[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Backbone Entertainment” publishers=”345 Games & Comedy Central” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”August 31, 2011″]
Developed by Backbone Entertainment and jointly published by 345 Games and Comedy Central Games, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is based on the animated series, Ugly Americans, that follows a social worker that helps humans and non-humans alike adapt to life in New York City. The demographics for video games and Comedy Central shows tend to be the same. One not familiar with licensed video games track history would think that a game based on a Comedy Central show would be a gold mine. Unfortunately, gamers have been jaded by 30-ish years of bad licensed games. Does Ugly Americans break the stereotype of licensed garbage and shine or is it another waste of ones and zeros?
Ugly Americans looks like a side scrolling beat up in the vain of Double Dragon and Streets of Rage but plays like a twin-stick shooter. The player runs around with the left stick, while aiming with the right stick and shoots enemies ranging from birdmen to zombies to demons and many more. Experience is gained by kills and level ups allow the player to increase their stats. Different projectiles have different patterns and damages with bonuses if used by certain characters. Despite all of these fine sounding features, Ugly Americans is a boring game to actually play. There isn’t the feel of danger or excitement that most twin-stick shooters have. Instead players are left running in circles around the screen while enemies follow airlessly instead of dodging and shooting for their lives.
Each level is a case file that takes the player to a different part of the stylized New York City. The game consists of 11 levels that can unfortunately be cleared out in less than 2 hours of playrtime. Some grinding may be needed for later levels, but for most gamers it will be a breeze. Hunting for collectibles and unlockables will expand play time, but most aren’t worth the effort. For fans of the show, the extras might be seen as worthwhile since they include a full episode of the show. However, hat tends to be the pitfall of most licensed games, they are only worthwhile for the super fans.
The graphics copy the aesthetic of the Comedy Central cartoon, so if you don’t like how the show looks then you will hate how the game looks. As for the sound, Ugly Americans falls into the same trap that most licensed games do and spams familiar one-liners from the show. The mute button on televisions has never been more useful for this reason. The other audio was uneventful and typical or the TV was possibly muted faster than remembered.
It is hard to justify this game. Between boring gameplay and repeated sound bytes, only a true fan of Ugly Americans can enjoy this game for a sustained period. Normally 2-3 hours total game time for a game would be considered too short, but what if most of that time spent is wishing the levels would end rather than enjoying the game?