When All Hell Breaks Loose – Ugly Americans Apocalypsegeddon Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans is known for its crude sense of humour and the game adaptation follows right in its tracks. With up to four players local or online, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is a fun-filled laugh and a half, but it’s not without some flaws.
It goes without saying that this is not a game for children. The humour style is very crass and pulls no punches. This is evident in the character design, with flying “man-birds” chasing you to attack you with their feathery man-junk. While I was never offended, someone else easily could be. If you decide to play Apocalypsegeddon, then keep an open mind and the little ones far away.
The story starts in the work place of our main characters (Mark, Callie, Leonard, and Francis) with everyone just having a normal day. Suddenly, all hell literally breaks loose, seeing our ‘heroes’ off to figure out what’s going on and ultimately save the day. The story is divided into multiple “case files” which are essentially levels. The story is neither bland nor extraordinary but it’s quite humorous, making up for its simplicity.
The game plays as a two stick side-scrolling shooter and is very easy to pick up and play. Because of this it is very accessible to all skill levels, at least from a controller perspective. You just move with the left thumbstick and point and shoot random projectiles with the right, with a special attack on the right trigger. However, I did find that the simplicity of the control scheme led to bland gameplay, and after I finished a few levels, my interest had reached a plateau.
You can choose from any of the four characters, and each also has his/her own starting and max stats, as well as a unique special move. Each character also has a few favourite items from the arsenal, which give bonuses specific to that character when used. There is a large variety of items you can fire ranging from baseballs and golf balls, to cans of paint and rubber chickens. You’ll find them by destroying objects in levels such as mailboxes, food carts and the like. I was surprised by the range and variety of tools on hand, each traveling and impacting in its own way.
Upon felling an enemy you are awarded experience points towards leveling up and sometimes power-ups or food. When you gain a level you’re given a point to put in to the stat of your choice, allowing you to customise your character as you see fit. Food acts as recovery items and power-ups add temporary speed boosts, attack increases or shields. Most items are from the series, tying it and the game together well.
Though initially the gameplay appeared solid, I ran into some hiccups when playing solo. The first of which occurred upon my first death. I had become stuck between enemies and an invisible wall prevented me from circling around an object. The penalty for dying was to repeat the level from the start. Seeing as some levels can get quite overwhelming, with large amounts of enemies everywhere, it felt somewhat frustrating to have to repeat the same levels four to five times to get through. I feel the game would have benefited from either checkpoints in levels, or having extra lives. Also, more definition to where you can walk without running into invisible walls, or just removal of such walls, would have made the game less annoying. Thankfully multiplayer adds some relief, since you can revive downed teammates. So even if you’re downed by unfair means you at least get a second chance, making multiplayer the most enjoyable and recommended mode.
The visuals for the game are actually very true to the show, more or less being animated in the exact same way. All of the cutscenes are done like a motion comic. They are drawn and animated but without complete movements, with characters moving from one pose to another without any fluid motion. The main gameplay segments are cell-shaded to make the 3D graphics look like the 2D animation. It’s quite interesting to watch and adds uniqueness to the game while still holding true to the show.
One really great thing about Apocalypsegeddon is the voice cast. All characters in the game are voiced by the same actors used in the show, making it feel very authentic. Also, music fits the mood of each level perfectly, being light in parks but gathering tension during a riot scene. However, I did have one problem with the audio, the script for the enemies felt very short. Though funny at first, it became very annoying to constantly hear “suck my balls” from the same types of enemies repeatedly. Some extra dialog would have eliminated the annoyance.
Overall, as a downloadable title, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is a great game for its price. Though I had a hard time sitting through single player mode, multiplayer is incredibly fun, addictive and is how the game should be played. If you’re a fan of the series, or just looking for a good party game full of crude humour and violence, then this is a must have!
Final score: 3.75 / 5.0
About This Post