reviews\ Sep 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon Review


Let’s journey back in time for a moment to the days of Nintendo 64. Blissful days? Yes, but that system wasn’t free of crappy software. Most of it consisted of games based on the Comedy Central show South Park, including a somewhat average first-person shooter, a terrible kart racing game, and a lame trivia/party game. They were such awful examples of programming that even the creators of South Park themselves were vehemently against their existence. You would think that Comedy Central would’ve learned its lesson and shied away from lame show-to-game adaptations.

But you’re wrong. Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is another primary example of a game that’s all license and no substance. As a result, it wears out its welcome with everyone – even fans of the show will be appalled at how mind-numbingly repetitive this game gets. And with no redeeming factor in sight – no replay value, no awesome weapons that last longer than five seconds, no unlockable goodies – it’s not worth even touching at all.

The game has you choose from the four main characters of the show – Callie, Leonard, Mike or Grimes, each of whom play about the same – and set out to prevent Apocalypsegeddon, I suppose, by facing waves of enemies that pretty much stay the same over the course of the entire level. One moment you’re facing zombies that complain even more than when they eat brains, and the other is packed with bird men that are so obnoxious, you wonder how they don’t end up killing each other. Your job is to shoot everything on sight, since the game is a twin stick shooter by basic nature.

And boy, do we mean basic. There’s really nothing new that Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon brings to the gaming scene. While the characters are amusing at first, they wear out their welcome too quickly, especially after they quip the same thing the second or third time you change a weapon. The developers didn’t even go for variety here. The enemies also repeat the same thing way too often, to the point that you try to maneuver the controls to turn the gun on yourself. (Sadly, no such luck.)

There is some decent gameplay buried beneath all this rubbish, as it’s fairly easy to aim at targets and take them down before they attack you. However, it’s all an avoidance thing, since you don’t have massive melee techniques, and the weapons are lackluster at best. Some fire too slow for their own good. Your best bet is to just snag the baseball cannon and hope for the best. (Kind of a shame when the default weapon can get you through the entire game, without letting you tinker too much with variety.)

The in-game graphics aren’t horrid, but you can tell that some corners were cut in order to get publishing done. The crude animation probably won’t win over any fans (even if it slightly mimics the same style of the show), and the backgrounds aren’t very inspired to say the least. As for the sound, well, the voice samples approach nausea levels, while the music is bland and forgettable.

The game can be beaten in about an hour or so, and if you feel like torturing friends, you can invite them along to kill useless enemies with you. Fans of the show who are on some sort of drug buzz may find amusement out of this, but reality will eventually settle in, and the fact you’re out $10 after buying this game will indeed make you feel Ugly.

Seriously, what went wrong here? The game’s developer, Backbone Entertainment, has worked on far better games than this one. And the fact that Comedy Central learned NOTHING from the South Park days is just unacceptable. Avoid Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon like the plague, unless you have a yearning to kill bird men that are on the same intelligence level as you.

[Reviewed on PlayStation 3]


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