Amazon Trail
Review By: Joe

It's that time again! No, not my [vulgar joke goes here - you pick]!! It's that time where I have some big, important assignment due on the morrow and therefore am looking for any other possible creative (ha) outlet to express myself with rather than subject my poor body to the horror of sitting down and typing something that I actually have to do. Oh heavens no!! I'd rather sit down and type something for a site that has absolutely nothing to do with my future whatsoever than work on firmly solidifying my D+ average in my required classes! Yes! It's a considerably better idea to stay up writing worthless crap that no one will ever read as I proceed to get permanently more ill (dawg) and listless with each late night I spend, than it is to write an essay that can probably be sped through with relative bullshitting ease should I actually read what the essay topic is!!!

IN ADDITION, during these little episodes I have, I have this tendency to not write any of the important (hee) reviews that our illustrious site owner (read: slave driver), Gringo is expecting from me but instead randomly review some other crap that no one wanted or expected, the people who write for this site included. It's allllll good, folks!!! INDEED, this paragraph has convinced me that I have chosen the wisest course of action currently possible in my life by pounding out an impulse review of Amazon Trail. I am pleased with myself. All too pleased… Let's begin. I am a horribly unoriginal boy. Evidence of this can be found in just about anything I have created. My music (which none of you lucky, lucky people have heard or will likely ever hear) is a complete rip-off of several different bands at once, my comics are totally based off things I've seen in my toilet (the toilet holds copyright!!!), much of my writing style (the insane portions anyway) is rather violently ripped from the very pages of anything Jhonen Vasquez (who?!) has written that he appears to be ashamed of himself (namely anything Happy Noodle Boy or B.A.C.-related), and many of my jokes (they're in there if you look real hard) are just paraphrases of something a friend who is wittier than I once said or something someone else on this site has said (no). Heck, I'm pretty sure I didn't invent this here language I'm typing in! That said, I will now explain why on earth I decided at this exact point in time to suddenly review Amazon Trail.

So, I'm sitting around, eating fudge (I like fudge) when Gringo walks up and goes "That Whatever-Dude.com site is okay!." Now, seeing as though I'm a very impressionable person and Gringo has never steered me wrong before (ALL LIES) I decide in my head, "Denise Richards can't really act at all, but she has appealing breasts." Then I also decide, "Hmm! Perhaps I should visit this Whatever-Dude and see what all the hubbub (Gringo liking it counts as hubbub in my book...my book sucks) is about!" So I go to the site and read a bunch of articles about teen pop stars. These are genuine genius, I will admit! However, the real joy came to my stupid, stupid face when I came upon a review of Oregon Trail. Woo! All the memories come back like poopies in a clogged toilet!!

Now, I never played the Oregon Trail featured in the Whatever-Dude review. It looks like the original...like the original original. I played the one for little preppie rich kids that came on a super special multimedia-filled CD and played Viva La Company (complete with full orchestra!) when you made it to Oregon at the end. However! I do believe I played the original Amazon Trail...well at least I think so. I'm under the impression that the Amazon Trail was thought up by the smarty company execs after they realized how well the stupid game with the wagon was doing and therefore was created later, when technology was oh-so more advanced. I could be wrong however. Maybe there was an old, crappy DOS version of this game too. You tell me, smartass.

So we come down to it. Essentially (and, yes, I could've said all this in a lot fewer words), I saw this Oregon Trail review on W-D and thought, "Golly! That 'twer awful funner!!" and then also proceeded to think, "He didn' none review that thur Amozun Trayel! I cun still reviews that n' not look like I'ma ripoff or sumthin'! Gahuck!" So! I present you with my Amazon Trail review (YES, FINALLY!). However, if for some reason you should want a good review go read the Oregon Trail one at Whatever-Dude. It is better and it makes children sing. Sing, you children! Now, as I've mentioned, I didn't play the original Oregon Trail but I am under the impression that I played the original Amazon Trail because it didn't have any of that "32nd Edition!!" crap tacked on to the title. So anyway, it would appear to have been the first Amazon Trail...for the Mac. AIEE, NOT IL MACO!!! Yes, I explain! Storytime!!

During one summer (maybe even two), I decided once again that, "Outside is for losers and people that you can actually stand to look at!". So I and a friend of mine both made the wise decision to attend this wonderful summer computer class that was held on weekdays in the library of my school (this was middle school, if I recall correctly). Now this computer class wasn't some ordinary computer class where you learned about typing or programming or searching for porn or none of that hootenanny! Oh no! This bitch was completely focused around the video games. Yes, the video games. Basically, the class was like this: You walk in. You find a computer. You play games for hours. You leave. Could I have done this at home and not cost my parents more money? Yes, but where's the fun in that, Boston Carlson!? At any rate, many of these computers were Macs. Two of the games I can recall really well were Amazon Trail and Pac In Time. Pac In Time fucking rocked. It was like this really cool action-adventure type game where you played a kid version of Pac-Man in a quest to stop an evil witch (?) and go back...to the future! I remember that I wasn't very smart because I was a kid so I kept swinging back and forth on some vine and hitting spikes...but I loved it all the same. BUT I AM DIGRESSING AS USUAL, ZUTROY.

