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Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon

If you’ve never heard of Ugly Americans, but you’re crushing on someone who has, and loves it, hooking them up with Apocalypsegeddon is the perfect gift…for destroying any chance you have of getting lucky.

Fans of the show be warned, upon startup, the tug of disappointment will be felt immediately. Instead of full motion animation, the intro and cutscenes are all presented in motion comic form – the starting signs of ensuing letdowns for fans. For non-fans, appreciating the series’ signature art will be a struggle, with the in-game cel-shaded 3D leaving a lot to be desired. Further exacerbating the presentation is the poor writing. Ugly Americans is a show that houses gags of the lewd and macabre. However, its ability to deliver them in comic wit has always been the much appreciated juice that keeps its heart beating. Unfortunately, Apocalypsegeddon’s choice in direct adolescent delivery flatlines the show’s reputable humor – you might as well just boo its credibility off the stage.

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As a four player co-op shooter, you select amongst Mark, Callie, Leonard, and Grimes. Nothing against Grimes, but his spot should’ve been filled by Randall. As much as Apocalypsegeddon tries too hard in being funny, the same effort is evident in applying innovation to its gameplay. To fire, you hold down the right analog stick to let loose at a given direction. While it does provide auto-strafing, the abandonment of traditional button mashing makes the already repetitive gameplay even more lethargic; devoid of immersion.

As you mow down foes with your odd array of projectile house appliances, you rack up experience points – presented as a gradually growing meter. Once you level up, you can assign a single skill point to any of your attributes. Unfortunately, much of this comes off as an unfulfilling process as the enemies materialize in overwhelming numbers, making the reviving of fallen comrades a suicide mission. As you can return to any previously completed stage, the act of revisiting locales for development will become common practice. Going at it alone is almost impossible, unless keeping your sanity isn’t an issue. As there isn’t much in entertainment to maximize, getting others to join you would just be for the sake of convenience.

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If you don’t have anyone around to help you endure Apocalypsegeddon, online play is available. There is only one lobby, and whoever your 2-3 other players may be, the game performs a randomized selection process. Therefore, you might end up with high leveled partners, who’ll steal the show rendering you useless. Or you might enlist lower or equal leveled players, which could have you revisit the same stages over and over until your gang finally overcomes that annoying swarm or boss. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if a teammate, or you, decides to abandon ship – emphasizing the point that fans shouldn’t have to settle with just taking what they can get.

Apocalysegeddon would be best described as a themed wrapping paper for covering up a humdrum package; falling short of a fan service pay off. Followers of the series may find themselves challenged in remembering why the show was worth setting aside a half hour block to enjoy. Rewatching the first season didn’t do much to motivate me in picking up the controller, but has thankfully helped me to begin the repressing of certain memories. If you love, or are curious about, Ugly Americans just watch the show. If you need a good sidescrolling shooter fix, an 8-bit snack should suffice to satisfy your palette.

1 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

Gentle persuasion

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