hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Asskickers

Review: The Asskickers

4:45 PM on 08.09.2011 // Steven Hansen
  @dtoidsteven

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 VERDICT

2.5

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 moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Also I will be reviewing freedom wars. I didnt make it to the end. I will not be kind to it. There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Yeah....been there before.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Grim Fandango......some real good sruff here. As soon as I complete it (vita version, of course) will probably see about a write up. Not perfect, but theres some good stuff here. Glad it got brought back from obsolescence hell.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
*sigh* If only Disqus had a "block/ignore user" option :/
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Must. Use. This. Blog. More. But. School.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just started playing Hyrule Warriors again. Man is that game fun. A bit mindless at times granted, but fun nonetheless.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/6Cu2Asg.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/qMFDAw3.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/RPUraY8.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV Pro Tip: Turn your brightness down to 0. It actually makes the view distance for the guards correct, and doesn't make nighttime the best option for you every single time. When guards shoot flares in the sky, the lighting looks like Dragon's Dogma.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Asskickers


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

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 -