Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am Review

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am Publisher: Midway
Developer: Creat Studios

Platform: PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

Frylock, the gigantic, floating helping of fast-food fries with a Van Dyck, a jewel in his back and the ability to destroy things with his eyes, has been admitted to Jersey Pines, South Jersey's most prestigious urban golf course. Frlyock, together with Master Shake and Meatwad, use that as the flimsiest of excuses to golf, race and battle their way across Jersey Pines.

Kyle Ackerman

Whether you love Aqua Teen Hunger Force or just positively loathe New Jersey, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am has something for you. Sadly, that something isn't much of a game. As games go, even on a last-generation console, Zombie Ninja Pro-Am is a poor excuse for a game and a waste of a PlayStation 2 disc. What makes Zombie Ninja Pro-Am a must-buy for an extremely tiny fraction of humanity is all the extra Aqua Teen Hunger Force material that you won't get anywhere else. Sadly, the game itself is so bad it's akin to purchasing a DVD where you have to clean the bathroom to unlock the DVD extras.

Because They Can

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-AmFor those who don't know, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is an unbelievably bizarre animated series that features talking fast food living in a surly New Jersey suburb, who have encounters that can generously be described as nonsensical. It's surreal and confusing at the worst of times and absolutely hysterical at its best. The game disc includes three of the best episodes to bring players up to speed on critical Aqua Teen Hunger Force lore including the Mooninites, Carl, and the diabolical Broodwich (a sandwich of unspeakable evil, despite its lack of bacon).

Zombie Ninja Pro-Am is glorious when it comes to fan service. I got to break Carl's windows, use the Foreigner Belt and unlock new clips with cameos from a dozen Aqua Teen Hunger Force characters. The "plot" was written by David Willis and Matt Maiellard, who also did all the familiar voices. The main reason for playing is to see all the cut-scenes that surround the little play that Zombie Ninja Pro-Am offers. Start up the game and you get the Aqua Teen Hunger Force intro, and plenty of video throughout the game. It's just that the play between video clips sucks.

Something That Passes For Golf

The game itself includes nine golf holes (one of which is a tutorial) and three cart-racing levels. Each golf hole plays like an ordinary console golf game, but with simplistic physics, glitch controls and low-grade graphics. Between shots, you actually have to walk to where your ball lies and fight enemies with a painfully simplistic, beat-'em-'up style of play.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-AmMostly, I had to mash "X" and pick up the occasional health boost. There are lots of power-ups to speed this along and while worth a chuckle when reading the manual, they don't change-up play much. You fight enemies ranging from the crabs that Carl picked up on a trip to Chinatown, to animated trees reading Carl's pornography, to wrench aliens. The combat is awful and feels like it was included just to make the game take longer. At the end of each golf hole there is either a boss battle or a simplistic puzzle, none of which are interesting enough to make me feel like the time I invested in the game was worthwhile.

There are also golf cart races that are simple kart races around checkpoints on the golf course. The golf was poorly executed, but it feels like even less effort went into making the kart races interesting. They're really just another placeholder to take up time between video clips. As with the golf segments, the kart races are glitchy and only difficult to play when you're struggling against the poorly tuned controls.

The best justification for playing the levels at all is that each level (golf or kart race) has a hidden icon that will unlock cameo clips and a portion of the Broodwich. Fortunately, these aren't remotely difficult to find. Sadly, I never got to see what happens when you locate all the scattered fragments of the Broodwich, as I couldn't get past the eighth level – I kept falling through the level geometry, making the game impossible to finish. Fortunately, it didn't take me long to get that far.

The Best Part of the Game is Not Playing

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-AmI was impressed by the menus. The menus would have been more welcome on a DVD than with this game, but are done in the style of the Atari 2600 games Meatwad is always playing, if slightly updated and stylized. Together with the loading screens, the menus and user interface were a great touch.

Even at the game's $30 price, as a game, Zombie Ninja Pro-Am can generously be described as crap. This would be an easier product to recommend if it were simply a non-interactive DVD. Sadly, even die-hard fans will have to think hard about this purchase, because of the amount of painful effort that goes into viewing and unlocking the glorious Aqua Teen Hunger Force video clips.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on December 3, 2007 9:48 PM.

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