Sometimes, art imitates art. Take LocoCycle, a QTE-addled blaster and brawler inspired, allegedly, by a viewing of the horrid motorbike action movie Torque ("A peculiarly slow kind of torture" - Salon.com). The idea, I suspect, was to make the video game equivalent of a bad movie - that is, a game with all the pleasures a bad movie can offer but none of the attendant pitfalls. You'd get the goofiness, the endearing cheapness and the warm thrill of the implausible, but you'd be saved from the tedium, the mindlessness, the slow creep of frustration.
Sadly, it hasn't quite worked out that way.
Yet I still find it hard to describe the LocoCycle set-up without it sounding like something I want to play. Everyone I explain it to has a good laugh, too (although, granted, some people also say, "Um, that sounds a bit racist"). Twisted Pixel's downloadable Xbox One launch title revolves around I.R.I.S., a future-tech military superbike who's struck by lightning, Johnny Five-style. Inevitably, she develops a serious case of free will, ditching a life of drone warfare to head across the States and visit a biker rally. She sets off in something of a hurry, as well, taking her mechanic Pablo along with her when his trouser leg becomes tangled in her exhaust pipe. This is the next five hours of your life, then: follow I.R.I.S. and Pablo as the former drags the latter across hundreds of miles of US roadway, tackling the shadowy agents sent to bring them down and also tangling with S.P.I.K.E., a rival future-tech military superbike, voiced by Robert Patrick.