One moment Midway claim that Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am won’t be released in the UK due to being of limited appeal, then the next thing we know there’s a copy coming through our letterbox completely without warning. And there was us stupidly thinking that publishers love getting press coverage for their games.
The cult cartoon is notorious for being completely random and this budget priced tie-in follows suit. It’s primarily a golf game, but while travelling to where the ball landed you have to fight off walking trees, mutated chocolate brownies, robot hens and other oddities. There are racing sections too, featuring golf caddy carts, in which you can pick up speed boosts and homing missiles. It’s an odd mixture of genres to be sure, but at least the developers have tried to do something less predictable than a standard 3D platformer.
Master Shake – the selfish and sexually confused giant milkshake – is the only one that can play golf, on account that he’s the only one with hands. He specialises in close range attacks using with his golf clubs, swords, a chainsaw and similar weapons, whereas Frylock – a hovering carton of French fries – can spew fireballs and lightening from his eyeballs. The easily fooled Meatwad isn’t a playable character but can be summoned as a decoy, while various other characters appear as “bosses”. 2D pixel aliens Mooninites put moving barriers around the hole to hamper your chances, for instance
The golfing stuff is rudimentary – there’s the standard swing power bar, as seen in every golf game in the last ten years – plus a range of clubs and some power-ups that make the ball go further and such. The cart racing isn’t bad either, but a tad basic. What really drags the whole thing down is the combat which is tedious to the extreme. The two characters move slowly and the amount of skill required is almost zero: just stand in front of an enemy while hammering the X button. The shield takes too long to appear around either character to be of any actual use and after a while we gave up using Master Shake and just sat back and took out enemies from afar using Frylock’s projectiles.
Furthermore, occasionally before you take a shot at the ball you have to kill all the enemies in the area, but they don’t actually appear until you walk over their invisible spawning point, so you often find yourself walking around aimlessly. A counter showing how many enemies are left to kill in an area would have been a huge help. Remember: these are dull golf courses you have to traverse; not interesting sprawling interactive environments. Perhaps it’s a good thing that all nine holes and three races can be cleared in around four hours.
Fans of the show will get a kick out of the cameos and the four full episodes which are available right from the start, one of which has never been shown on TV, but for everybody else the whole “joke” of the game being so random and pointless will be lost.