[REVIEW] Mary-Kate & Ashley: Sweet 16 – Gamecube

In the early day’s of this site I set myself a challenge. To review EVERY PAL Gamecube game officially released for the console during it’s lifespan. Retrocollect advises this is 447 titles, however with overseas only releases (and that darn Maxplay 10 disc) this moves up to 454.
This is the continuing saga that has me looking through the fodder and well as the classics:
God I hate them, I cannot stress this enough, from the TV Shows right down to the bland carbon copied movies that charter their so called development with the one dimensional characters that seen more at home written into the back of a Barbie box that given 3 dimensional form.. any yet, here I am writing a review of a game 15 years old, that most people don’t own, never want to, and never will. Yet the ones of us that do (the set completionists – yes you know who you are!) will never admit to having paid for this title and why?
Is it because of the stars of the title?
Is it because of the sheer lack of effort that was made into the game?

Actually it’s probably both isn’t it.
I’m imagining, it’s a late Wednesday afternoon at Acclaim Entertainment, the team have just finished a deep level of crunch time on their previous title and are looking forward to a few weeks downtime, to re-invigorate and mock up some gameplay ideas, test out a few art styles before work commences on the next title. Now given this is a period just before the 2005 worldwide announcements of the xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, management would be aware the machines they are working on are reaching the end of the cycle and would be able to churn out 1.. maybe 2.. titles before they’ll need to knuckle down on a nextgen title.
But what to choose, IPs for the big movies at the time are expensive and restrictive with what can be made, and most genres seem to have their key games in place (alongside respective clones). Dance and party games are all the range though, that could work…
Enter Dualstar interactive, owned by the petite pint sized, blonde headed mini business women that are Mary-Kate and Ashley. Don’t let their ages fool you, although 15 at the time they have made more profit than most independent companies in the same industry, and they have time on their side to continue building their empire, churning out the same tween hopes on a disc for their fans to gobble up.
They propose a board-game-style party game made for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advanced consoles and like the other MK&A games, this one was planned to be simple mini game fair.
aka1So what about the plot? Bloody hell you’re optimistic! Well here goes… Mary-Kate and Ashley have just gotten their driver’s licenses and are planning a day out with their friends…
And that’s it…
gfs_22813_2_12No seriously! that’s literally it! All this game is, is basically just a poor mans Mario party with 30 mini games to play, and unlockable clothes and music available, you can force up to 4 people to have to play this horrid mess before pulling the disc out and hiding the copy back into your collection never to be spoken of again.
In the first 30mins (as that’s all I could suffer) I came across the following issues:

  • Appalling music and sound effects.
  • Bad sound mixing.
  • Makes Sonic Shuffle look like a polished contender to Mario Party.
  • Off-putting graphics and character models that look like they were ported from the PS2 and given the less effort treatment.
  • Degrading teen girls in nearly all aspects.
  • The 30 mini games, of which around 10 of them are reskins of the other 20.
  • System settings that don’t even work.
  • Slow gameplay.
  • Buggy /Glitchy gameplay.
  • Mini games being played twice in a row, just… because.


Coming to a carboot sale near you

Now I know I’m sounding negative about all this, and given my original distain to all Olsen activites, I’m probably not the right person to given an independent review, but I’ll try to give out some positives to counter the above:

  • The titles load quick, and the save file is small.
  • It’s a nice box.
  • I got my copy with a copy of Mario Tennis and Metroid Prime which I sold for more than I paid… so technically I got this for free (which was nice!)
  • Elizabeth (The one who isn’t a twin) was good in Avengers Infinity War..

Oh, and two years after this game was published, Acclaim would face legal actions from the twins themselves because of unpaid royalties, etc.. One of many issues that lead to Acclaim’s bankruptcy soon after.. So.. silver lining and all that!

Chris Thacker

Author: Chris

Freelance writer, Blogger, Youtuber Chris has dabbled around the industry for many years. having been published in two books, and with over 30+ years knowledge of gaming history, there are many obscure facts tucked away in his brain which have yet to be documented.

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