Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Asskickers

Review: The Asskickers

4:45 PM on 08.09.2011 // Steven Hansen

Any game bold enough to be titled The Asskickers -- which would have been an awesomely apt and uncomfortably juvenile name for Stallone’s ensemble action flick The Expendables -- better be able to back up its brash attitude with gameplay.

The Asskickers is an old-fashioned, side-scrolling beat 'em up, so you would think the name is fitting. Well, it's not. Unfortunately, the game, which presents itself as an homage to the forgotten genre, ends up being an incredibly frustrating experience that's inferior to the games it apes.

The Asskickers (PC [Reviewed], Mac)
Developer: AGO Games
Publisher: AGO Games
Released: June 30, 2011
MSRP: $4.99

The Asskickers purports to be tongue-in-cheek social commentary on today's economic climate, but the dialogue isn't clever and the writing isn't sharp -- perhaps something was lost in translation from the original French version. Accordingly, the negligible narrative comes off as a painfully amateur satire, though the art in the game does a little better job of attempting to get the game's message across.

The game is your typical beat 'em up. There are three characters to choose from, each tailored towards a different play type (speed, strength, balanced), environmental objects to break, weapons and health to pick up, and different enemies to fight. It is also repetitive and frustratingly difficult. I had to play through the game on easy because it's the only difficulty setting that lets you start from the beginning of each level, and I couldn't stomach playing through the game in one sitting. Besides, I probably wouldn't have been able to anyway.

The six stages are adequately varied, with respect to the background art, but that's about all the variety you're going to get. There are a number of expected enemy types, like "frat boys" who drive across the screen on a moped, but they aren't stage-specific. You will be fighting the same polo-wearing, golf club-wielding frat boys from the start of the game to construction sites and all sorts of odd places much later.

Much like the old-school games The Asskickers is modeled after, the enemies can be unbelievably cheap, sometimes pinning you down and draining huge chunks of your health with their moves. The AI also doesn't mind mirroring your abilities so that you can't get near them or running entirely off screen for a breather, leaving you to wait until they come back before you can progress. In the case of one particularly annoying enemy type, you're left waiting for them to revive their fallen comrades by making a call on a cell phone.

Most infuriating, however, is that the game is flat-out broken. Occasionally, your character will inexplicably be unable to grab items. For example, I managed to fight my way to a full health item with only a sliver of health left, only to find my character unable to pick it up. It's demoralizing. Further still, there was one instance when I was on a roll and had completed several stages (had a respectable score going, accordingly), then an enemy got himself stuck outside the level geometry where I couldn't hit him. I had to restart and lose all of my progress. Later in that same spot, I got knocked out of the level geometry and couldn't get back in! Again, I was forced to restart.

Even when the game works properly, the combat isn't very satisfying, due to limited animations and unsatisfying sound effects. If not for the enemies' health bars, it almost wouldn't feel like you were actually doing any sort of damage at all. In fact, little attention was paid to the game's audio as a whole, with there being but a handful of repetitive in-game tracks.

If I haven't dissuaded you yet because you're a glutton for buggy punishment or you wish to atone for some terrible misdeed, the game also has a Time Attack mode, where you try to "kick ass" as fast as you can, and a Survival mode, where swarms and swarms of enemies keep coming after you. To their credit, these modes actually bugged me less than the main story, perhaps because dying in them didn't mean I had to replay large sections of the game. There is also two-player co-op, assuming you have a number pad on your keyboard or a compatible gamepad of some kind, which does help with the difficulty curve somewhat.

The Asskickers does little to elevate itself over the antiquated genre it spawned from. The hand-drawn 2D art is nice, and the real-world caricatures that act as bosses after each stage might elicit a smirk, but the game is short, shallow, and unable to properly execute the simple, tried-and-true beat 'em up gameplay style, let alone advance it.



The Asskickers - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Painful - This game made me feel actively disgusted most of the time. Like a disease. It might not kill you, but anything is possible.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
The Asskickers

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -