Kick Ass 2 Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

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Kick Ass 2 Review



Games that are based on big blockbuster movies have a reputation of disappointing their audiences in a number of ways. Most of the time the original franchise rushes a development team to complete a project, often leaving the title unfinished and comprised of immersion breaking bugs. This is an attempt to exploit the current popularity and fan base surrounding a film by using cheap and inexperienced developers to work on a basic game and charge a full release price. It can also be an effective way of marketing at the player’s expense. This strategy has been used for decades with no sign of slowing down so you can imagine my dread when I was handed a copy of the following title.

Kick Ass 2 is a beat ‘em up/ action adventure game developed by Freedom Factory and published by UIG entertainment. It shares the same storyline as the film but it’s obscure enough to achieve a different experience. The title is still loyal to the majority of major plot turns from the blockbuster whilst throwing many henchmen at you early to allow for boss battles. All the major characters are featured including Kick Ass, Hit Girl, Mother F**ker and Black Death.

My first complaint is the menu. The graphics are pleasant and easy on the eye yet simple aspects like implementing the opening few screens with mouse drivers were lazily untouched. This leaves players using the arrow keys and, for unknown reasons, the space bar to navigate the limited selections. To add insult to injury there was no performance options whatsoever, leaving players forced to use third party performance mods, which is completely unacceptable.

Effectively the game play consists of navigating labyrinth like alleyways and inner city streets whilst fending off roaming gangs of goths and criminals in order to reach your objective and fighting the inevitable bosses. This, in essence, is the entire game, which is unfortunate as there was at least a range of different locations for events to take place. Instead, the focus was on the disturbing lack of activities, forcing players through similar confrontations leading to identical outcomes. This, as you may imagine, gets tiring rather quickly.

As for side objectives, there weren’t. The notion of super heroes actually saving anyone is a fallacy in this game as the majority of your time is spent defending yourself from violent gangs who consistently hang around in alleyways you need to journey through. Adding activities like saving innocent people from charging thugs or removing cute cats out of trees would at least add some diversity to the mundane world.

The combat system is mediocre to say the least. Its lacks the free flowing strings of attack other beat ‘em ups offer and encourages a slow paced approach, making the rapid assault on multiple enemies almost impossible. It expects attacks to be timed in between a series of blocks and parries, allowing for these unconventional, timely endeavors to create most of the game play.

Combos consist of nothing more then a series of mouse clicks, alternating from left to right in order to achieve combos that eventually lead to unimpressive finishing moves. There are six combinations altogether; leaving an un-engaging and often boring list of moves you will view far to often.

The finishing moves are several-twisted arm and leg breaks as well as choke outs, which are extremely unconventional for our nerdy superhero. This appears unconvincing whilst viewing, drawing no similarity to the film. The character is not an anti-hero who tortures enemies but a young kid who has his morals intact enough to know when to stop.

For unknown reasons, Kick Ass carries round a taser that acts as a last resort against enemies. Once you have depleted enough health you can use the weapon on yourself to overload. This will then make you immune from enemy attacks for a short time whilst healing you. I question the relevance of such a device due to its absence in the film. Its effect is strange when the character has had no previous involvement with electricity and for a short time, our powerless hero gains an immunity, which is an actually superpower.

The voice acting is the worst thing about the game. It features several Spanish/ Mexican actors playing the roles of the supposing American characters. This immediately breaks immersion due to the off-putting conversation and mispronunciations frequently scattered throughout the game. This is made even worse by the countless swearing included in most of the cut scenes and repeated in fights, when your character can say little more then, ‘F**k you b*****ds, I’m just a kid.’ Please don’t misinterpret me. I care very little when expletives are used but the game became obnoxious and hard to listen to.

During cut scene conversations, there was a distinct lack of visual representation regarding talking. Characters stood rigid whilst discussing mission objectives without moving their mouths. Needless to say, this made these short scenes uncomfortable to watch.

Camera angles certainly left much to desired. For the majority of the game, the mouse controlled the camera but without adequate mouse acceleration, it made moving around incredibly strenuous echoing the trials of the combat system. It became even worse in confined alleyways and when fighting the camera struggled to perform any help, often hiding enemies off screen ready to attack when you least suspect.

There are many problems with Kick Ass 2 but I believe the fundamental mistake made was the severe lack of effort regarding movie inspiration. Outside of the storyline, everything was different including voice acting and character’s personalities, which will create a different experience for players who brought the game with the intention to re-live the film in an interactive way. Releasing a unique title using the Kick Ass alias is perfectly acceptable (with the rights of course) but to use the film’s graphics and story to demonstrate your own take on certain characters will only mislead and disappoint fans.


The game feels very rushed and certainly unfinished. Whether it is a fault with the developers, budget or the publishers, one thing is for certain. It is the audience who has to pay for this under whelming title with their disappointment and their wallets.