Now we already know how cool Pac In Time was...but what about Amazon Trail?! I mean, doesn't the title of this piece claim that its focus is indeed that game? Yeah, I guess it does! I just noticed that now! Thanks for pointing it out! Amazon Trail was really there for my friend and I to laugh at. We are easily amused folks and therefore giggle like schoolgirls at all manner of stupidity. Amazon Trail had stuff that was just simple enough to make us crack up like the stupid morons we are. Actually, now that I'm actually writing this I'm realizing the stupid things (and overall there's really only two things) we found funny will probably not seem funny at all to anyone who might have the misfortune of reading this. Especially since the subject material isn't even on hand to be potentially funny. Oh well! You'll suffer! Ha ha ha! And there's nothing you can dooooooooo! Please don't leave.

As far as I can tell, Amazon Trail came about like this. The people working at...whatever the fuck company made Oregon Trail (Mecc I think because they made fucking everything you were allowed to play at school but the rights might have changed at some point) realized Oregon Trail did really well and even got learning game awards of some sort. Therefore, they said "Wait a minute! Wait a GOL DURN minute!! I bet this would work on a freaking boat too!" "But wait!" another Mecc Man might say, "How does a boat travel on the ground?" "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm," they would ponder with so many m's until one finally deduced, "*SNAP!*" (that's his fingers...BREAKING) "We can put the damn thing in water!" "YES!!!!" the Mecc Execs (hee) exclaimed in glee. Hence, Amazon Trail was born. Have you noticed they didn't even bother to get rid of the "Trail" part of the title? You can't really make a trail in the water...I think. Or maybe I'm crazy. I bet if I booted up the game now I'd realize the title screen says "Oregon Trail" but with a red X drawn over "Oregon" and "Amazon" written sloppily next to it.

Now here is a secret about Oregon/Amazon/Taiwan/Lesbian Trail that you may not know. They are not very educational. For some reason, these games have earned all kinds of awards like the "Successfully Keeps Kids Busy While I Go On A Drinking Binge" award and the "Pointless But Them Dumb Kiddies Like It!" award that would make one think these games have some educational merit but, oh, how wrong you would be! The only thing in these programs that would actually learn ya (and I don't think this was even available in earlier iterations of the sucker) was if you took the time to stop and talk to people on your way to wherever the hell it was you happened to be going, depending on the game. You had this button that let you talk to somebody at pretty much any given time even though there was clearly no one else on the fucking screen and it was just a desolate expanse of road/river/mud/poo (poo is funny). These people would say historical stuff that you'd never remember, as if you'd ever attempt to talk to them anyway. With the exception of those completely optional tidbits of info (which could have been complete fabrications for all Mecc cared, it's not as if anyone actually viewed them), these games were really rather un-educational.

Now, the wonderful journey of the Oregon Trail can be described as I have said a few times now in this fine review at Whatever-Dude.com. Therefore, let me tell you how the trail on the Amazon differed from trail to the Oregon. Well it didn't really. Not all that much anyway. As I've explained, boat on water replaces wagon on road and there you have it! Other dissimilarities might be that I believe this game ditched the idea of taking your whole damn family with you. This made the game lose some flare as the version of Oregon Trail I had allowed me to give people ridiculously long names so I'd name them things like "HOLY FUCK ON TOAST!! MY BUTT" and later in the game it would come out "HOLY FUCK ON TOAST!! MY BUTT has dysentery." Tee hee hee. Anyway, I guess taking your whole stupid family might sink the boat. Instead, you just got some damn tour guide who was fat. I think he was fat anyway. Fat.

I'm pretty sure the game also ditched the "writing your own tombstone when you die" thing (READ THE W-D REVIEW, STUPID) which definitely was the best part of Oregon Trail as I would deliberately kill off my entire family just to partake in that superspecial fun. Come to think of it, I'm sure I deliberately killed myself in Amazon Trail plenty of times too but it probably wasn't nearly as satisfying. I suppose you don't see many tombstones floating in the water these days, do you? Hmph.

If I recall correctly, one major difference the game had from it's Oregon counterpart was that you actually controlled the boat. Well, you didn't really control your main direction (FORWARD, MIGHTY CANOE) you just kind of got to move left and right in this crappy quasi-first-person mode. What did this mean?! Well, essentially, you were now more responsible for fucking yourself up. "SHIT, STUPID! YOU HIT A GODDAMNED LOG AND YOUR BOAT TURNED OVER AND YOUR FOOD EXPLODED AND YOU GOT HERPES IN THE BUTTHOLE TO BOOT!!" Again, if I recall correctly, they sometimes made you hit submerged things, meaning things you couldn't even see. Now that's fairness for you. Then again I might have just made this up in my brainmeats. I dunno.

