|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Creat Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Multiplayer||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
That's really the best thing to be said about this game. Fans of the series will get the joke. Non-fans will be left heads scratching. Fortunately, I am more of a casual watcher of the show, so I sort-of get the jokes. But my job happens to be in videogames, and where the humor may serve fans of the series, the gameplay in Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am falls disastrously flat.
The game starts off in typical Aqua Teen fashion (it even has their trademark opening). Frylock asks Shake Master if he has any mail from an ultra-exclusive golf club. And lo and behold he does, and furthermore he has been invited to participate in the golf club's upcoming tournament, the Zombie Ninja Pro-Am. Of course Shake Master, being the jealous type, has to tag along with Frylock and participate in the tournament as well. Now what about Meatwad? Well, he's just there, as he often is.
From here you'll enter a tutorial mode where you'll learn the basics of golfing. The way you play is very similar to other well-established golf games. You have a bar on the bottom of the screen which you have to use to measure your backswing, and again to measure your speed. The golf mechanic works pretty well in the tutorial mode, which consists of breaking neighbor Carl's windows and hitting the golf balls into his pool.
Once you're finished practicing, then it's time to enter the big leagues. You enter into the Zombie Ninja Pro-Am as Shake, and you play as him throughout. I suppose Frylock stopped trying to win the argument. After some pretty amusing commentary from a generic golf commentator and a robot turkey, you're off to start golfing. One of the things you'll notice right off the bat is how the controls change from the training to the tournament. They seem a little tighter at the beginning, but now that you've got a wider scope, the flaws are a little more obvious.
Once you take the first swing, that's when the real meat of the game begins. Instead of just warping to where you hit the ball, you'll have to walk to it. And of course this wouldn't be so bad if you weren't being constantly attacked. After nearly every swing you take, you'll be attacked by all manner of creatures including (but most certainly not limited to): robotic birds, annoying cubes, orange squares, and even Carl's um crabs.
The combat system in this game has you taking control of either Frylock or Master Shake and using weapons and attacks unique to them. Frylock uses his eyebeams for more ranged attacks, and can get lightning bolt and targeted missile power-ups. Master Shake's attacks are melee-based, and he uses a golf club as his base weapon. Master Shake can also attack with a chainsaw, a sword, and even an electric guitar. The battle aspect of this game really plods on, and is a real annoyance when you're just trying to get through a hole. If it were only one or two battles in between swings, it would be okay, and maybe even funny, but it's almost as if the developers wanted to make a fighting game with a golf swing or two in between. Which results in an unbalanced and frustrating gameplay experience.