Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro Am is none of the following things:
It is, however, very interesting. Not interesting in its badness, like The Graveyard, or interesting for a few fantastic design flaws amidst a flood of horrendous ones, like Mirror's Edge. It is interesting because it is so unabashedly, unashamedly awful, despite being an almost direct ripoff of Ninja Golf, one of the coolest Atari games ever.
I'm not 100% sure where I'm going with this, but feel free to hit the jump for more of it.
Frylock gets an invite to a New Jersey golf course.
It's basically just a setup for wacky cameos and fun, non sequitur Aqua Teen Hunger Force jokes, which would be awesome if the game were even remotely funny. I'm a huge Aqua Teen fan, but even I was only a few inches away from snapping the disc in half after the fiftieth time Frylock says, "Wipe that blood off your clubs, boys -- it's time to golf." He says that line literally every single time you tee up. In a golf game. That would be like hearing Andy Dick scream at the top of his lungs everytime you reload in Gears of War.
Though it's kind of cute to meet Carl and the Mooninites on the green, there are surprisingly few laughs to be found for a game based on one of the most surreally hilarious cartoons ever.
So, Ninja Golf. I can't say anything about it that the folks at I-Mockery haven't already said, save for the fact that Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro Am is an almost exact 3D remake/ripoff of it. With the exception of some almost-interesting golf puzzles (once you make it to the green, that level's enemy will put up obstacles you'll have to putt around) and some horrendous racing levels, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro Am is an almost mechanic-for-mechanic remake of Ninja Golf.
You hit the ball and, in lieu of a golf cart, are forced to trek across the course to get it. On your way there, you'll be attacked by any number of Aqua Teen enemies: trees, brownie monsters, Carl's crabs, and the like. Once you get to the next ball, you hit it again, and the process repeats itself. Where Ninja Golf is concerned, this is a really great, really unusual game structure; who would have thought that golf and fighting would make for such an unusually satisfying combination?
Zombie Ninja Pro Am manages to screw up the formula with repetitive, button-mashing combat, too-large levels, and no real boss fights to speak of (at least in the third of the game I played -- after the third course, maybe it turns into Ikaruga or something). In this respect, the Aqua Teen game is interesting in two ways: firstly, that it would choose to directly rip off such an obscure, unusual Atari game, and secondly, that it would be unquestionably worse than its twenty year old predecessor.
If anything, Zombie Ninja Pro Am (which includes neither zombies nor ninjas) just makes me want to play Ninja Golf again, and see a 3D version of the game done right. Incidentally, Zombie Ninja Pro Am wouldn't be all that bad if it were a free, downloadable game, but the idea of paying money for it is pretty ludicrous.
Why you're probably not playing it:
BECAUSE IT'S BAD.
What's Up? Our panel at PAX Prime 2014, Far Cry 4, Destiny Beta, Vietnam & a ferret
8:00 PM on 07.25.2014