Review – Kick-Ass: The Game
Developer: Frozen Codebase
Publisher: WHA Entertainment
Release Date: April 29, 2010
Players: 1-2 (Local)
What I Liked:
- Hidden Covers and Unlockable Comic
- Movie clips
What I Disliked:
- Repetitive environments
- Poor voice acting
- Framerate/Camera issues
I saw Kick-Ass last week in the theater. As a fan of the comic book, I enjoyed it (not sure if my date dug the ultra-violence though). I was pretty stoked to get to play this so quickly after seeing the flick. The game greets you with what might be the films funniest scene, the intro video with the guy jumping off the building. Unfortunately, after seeing the crisp and funny scene from the movie, Kick-Ass The Game pulls a bait and switch and you’re greeted with a cut and paste title screen with lame music. This was but a sign of things to come…
Upon starting your adventure, you can choose from three characters: Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, and Big Daddy. Each has a heavy and weak attack, along three abilities. Abilities range from a flurry of gunfire to a rage mode. I found it very similar to a bare bones version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance. There is a level up system that allows you to throw points gained into defense, attack, and ability categories. The game has local co-op in case you want to tackle the game with a pal. Local co-op seems to be dying out lately, so I was glad to see it included. I always liked tackling the Ultimate Alliance games with a buddy, but Kick-Ass suffers from some pretty bad frame rate issues when you’re partnered up. I also had a few problems where the camera angles would really mess with me. When my roommate got sick of dying in the junkyard I pressed on alone for the remainder of the game. After playing though the levels as they chugged in 2 player, I found the game to be a lot faster paced and fluid comparatively. So you get the local co-op… but it’s clunky like a brick.
Graphics consist of a cell shaded style. They aren’t very sharp, and have a tendency of leading animation to look clumsy at times. This is especially prevalent in execution close-ups. In between levels, you’re treated to either a scene from the movie or stills from the original comic books. I liked this approach to telling the story. Level locales follow the movie closely, but are the same old warehouses and streets aren’t very captivating. Many set pieces are reused, and I found myself getting a lot of déjà-vu, which shouldn’t happen in a game consisting of only 9 levels.
Music gets old pretty fast. I got a kick out the “tra la la” song from the flick during the first boss fight, but after that, the effect overstayed its welcome (especially if you died numerous times fighting the boss). Moving on to voice acting, it can get pretty cringe worthy. Only Hit Girl really sounds authentic, but that’s the least of the problem. At some points they’d try and use general catchphrases and dialogue to make the characters have a slight conversation with each other. This results in a disconnected, sloppy, and downright lazy effect you might see in a downvoted ytmnd.
Red Mist: Red Mist…rocks.
Kick-Ass: I’m Kick-ASS!
Hit Girl: Sweet!
I would have preferred straight up boring textboxes to what was given.
There are some extras added to the game to try and keep you there. In each level there are hidden comic book covers. If you collect each one, you get to unlock the entire first issue of the comic book. I thought this was an interesting feature, as Kick-Ass is one of my favorite books. Once you beat the game you unlock extreme and arena mode. Extreme ups the difficulty which puts a strain on my patience. The game gets stale enough when you only have two moves, let alone if it takes you twice as long to kill a single bad guy. Arena is your typical survive wave after wave affair.
I love the beat’em up genre, but I’m telling you, before you drop the 15 bones on this one, just know what you’re signing up for. It isn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had, but I think Kick-Ass deserved a lot better.