Fear Not the Apocalypse! Dikembe Mutombo Is Back!

Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World

The film industry had Citizen Kane. The music industry had Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Now, gaming’s magnus opus — the standard bearer by which all titles past and presents will be forever judged — has finally arrived.

Its hero is not a gunslinging space marine, nor is he a medieval warrior capable of toppling giants with but the blade of his sword. No, our hero is a 7-foot-2, forty-six year old Congolese former NBA center named Dikembe Mutombo.

The marketing geniuses at Old Spice decided to throw convention to the wind, ditching traditional forms of advertising such as television commercials and Internet banner ads. Instead, a meeting of the minds at Old Spice HQ resulted in the greatest piece of digital interaction ever devised: Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World.

Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World

This awe-inspiring tapestry of 90’s basketball, old school shoot-em up action, and stupid Internet memes should have won every single gaming-related award of 2012. Its creators, and even Mutombo himself, should be given Nobel Prizes. The game’s code should be printed on the backside of the constitution in order to ensure its eternal preservation. The Magna Carta laid the foundation for civilization as we know it today, and this game may ignite social revolution on an equal — or perhaps even greater — level as we move forward into the future.

For real, this game is awesome. I feel obligated to give a heartfelt thanks to my friend Daved for sending it my way. How this game existed for so long without me hearing about it baffles me completely.

A retro-style quest to save the planet starring one of the greatest NBA centers of the 1990s? Sounds pretty damn awesome to me. And it is.

The best part is that the fine folk at Old Spice decided to give us the game for free. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and you’re ready to fight for the future of the human race against evil the likes of vampire romance flicks and that dastardly Scumbag Steve.

Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World

There are five levels in Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World. Each one is completely awesome and hilarious in its own way, but there are two that stand out above the rest.

The game’s second stage pits you against maniacal creatures called “Blurgies” that are somehow responsible for the shutdown of Hostess plants across the country. Mutombo will not stand for such injustice, so he races off to the plant in order to save the world from a devastating Twinkie shortage.

Before leaving, Dikembe’s friend “random turkey” gives him a mixtape that he claims will inspire the basketball star on his quest. The level loads, and you suddenly find yourself in a mine-cart platforming stage with that god-awful ‘It’s Thanksgiving’ song playing in the background. I nearly collapsed in laughter my first time playing through it.

Upon reaching the end of the stage you’ll face of against King Blurgy. Defeating him consists of dodging his charge attacks and, yes, throwing Twinkies at him. It’s utterly ridiculous and completely awesome.

Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World

However, the game’s final chapter is where it shines the brightest.

The game transforms itself into a tough-as-nails bullet hell SHMUP with a completely kick-ass soundtrack. You’ll fight your way past hoards of “peanut butter jelly time” bananas, Nyan cats, and even the Internet itself in order to thwart the Mayan apocalypse.

Weaving through swarms of lasers as deodorant-powered, jetpack-wearing Dikembo Mutombo is an ethereal experience. I could barely believe this was a game I was actually playing.

Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World perfectly mimics the graphical style of late 80s/early 90s VGA games for PCs, and the audio score is honestly one of the best in recent memory. How a deodorant manufacturer was able to produce such a fun (albeit short) game while some high-budget, triple-A titles struggle to hold my interest is difficult to comprehend, but that is exactly what Old Spice has done with this quirky title.

Let’s face it, if you’re alive and breathing today, you have Dikembe Mutombo to thank for it. Without him, it’s very possible that I could have awoken to fire raining from the sky and zombies pounding at my door. Thankfully, I did not. Thank you, Dikembe. The world has been saved from impending doom so that we may game. And game, we shall.

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