Cel Damage was originally released on PS2 in 2001. Race forward to 2014, and here we have a gleaming HD version to play on the PS4. So, how does it measure up? Does it appear dated, or cel itself short?
For those that are new to Cel Damage, it’s a light hearted racer set in an imaginary TV Show called Eastenders. Ok it’s not called Eastenders. It’s called Cel Damage. It’s a cartoony world where each car is in direct combat with each other. It’s zany, goofy and not one to be taken seriously. Take for example your weapons, which are brilliantly silly. Want to throw an opponent off course? Throw a sheep at them. Yup, an exploding sheep. Or why not attach some giant boxing gloves to your bonnet? You’re serving up punch drunk love on a canvas of Bugs Bunny meets Roadrunner and luckily, it’s fun as hell.
There are 3 modes. You have Flag Rally, Gate Relay and Smack Attack. They are all pretty self explanatory. Flag mode is fetching flags scattered around the track and bringing them to a certain area, with the first one to 10 getting the win. Gate Relay is your standard racing, lasting 8 laps. Finally Smack Attack mode is about getting to 300 smacks, which is essentially bashing the crap out of your opponents; use special weapons and the number will go up quicker, or you can just resort to driving straight into them. Despite the simplicity, it’s all so fun, although a little short. Each mode has 12 races to win. If you play on easy, you will pretty much win every race at the first time of asking. It means trophy hunters are in for an absolute treat, making this 100% yours within 4 hours. Plus being cross buy, and having an excellent cross save function, you’ll be able to nab the 100% on your Vita too, which comes as a separate trophy list.
Cel Damage knows what it is. It’s throwaway, light hearted fun. It won’t change your life. But I truly mean the word throwaway as a compliment. We should never be arrogant enough to be dismissive of fun, wacky games. We live in a dark world, where wars and famine are ever prevalent, and we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of throwaway. Everyone needs to escape the real world sometimes, and sometimes we don’t want to do that by embarking on a 100 hour, heavy going RPG. Sometimes you just want to load up a game like Cel Damage HD.
Cel Damage HD is a riotous, crazy ride that is waiting for you when life gets too heavy. Brighten up your life.
Punk rating: 8/10