Tag Archive: demons

Originally Published: August 30, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

Publisher: 345 Games
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Platforms: XBLA, PSN

Release: 08.30.11

Players: Single Player, 2-4-player local and online co-op

ESRB Rating: M – Mature

The Good: Fans of the show will be laughing from the opening cut scene to the end credits
The Bad: Camera angle makes aiming difficult, game play can be repetitive
The Ugly: Huge steaming piles of manbird droppings

Based on Comedy Central’s hit TV show, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is an original adventure featuring all your favorite characters from the cartoon. You choose to play as series protagonist Mark Lilly, his girlfriend Callie Maggotbone, bumbling wizard Leonard Powers, or the D.O.I.’s top cop, Frank Grimes. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, but the game features an RPG leveling-up system that can help balance them all out or really stress those advantages depending on your play style. After making your character decision, you’ll grab yourself a BSU 2000 (Blow Sh*t Up 2000, Frank’s newest toy that allows you to stick whatever isn’t bolted down into the chamber and fire it as a projectile) and start getting down to the bottom of all the trouble in New York City.

The first thing you’ll immediately notice is the game went with a less traditional side-scrolling view instead of the ceiling down view seen in most other dual joystick arcade style shooters. This was meant to try to give the gamer more of a sense as if they were watching an episode of the TV show, but it is a little difficult to get used to at first, especially in terms of aiming your BSU 2000 at the various manbirds, zombies, and demons you’ll come across. Some items have a spray effect where the aiming difficulty doesn’t seem as obvious, but with a lot of other projectiles, like the boomeranging hammer or arcing crystal ball, misjudging the aim can get tedious fast.

The game does do a lot of things right though, especially in the presentation. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love the fact that all the voice actors reprise their roles in the game and there is more than 20 minutes of original animation and dialogue in cut scenes, meaning that the game is just dripping with the humor that makes the show itself great and has enough animation for a stand alone episode by itself. The best part probably comes from being able to play the game with friends locally or online though as it helps to break up the redundancy that is typical of most arcade shooters.

All in all, the question you have to ask yourself is ‘are a fan of the show or not’. If so, the writing and animation will outshine the minor game play annoyances and is definitely worth your $10. If not, you may want to avoid this as knowing the show seems critical to your overall enjoyment of the game.

Score: 7.5

Teen Titans #94 Review

Originally Published: April 20, 2011, on Comicvine.com

With new team member Solstice in tow, the Teen Titans look to familiarize themselves with a whole new set of demonic forces that for once have nothing to do with Raven and her daddy Trigon. Can they brush up on their Indian mythology enough in time to rescue Wonder Girl and Solstice’s parents though?

The Good

A lot of fast paced action throughout the comic helps set up some ominous undertones revolving around these new foes of the Teen Titans. Couple this with some good internal monologues from Raven and Red Robin and you can get a good feel of what the team’s overall psyche is right now. In flux, uncertain, and uncomfortable for a variety of reasons with one another, the Teen Titans are fighting inner demons as much as those from Indian mythology.

The Bad

It’s another magic based storyline for the Teen Titans. I understand that with Wonder Girl, Raven, and now Solstice on the team with such little being known about her, that magical and mythological creatures make for the most logical and frequent of foes, but it gets tiresome. I don’t want or need a mythology lesson every time I crack open a Teen Titans comic. Maybe instead of trying to introduce a horde of new villains into the Bat-Family comics, DC should look to flesh out and diversify other rogue galleries instead, like those of the Teen Titans.

The Verdict

This issue of Teen Titans gives you exactly what you would expect from the comic if you’ve been reading it to this point or even if you’re just roughly familiar with the series because it’s the same almost all the time. A good balance of character and plot development tempered with some action due to an unknown demonic force rearing its head and requiring the strength of everyone involved to overcome. Therefore, they must put aside the hints of internal team strife that are constantly simmering just below the surface due to a bevy of conflicting personalities. Everyone comes together in the end to save the day. Mix well with new characters occasionally and serve for $2.99.

For the most part, Teen Titans has become predictable and formulaic, aside from the one arc involving the Clock King a while back, which I particularly enjoyed because it broke so far away from the norm. Not to say it doesn’t deliver well on this formula it has come up with, but it would be nice to see something different from them once in a while. Of course, this also makes it easy to jump into if you know anything about the characters involved, but fans that have been reading this consistently deserve something new and exciting from this comic and they’re definitely not getting it this issue.

Originally Published: January 11, 2011, on youtube.com/cgrundertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, an exclusive for the Xbox Live Arcade from Konami.