Celebrity culture is a strange entity, we love them, obsess about them, hate them all in the same moment. Being mainstays in the public life provokes pitch-perfect parodies as ascertained attributes act as accurate ammunition for imitation. In the late 90s, a show that captured that confusing trend and combined it with the ever-increasing spectacle of professional wrestling. Celebrity Deathmatch was entirely out of plasticine allowing the chaos to be amped up to entertaining levels. In 2003, a home video game version allowed you to control the carnage yourself, letting you settle at home, which superstar is the champion of the world, in Celebrity Deathmatch.
Like the show, two celebs engage in a no-holds-barred battle to the death, Only, as the game makes clear, its polygons, not plasticine, or people. These bouts can take place inside the classic studio, or in a collection of creative coliseums, but the layouts remain constant, just the cosmetics of the arena change. In this game, you do your best to work the crowd, pulverise your opponent and unleash a spectacular execution move that would not look out of place in a Mortal Kombat title.
Some voices and announcers from Celebrity Deathmatch show make a return, and Gomez and Diamond can be unlocked as playable fighters. Their commentary is as sharp as it is on the show, and they accompanied by Debbie Matenopoulos. The roster of Celebrity Deathmatch is an eclectic selection of celebs, while the early 2000s had more potential than a 600 MB disc could hold, you can pick from such names as the entirety of N’Sync, Anna Nicole Smith, Carrot Top et al. Like the show, each fighter is impersonated and has a move set tailor-made to their celebrity, and it is fun to see these combinations let loose. There is an option to create your own celebrity, along with the plethora included (and soon to be unlocked) expands the roster significantly.
There is a main “Episode” mode, where a card of three fights is presented and you with an imaginative title. Completion of these, “episodes” is how you unlock extras, and you get to choose which of the two you want to be. As a fighting game, it is entertaining enough, not too challenging, making it perfectly suited for having a couple of beers and mashing buttons till your friend’s avatar is a pile of clay. The control scheme on the P.C. is simple enough, and if that’s not enough, A variety of items scatters the floor of the arena, allowing you to get the upper hand on.
Celebrity Deathmatch in its game format remains a testament to the shows silly humour and the glossy magazine culture of the early 2000s. Celebrity Deathmatch parody slaughter-fest equates to a heck of a fun time, it’s easy to pick up, but a sense of completion and an abundance of content will keep you coming back for more. It is these elements combined that make Celebrity Deathmatch a commendable entry in the cathartic conflict of clay.
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