|“||Achieve Fame and Fortune - or Die Trying.||„|
Total Distortion's storyline revolves around an alien device that arrived on Earth in 1992. After studying the device, scientists discovered that it's a teleporter that could send objects and people to other dimensions. By 1998, the devices were mass produced and used as a means of transportation, where objects could be sent to another dimension and brought back to any other location on Earth. Although the devices were used to bring in a new age of technology, people still struggled to understand the multiple dimensions they transported objects to. As scientists travelled to dimension after dimension, they noticed that each dimension was based on some aspect of human culture, where there were dimensions made up of popular music, movies, and sometimes even people. As if this wasn't strange enough, most dimensions seemed to have a basis that related to children, such as a world of cartoons, toys, and so on. Many theorized what was behind these strange dimensions and what they were about, but one theory stood above the rest. One man believed that all of the dimensions were created by the dreams of everyone on Earth, and that because children dream the most, most of the dimensions come from them. Though whatever the origin of these dimensions, they're presence and power is still barely understood by the people of Earth.
In 1998, 6 years after the devices arrived on Earth, the world is experiencing a technological revolution as the devices bring new advances into transportation. You take the role of a small time music video entrepreneur who's uncle has just died and left you $3,000,000 in his will. You use $2,000,000 to build a massive media tower, and the other $1,000,000 to have it transported to the Distortion Dimension, an alternative dimension based off of the musical culture of the 1990s, in hopes of finding new material to use in your music videos and become rich and famous.
Total Distortion has the player take the role of a music video entrepreneur who travels to the "Distortion Dimension", a strange alternate dimension based on the music and pop-culture of the 90s, where they gather footage and material to use in their music videos to garner fame and fortune. Total Distortion is unique for it's multiple gameplay aspects; where the player can make music videos with the built in video editor, travel through an rpg point-and-click world where you must solve puzzles and battle against Guitar Warriors, and complete minigames while you sleep to help build up your characters statistics.
The media tower is where you start the game, it is a large building that the player sends to the Distortion Dimension. While in the tower you can use the in game video editor to make music videos, as well as read books, contact people, and sleep. Sleeping helps you to regain you character statistics by playing and winning a series of minigames(as the result of good dreams), but if you lose then you're statistics are negatively affected(as the result of a nightmare).
The Distortion Dimension, nicknamed that due to the loud rock music, is where the overall game takes place, and where Total Distortion gets it's namesake. Here the player's main goal is to find and video tape important things and characters for use in music videos, which is achieved by personally creating them in the in game video editor. The player travels through the Distortion Dimension in the form of a point-and-click journey, where they must solve visual puzzles, find items, such as keys, and battle guitar warriors along the way.
Guitar warriors are the personal guardians of the Distortion Dimension, who serve under the Metal Lord, the dimension's tyrannical leader. The warriors see the player's act of recording the dimension, no different than stealing their culture itself, and thereby confront the player and attempt to kill them in a Guitar Battle. A guitar battle consists of the player competing in a quick response segment with a guitar warrior, where the guitar warrior strikes a chord which sends a colored projectile at the player, the player must then strike the same chord to cancel out his attack to defend, and quickly respond with another chord to attack. The player can find and purchase various guitars to compete against them, each with different damage statistics.
Design and Development
The programming and design of Total Distortion was headed up mostly by Joe Sparks, and his family.
Total Distortion's graphics were made up entirely of pre rendered images.
Reception and Legacy
Total Distortion was met with mixed reviews by critics and gamers alike. Many enjoyed the games unique style and multiple gameplay aspects offered, but criticized it's difficulty and tedious gameplay.
The game also got a Worst Game Ever Award, by the Norwegian magazine PC For Alle.[ ]