Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon ReviewSeptember 2, 2011
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon, developed by 345 Studios, is a fun dual analog shooter, based on Comedy Central’s hit show Ugly Americans. It manages to keep the show’s humor intact while adding fun, frenetic four player gameplay to the mix.
In Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon, you play as four of the characters from the show, Callie Maggotbone, Mark Lilly, drunken wizard Leonard Powers, and Frank Grimes, an officer. All the characters start out with certain strengths and weaknesses, but everyone can grind and level up, similar to last year’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. There are a couple of other factors, such as projectile choice and babies which you can carry around, which grant you different powers as you fight the likes of demons, man-birds, and zombies.
The graphics in Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon are pretty nice for a downloadable title. The simplistic, cartoon style reminded me quite a bit of the old Simpsons arcade game (which they need to bring back as a PSN/ XBLA downloadable title already! C’mon, X-Men managed it!) The framerate is generally pretty high, even when a lot of enemies start swarming. I also enjoyed the animated cutscenes which are peppered throughout the game, although they seemed a bit cheaply made, as no mouths moved during dialogue, and other animations were limited. The sound is ok, as far as the voice acting and sound effects, however certain enemies get annoying quick, such as the man-birds. The first time they yell, “Suck my balls!”, I laughed, but after the 15th time hearing it in that level it lost its humor. The voice snippets simply loop too often.
The dual analog controls work well for what Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is trying to accomplish. The multiple projectiles all work differently enough, and some are much more useful than others. Each character has a special attack which can destroy some of the enemies around them (or in the case of Callie, who has the best power, everyone on screen). Certain characters seem unbalanced, however; Leonard seems to be the weakest, as well as the slowest, with the weakest special attack as well. Good luck trying to get through a few single player rounds with just Leonard as I attempted. However, you can always play local 4 player co-op if you have 3 friends around, and to be honest it’s a blessing that online was included, considering that Scott Pilgrim inexplicably shipped without it.
Which brings me to my next point: Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is extremely difficult, unless you have 3 leveled-up friends playing alongside you. As stated before, you can grind and level up, but the game seldom churns out level up points, which almost seems to be done to pad out the game’s length and replay value. I also had a lot of connection issues, as well as trouble finding other players. Hopefully this will sort itself out through patches in the coming weeks.
However, when you do get a good round going with 4 players, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon can be a lot of fun, and brings back fond memories of arcade classics such as The Simpsons, Golden Axe, X-Men and Streets of Rage. With the dual analog shooting, it also reminds me a lot of Dead Nation. Just don’t expect a whole lot of replay value. All things considered, this is a fun game to play online with your buddies, and a solid purchase if you’re a fan of the genre.