The Asskickers Review

The Asskickers

Originality is always welcome in video games, but sometimes paying homage can be just as effective. The Asskickers tries to follow that formula for the beat-’em up genre and falls short. The premise and attempts at humor provide some enjoyment, but there’s no getting over the mediocre gameplay.

The Asskickers takes place in the “near future,” and the world is being run by the United Nations Council and giant corporations. Eventually you’ll be traveling across America in an attempt to fight these higher-ups. The basic plot is ridiculous, but it seems like some kind of political satire. In this regard it’s occasionally effective, as there are some funny moments. The humor may be tongue-in-cheek, or it could just be so awful that it’s amusing. Either way, it actually works in the game’s favor.

Beyond The Asskickers‘ story, there isn’t too much to get excited about. You start off by choosing one of three different characters, each with their own attributes such as strength and speed. From that point on it’s ass-kicking time. Unfortunately this isn’t very much fun due to the game’s high difficulty and clunky mechanics. The difficulty wouldn’t be a problem if the game weren’t so unforgiving with its hit detection. As with pretty much any beat-’em up title, you have to move up and down to get on the same plane as an enemy. A lot of games are lenient when it comes to this, but The Asskickers makes you line up perfectly. When you actually do land some punches, it doesn’t feel very satisfying. There is a combo system in place, but it essentially boils down to getting lucky while mashing keys. In addition, the special attacks aren’t useful even though they’re easy to pull off. Other beat-’em up staples are present, such as weapons and items. It seems like all the ingredients for a successful game are there, there’s just a detrimental lack of execution.

Also worth noting is an incredibly annoying bug that prevents you from advancing in the game. When you get to the end of an area and defeat all enemies on screen, you’re supposed to move on to the next level. Sometimes this isn’t the case though, and you’re forced to restart the entire level because the game doesn’t feature a quick-save option. When this happens three or four times in a row it becomes infuriating.


The Asskickers‘ campaign is very short, but there is a survival mode, time attack mode, and co-op support as well. The game becomes a lot easier to manage when you have a friend playing with you, and you can also pull off some decent team attacks. It doesn’t completely mask the disappointing gameplay, but the enjoyment factor goes up a little bit.

Visually the game does a solid job of presenting good-looking characters and environments. It seems reminiscent of an older game you might find on the Genesis, but with higher resolution graphics. The one downside is the uninspired character design, which features generic security guards and guys in polo t-shirts. In addition, there is a lack of variety when it comes to enemies, so you’ll see the same faces quite often. As for the audio, there’s nothing noteworthy. The music and sound effects aren’t egregiously bad, merely forgettable.

People still love playing beat-’em up games — just look at Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The team behind The Asskickers recognized this, but failed to execute on every level. The story and visuals are decent, but the core gameplay that makes or breaks this kind of game is the biggest negative. With that being the case, it’s hard to recommend The Asskickers to anyone but hardcore beat-’em up fans that may be curious.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.