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Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon Review (XBLA)

Game Review: Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
Release: 8/31/2011
Genre: Action
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Players: 1-4
MSRP: $9.99, 800 Microsoft Points
ESRB Rating: M
Website: Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon

The apocalypse is at hand! Armageddon is at hand as well, surprisingly. When the Department of Integration for New York City notices things are extra-weird, it’s up to them to find the source of the problem and shoot it in the face. Mark, Callie, Grimes, and Leonard must face off against legions of Man-Birds, zombies, and demons in the streets of New York, using their department-issued guns (with decidedly non-issued projectiles, such as snow globes and hammers) in this video game spin-off of the entertaining Comedy Central cartoon.

Harkening back to the days of Smash TV and franchise tie-ins such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon lets four players roam the streets of NYC taking out enemies with the ammo they find lying around. Rather simply controlled, the left analog stick moves your character while the right aims and fires. Each character has their own special attack that needs a full bar of energy, and feature different effects. As you earn experience points throughout the game, you can level up things such as speed, weapon strength, special recovery time, and the like.

With Apocalypsegeddon in full swing, players choose if they want to take on evil as social worker Mark Lilly, his superior/girlfriend Callie Maggotbone, wizard social worker Leonard Powers, and trigger-happy Frank Grimes. Over the course of eleven stages featuring boss fights and cut scenes, they’ll figure out what’s causing all the trouble in New York, and how to stop it. Characters deliver dialogue throughout the game by their TV voice actors, and fight through waves and swarms of monsters straight from the show.

Apocalypsegeddon is a game that’s easy to pick up, but takes some time to level up enough to fly through the game. Playing with friends is fun, as is playing online with strangers. Co-op definitely makes the game go faster and easier, but it is possible to grind your way through the game alone. The game succeeds on most levels for fans of the show. The game plays out like an episode of the show, complete with animated cut scenes and voice acting from the main cast. The enemies either are straight from the series or make sense in the context of the world they live in. Extras are much like the bonus features on a DVD; there are character turnarounds and cinematics, alongside deleted scenes from the show and even a full episode from the second season. While none of these enhance the gameplay, they add an unnecessary-but-fun chunk of collectibility to the game

Notably, one of the main characters of the show is completely absent from the game. Mark’s roommate Randall (the zombie) has no role whatsoever in the game or its plot, and only appears incidentally in the bonus features relevant to the actual TV show. Whether his inclusion is purely plot-driven (he’s the only one to not work for the Department of Integration) or profit driven (it’s not a stretch at all to consider him as a possible future DLC character), it just seems surprising. Fans of the show will play the game and constantly expect him to show up as a boss or have some relevance to the plot, with no luck. With regards to friends showing up, another problem you may run into is a lack of players online. In reviewing this game, it never went past two player mode. Chances are, as a TV-licensed video game, it might not be the biggest seller, and therefore might not be able to ever fully reach the mastery of co-op. Over the course of eleven stages, much of the same scenery is explored, with little interaction beyond the same few dozen destructible items. The game constantly moves from left to right, and does little to break this up; there are no stages where you move top to bottom or right to left. This just serves to show the limits of the game beyond the invisible borders that block you off at each wall.

Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is a decently fun game, but there’s not too much to it. Repetitive level design and gameplay elements (move right and aim and you can eventually win) belay a rather uninspired game, only improved by attaching a franchise to it. Fans of the series, though, will wonder where in the literal Hell Randall is, but otherwise enjoy the game-exclusive storyline. Since it can be finished in a few hours by yourself, it’s either best played with friends who are fans of the show, or not at all.

  • Where’s Randall?
  • Repetitive level design, gameplay, and enemy design
  • Decent amount of extras

Final Score
6 out of 10

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