, ice buckets, and springs to slaughter the lamers before they exit the map. But this time, you HAVE to take out every
last one of them. Anything short of 100% success is an instant
failure. This means that the second a lamer makes
it through to the end, you have zero incentive to continue playing around with that level
to scramble your way to a win state. Beyond this, the lamers themselves are smaller
than they used to be and the mouse cursor is slightly smaller as well and less precise, meaning
it’s a bit harder to enact your punishments. It’s also much pickier in terms of item
usage, with things like snowballs and ice buckets being particularly tough to hit lamers
with. Furthermore, the level designs themselves
are much more devious this time around, with some of them like level six taking me I
don’t even know how many times to complete due to the overwhelmingly annoying way it’s designed. It wouldn’t be so bad if the lamers were
at least somewhat predictable, but of course, they are not. Unlike lemmings, lamers don’t seem to follow
any particular set of logical rules when walking. When they drop from the sky, they’ll start
walking either left or right in an instant, and the same goes for when they fall off ledges,
meaning that you never know which way a lamer is going to go until they do it. This makes planning ahead almost impossible,
and seeing as the direction each lamer walks will change each time you play, it turns into a maddening affair pretty quickly. Just look at this level! Each lamer has four different ways to reach
the exit, and multiple paths to reach it. Depending on whether or not they randomly
walk left or right when landing from a fall, you might have lamers reach the exit in a
few seconds, or it might take a while for them to wander the entire rest of the map. This completely removes the logic puzzle aspect of this kind of game. Instead it relies on you spamming the weapons to get anywhere, and the rest is up lucky timing. Maybe that was the point since, really, the
Lamers games are more action than puzzle game. But Xmas Lamers is designed in such a way
that makes me think it was actually trying to be a puzzle game, and just thought that
chaos was the way to make that happen. Whatever the case may be, Xmas Lamers took
me about 35 minutes to complete, even though it only has ten levels, same exact number
as Lamers did. But while Lamers was so easy you could breeze
through it without thinking or even failing once, Xmas Lamers takes the opposite path
of being so unforgiving and randomized that I had to play half the levels dozens of times
to win. Yet the other half of the levels could be beaten simply
by spamming the springs and jack in the box presents, no effort or skill required. You can find more consistency in any given
election campaign, and that’s just sad. And then when you beat the game? Of course nothing special happens, because
screw you. I was at least hoping for a twist of some
kind, like at the end of Lamers where they get fed up with your nonsense and start shooting
at you with machine guns. Nope! Nothing like that. Just this quick message and it’s back to the main menu. This game pisses me off man, mostly because
it *almost* provides a halfway-interesting set of puzzles to solve. There are a couple levels where the designers
got creative with their own puzzle elements and I’m like “hey, whoa, that’s tricky.” I like tricky. But I don’t like obnoxious, stupid, and
unpredictably random and infuriating. Its only saving grace is that it was released
for free back in the day, so really, I can only complain so much and have it mean anything. Nrgnhgnhnhh At the same time, ugh, I’m pretty sure I
hit a new record for number of curses uttered in the 35 minutes it took to beat this one. So hey, if you’re looking for a Christmas
game that turns into a swearing sailor in an instant, they by all means, check out Xmas
Lamers. It’s one big pile of *bleep bleeping bleep!* And if you enjoyed this Christmassy episode of LGR then stay tuned! There are two more coming this month, and
there are plenty more I’ve done in the past during past Christmases! And as always thank you very much for watching
LGR.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Xmas Lamers – DOS PC Game Review

  1. I keep seeing "Mr. Mix" in the game it's reminding me of the creepypasta of the same name centering around an obscure 90s DOS game.

  2. LGR inspired me to restore (to be generous to my efforts) an old desktop to handle some games I miss that don't work on my modern laptop right.

    A 2007 Compaq Presario with Vista, 2x512MB RAM, a 2.4GHz Athlon-64, and a semi-functional DVD drive. Dug out an old Radeon HD5450 graphics card and a USB DVD drive I had in the cupboard, and grabbed a few 1GB sticks of DDR2 from the tip shop. Had to try a lot of configurations of the RAM to get it to boot and stay booted.

    Halo 2 Vista and Rome Total War work beautifully for the first time in years, Quake II for the first time I've ever seen, and I feel like I'm onto a new hobby. Already put the word out to family and friends that I'll take any defunct PCs they have cluttering the house up. Planning to benchmark it with Crysis.

  3. Clint, you're freaking awesome!! That opening segment had me crying while laughing hahah!! Merry Chrissstmaaaaaass to you and your Christmas clone 🙂

  4. Just reading the title alone, I thought this was going to be a new series on bad xmas games''xmas lamers'' what a name for a game !

