I like jokes. I like rude jokes. I like jokes that are insulting, if they are delivered without any real malice, so the premise of Vile Monarch’s Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator is certainly appealing on paper to anyone who gets tickled by “Yo mamma” jokes and playground humor.
In Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator, you’re presented with several comedy conflict scenarios involving two very British characters who face off in a battle of insults to see who comes out on top. Taking turns against the CPU or an online opponent, you choose words or phrases to complete a sentence that offends your comedy partner. Sounds like fun, right?
Wrong! Oh Sir…! The Insult Simulator takes some inspiration from Monty Python – that much is evident in the first pet shop sketch featuring a dead parrot and the male high-pitched voice of Mrs. Maggie, which reminded me of Terry Jones’s performance as Brian Cohen’s mother in the Life of Brian. However, what starts off with a few giggles soon develops into a confusing, unfunny mess.
Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator’s cast of characters do well to capture that Monty Python vibe with some excellent voice work from the likes of posh gent Mr J Shufflebottom and the monocle-wearing Sir Knight, who capture British stereotypes with some aplomb. However, comparisons to John Cleese and his team of comedy geniuses end right there.
Thrown into a number of loose story-based sketches against the pixelated backdrops of places such as a lake, a pet shop and a train station, you take turns against your opponent to choose from a database of repeating words and phrases. You share approximately 11 words or phrases during each round, so the idea is to also outwit your opponent and beat their insult by choosing wisely. You’re also battling against the clock so have just 15 seconds to choose your phrase if you don’t want to miss a turn.
You score points for each insult, which reduces the meter of your opponent and once you drain it entirely you win. There’s some decent underlying mechanics. You can press Square a couple of times in each round to take a sip of tea and add new phrases or words to help you out, rack up higher combo scores for chaining longer sentences together, and choose the “…” option (if it’s available) to skip your turn, leaving the sentence you’ve just created still in place for round two – enabling you to create a longer (higher scoring) insult on your next turn. Each character you face also has a weakness, so if you work out that they hate having their clothes insulted or their family, for instance, then you can score extra points and use that knowledge to your advantage for the remaining rounds.
The problem is the scoring system is a mess, and the game isn’t intelligent enough to know what is witty and what isn’t. You’d think that the better the insult, the more points you’d get, but that’s not the case. Oh Sir…! The Insult Simulator appears to be more about using the correct grammar. You can literally say a load of old crap that doesn’t make sense and you’ll score points. Let me give you some good examples of when the database threw up some decent combinations of phrases that you could use to create mildly funny insults:
“Your dad dresses like your mother and farted on a frightened schoolboy!”
“Your sense of style is silly and your wife is an uneducated nincompoop , you cross-eyed, inbred muckspout!"
These sentences are voiced out by the characters at the end of this round, so when you chain together a decent sentence, it’s quite a giggle.
But, while you’re trying to string together insults that are quite funny, your AI opponent makes up complete nonsense, yet will still score points, sometimes creating big meter-crushing combos with phrases that make little sense. Here’s a couple of gems that the AI came up with:
“Your hovercraft smells like your house and poses nude for your son.”
“Your mother wanted to be your seat and your country secretly adores your wife.”
The list of drivel is endless, yet the scoring system often scores the AI’s random rantings better than your proper insults. Consequently, we also ended up just stringing together nonsensical unfunny remarks just to win rounds. Online play with real players alleviates that to a certain degree, but the repetition of the phrases in the database means that you end up pretty much regurgitating past insults, or slight variations of them, while the questionable scoring system practically forces you to make up unfunny remarks.
If you think: “Your father has bum cancer!” is funny (I certainly don’t), then go ahead, pay $2.99 for Oh Sir…! The Insult Simulator, but I guarantee you that after the initial few minutes of giggles, you’ll be wondering what the hell it is you’ve just purchased as random non-funny sayings and repeated phrases soon rear their ugly head and spoil the fun. Even at such a low-price point, there’s little to recommend about this joke of a game.