Having never played the original release of Kick-Ass The Game last April, I had the opportunity to check out a new and improved version that arrived via a 1.5+ GB patch. The patch not only addresses some AI balance issues, sound problems, and glitched trophies, but gives owners of the original release a reason to come back with a new Frank’s Night Club mission, a Red Mist boss fight, and some new moves and attacks for each playable character. As with any game, it is always nice to see developers and publishers take the time to make their game the best it can be, and this newly revamped version of a game, originally released with a few bugs alongside its related movie launch in theaters, is no exception.
Kick-Ass is a beat-em-up style game in a third person perspective. You have full 360-degree control over the sometimes quirky camera, that on occasion can completely block your point of view if you move it to a certain location on a few levels. This doesn’t break the game, but can prove to be annoying if you’re surrounded by a number of enemies. Besides the camera, the controls actually fit well with the action happening on screen. You get the standard jump, low/strong attack, dash, and special attack moves for each of the three playable characters. The special moves are activated by first holding down the right trigger and pressing one of the assigned face buttons. With the variety of attacks and combinations you can use to fight the enemies and bosses in the game, there a number of ways you can take down your foes, making every gamer’s experience just a little different.
Having such a varied attack approach, depending on how you want to play and which character you’re controlling, the gameplay never really gets dull. The game has several missions on your way to locating the big boss, unlocking each mission as you complete it. Once finished, every mission can be replayed to find the collectible comic book pieces, or work towards improving your chosen character’s attributes. As you play through the game, you earn experience for defeated enemies, leveling up at a steady pace and also earning points to spend on defense, attack strength, or special power abilities.
The graphics have a hint of cell-shading, though the level of detail in each on-screen character really brings out the comic book style, on which the game is based. Background elements, such as fires, look good, while the character animations are fluid and really bring the characters to animated life. In between missions, you get to watch a live action clip of the movie, or are treated to comic book style pages with bubble quotes. In the majority of the missions, you have the option to skip any screen from further telling the small story in the game if you’re simply not interested and want to get back to the action. A lot of the voice-acting uses actual clips from the movie, but can sometimes feel like they are just slapping a new skin on a game that could be based on any action movie.
Unfortunately, there is no online component, making the game limited to local co-op, so you’re stuck playing with a friend and a second controller on the same PS3. Even with that restriction, it still has some replay value with three total characters available for playing through the game. Once you complete the game on normal difficulty, an extreme mode is available that will challenge you to your wits end. Also, you’ll want to stick around for the game’s ending credits, as you’ll have some more work to do.
Overall, I had lots of fun playing through this game, and welcome any games like these that keep everything simple. The default difficulty doesn’t provide too much of a challenge, and is accessible to most gamers. Usually, movie tie-in games are just thrown together for a film’s release, but when the developer/publisher takes the time to improve an already glitchy title, I almost feel the need to shell out a few dollars, just to support the makers of the game. With the price of Kick-Ass at a low budget price, it’s hard to say no to purchasing this game.
*WHA Entertainment provided SlimGamer.com with a promo code for a review copy.