  5. All I want for Christmas is a classic Mechwarrior retrospective/review (at least given the upcoming release of the new Mechwarrior 5)

  6. What gets me about this is that its supposed to be an edgy dig at DMA Design. Y'know, the guys that went on to make GTA? This is hilariously quaint.

  7. Man, what wouldn't I do to see a collaboration with LGR and James Rolfe, this epic voice and the Nerd's obscenity.

  8. can you make a video of the ultra laptop that you got in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV23UNt-H2E&t=1688s

  9. Maybe it's a bit in poor taste on my part, but retarded Christmas Clint is really funny. It's like something out of South Park, and I'm okay with that haha.

  10. NOW December has come. Christmas Clone, my favorite Holiday Hare track and a childhood memory. 😀

    So…why the hell did you think you'd get anywhere trying to converse with him? XD

  11. Not really sure on how to contact you, but I wanted to tell you this funny story, may not be word for word but my uncle who works for Cisco. Used to work for a company called techmar. Where they would create computer accessories and graphics cards. While he was working there, some of the members of IBM showed up at his job offering to sell the company the schematics to the original IBM PC. Techmar ending up ratting on these IBM employees and they ended up getting swatted by the FBI and were in big trouble. Techmar, was then given the resources from IBM to create some of the first accessories for the IBM PC as a reward for protecting the secret schematics. My uncle who went to a computer conference show for the new accessories as it came out, which I forget what it was called. Ended up meeting Micheal Dell. The story goes on and on, but my uncle was one of the many people to work on Wifi in its baby stage. So he’s got loads of stories and I just thought you would find it funny. Another one was when WiFi was called WECA. Wireless Ethernet compatibility alliance, he was speaking with one of his coworkers at the time and the coworker said “hey, we can’t call it WECA. See look what happens when I go to WECA.com, it’s a church. We can’t be the holy church of wireless networking. I’m going to submit to the board for the name WIFI” my uncle then replied “that’s so stupid, there’s no fidelity in wireless internet, speakers have fidelity. Not wireless signals” and BAM there’s the name WiFi haha. It was approved. But like I said this isn’t word for word haha. Also if you want the full story in audio form from my uncle or in text form from him for if you ever get curious, I’d be happy to get him to do that. He’s super into public speaking and he does speeches for Cisco in Vegas for their Cisco live conferences.

  12. Ah yes, I remember the old internet term "lamers". Of course, I assume it was an old internet thing and not a 90's term in general.

  13. Love this time of year in your channel! I'm not sure why but it's just somewhat… nostalgic for me to watch your Christmas Vids. It's the song I think!

  14. Got to thank Clint's Christmas themed clone for throwing us all into the holiday spirit…
    By the way what is your Christma's clones name???

  15. I swear the Christmas clone gets worse and worse every year. The first time he was coherent, but as the years go by he just seems more deranged…can't imagine how he'll be in 2018!

  16. Of course you can do anything you w ant with your channel and your videos are very interesting (obviously you spend a lot of time editing them) but, 1min17sec intro? Come on we are not 20y/olds!

  17. Let's freeze-frame that intro and snoop around Clint's closet…

    Okay, so… Sriracha sauce. Good man, Clint. Sriracha goes well with practically everything.
    Next, we have a freakin' huge bottle of sea salt. Is that for high-buoyancy fun in the bathtub, or because you just compulsively cook pasta?
    Souls, eh? Liquidized souls are easier to store, but they go bad super easily. I'd suggest an Estus Flask if you're dead-set on keeping 'em liquid, but tickets to Lordran and Lothric are pretty friggin' expensive. Plus the locals are kinda murdery. Bring weapons.

    Ah, there's the ol' Woodgrain Contact Paper Storage Spot Thingy – for all of one's Woodgrain Papery needs.

    And Christmas Lights. Of course. I'd think this makes no sense, but the only way I managed to solve my Christmas Clone problem was by baiting it with an AVI of Home Alone 1 set on a loop and a noose made out of Christmas lights and loose tinsel. Then I had to ritually disembowel it using a sharpened candy cane and trap its corpse in a box with a few rare Polynesian Humbugs to prevent it from resurrecting. They go for about one sixteenth of a Bitcoin a pop on Fiji's Dark Web.

  18. You have to love that someone tried to make fun of a game by showing how inept they were at game design… Or maybe that was the point. They were trying to show how to make a REAL lump of crap!

  19. HAH – This is hilarious – thank you so much! I was actually part of the group designing and building these games back in 1992. We were just three 13-year old kids goofing around, but pretty proud when it first got released as freeware with some french computer magazine. In any case; I love the review! 🙂

  20. I actually think this is actually a double parody…not just of Lemmings, but I'm pretty sure the "Mental Crew" name is a reference to a demoscene group called "Future Crew" (who made a fair bit of cool stuff…especially excellent tracker music).

  21. Haha, nice … I remember that one, bought it at a PC exhibition under the name "Anti-Lemmings" for a couple of bucks.

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