Don't think all the fun in randomly getting screwed over by the program was totally gone. Of course not! You still got all manner of diseases out of nowhere. No longer would members of your group feel the wrath of Papa RandomDiseaseBestow! Now it was just "YOU have dysentery." "YOU are suffering from exhaustion." "YOU, MOTHER FUCKER." Strangely enough, your damned tour guide never suffered a lick of it. "Oh señor! You did get the clap! The river will do that to you!" and yet he smiled continually at you like a gluttonous demon pig as his perfect health continued onward. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING PEDRO?! GIVE ME THE CURE YOU GREEDY BASTARD!! STOP HOLDING OUT ON ME!!!!! You just know that sonofabitch was pricking you with infected needles when you weren't looking and then going "Oh it is the...uh...mosquitos of the Amazon, señor. If you get infected with Montezuma's Revenge, it's probably the mosquito's fault. YES YES, PEDRO WINS AGAIN!!!!"

What else could you do in this game? Well, hunting became a matter of spearing fish in this game. Spearing fish?! Bah! When you did, Pedro would tell you how big the fish was and what kind it was and how he was planning to overthrow you and your dictatorship-like ways some day. Spearing fish in this game was not as fun or as easy as hunting deer in the version of Oregon Trail that I played. I think you mostly just stabbed at shadows that were supposed to be fish deep underwater. It was probably just Pedro doing shadow hand puppets to mess with your head though.

The other thing you could do in this game is essentially where all the fun for my friend and I originated from (and I guarantee you that you won't find it funny at all). You could basically go over to the shore whenever the hell you wanted (unless the game decided you hit it too hard and you fell out of the boat or something). When you were out on the shore, you got to take pictures of jungle wildlife. Birds and bugs and plants, oh my!! I never quite figured out what the point of this was. You can't eat photographs...well maybe you can if you're desperate. Spear fishing is pretty hard. At any rate, the point of it for me was that when you took these pictures, you got this little drum noise ("boodaboopchick" is the best description I can offer of it) which you actually got pretty much when you did anything. Then you'd get a close-up of your photo and Pedro would tell you just what the hell it was you took a picture of. Then, a little digitized voice (supposedly our good chum Pedro) would come on and ask you, "What should we do with it?"

For some reason, my friend and I thought this was fucking great. Plus, if you chose to keep the photo, Pedro would add, "That's great. We'll add it to our...photo album!". FUCKING GREAT. Mind you, the pause I made sure to include there was indeed a part of the line. He also had a wonderfully homosexually-oriented voice. It'd be great if the ownerman of this sitemachine could find sound bytes from this game but I kind of doubt it. Anyway, Jebus knows I ain't doing it.

Oddly enough, I still think this is funny. My friend and I still quote this on occasion (before you ask, yes, women do not speak to us) and just think it's funny, funny stuff. Wow, I've got nothing more to say on this. I am realizing even more how pathetic it sounds now. I'm sorry. This review is too long.

NOW MORE, WOO! A long, long time later, I noticed some brand of cereal was offering free CDs of crappy, old games that nobody wanted packaged with the cereal by way of being strapped to the front of the box with plastic. One of these games was a PC version of Amazon Trail...either 3rd or 4th edition…I am unsure which. "OH BOY, JOHNNY!" thought I and I purchased this cereal straight away. Oh how sad I was. The whole point in playing the game, the cheesy little digitized Pedro sound bytes, was replaced with full motion video of a fat, Mexican guy talking. The clips had to load up for a bit every time they came up (which was pretty much any time I did anything) as every computer I own appears to have the logic that if something is older it should be even more trying on the system's resources than newer software. This loading allowed me the opportunity to see the guy's face paused for a bit before he had the opportunity to open his yam and I swear he looked so pissed and depressed each time but then the movement would begin and it was all smiles and "HAHA! PEDRO GAVE YOU SYPHILIS!" but that's besides the point.

When it came down to it (woah, are you really still here?), I found this full motion Mexican man quite a bit less entertaining than the sound bytes o' fun I had so enjoyed from the (supposedly) original Amazon Trail. Mecc (or whoever the hell owns the series now) had robbed me of my joy and childhood (I think they did this somehow, don't ask me) and I was left with this fat, violent, Mexican guy talking shit to me. In addition, the game later on fucked up and somehow made the sound on my computer completely stop working for quite some time. I am not kidding. Damn you Amazon Trail. You hurt me...deeply. By the way, I'm pretty sure I never made it through the trail...in case you were dying to know or something.


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