Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am isn’t a good video game. Owning every DVD release of the show, I’d definitely consider myself a fan of the show’s vulgar and very odd humor. And that humor is present in Zombie Ninja Pro-Am, but practically every aspect of the gameplay is pitiful.
Developed by Creat Studios and published by Midway in 2007 for the PlayStation 2, Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am blends golfing, beat ‘em up gameplay, and kart racing for a madcap combination of genres.
Of the twelve stages in the game, nine of them were centered on golfing. As Master Shake I’d play a hole of golf, beginning by teeing off and then fighting my way to the ball’s location. When it was time to tee off, a meter appeared on the bottom of the screen. After hitting the X button, a bar would move to the left in the meter, representing the strength I was putting into my swing; after pressing X again, the bar would return to the right of the meter. At this point I had to press the X button a third time, timing it just right to try and get a straight flying shot.
This method for golfing is commonly used in other golfing video games, but it didn’t seem totally accurate in Zombie Ninja Pro-Am. When I maxed out the power portion of the meter, even if I had near-perfect accuracy, my ball would fly to the left or right far more than it should have. I did have to take wind into account, but I never thought it was bad enough to affect my ball too much.
The holes I played through represented the dystopian atmosphere present in the TV show. They were run down and contained all sorts of death traps and odd backdrops. From the nuclear waste filled courses of New Jersey, to the Moon and even Hell. And they were all populated by enemies to fight off.
After striking the golf ball, I had to walk to it, fighting my way through hordes of enemies and finding pickups along the way. During this portion of the game I controlled either Master Shake or Frylock from the third-person perspective. I could switch between them on the fly and utilized both of their fighting abilities based on my enemies.
Playing as Master Shake I swung his golf clubs, guitar, or whatever eclectic pickup I found. Playing as him I mashed the attack button, hacking and slashing my way through enemies. I never felt like I really connected with the enemies, and the hit detection wasn’t that great.
If I played as Frylock, I instead dealt with enemies at a distance, shooting fireballs, lightning, or missiles out of Frylock’s eyes. Playing as Frylock, a lock-on box would appear on the enemies, letting me know that my attacks would connect. But Frylock’s attacks were slow, and sometimes after an enemy had died, his attacks would still target the nonexistent enemy.
Fighting to the golf ball was a chore. There were a lot of enemies that spawned between me and the ball, and the combat wasn’t fun. Most of the enemies took more than one hit to die, and it was easy to get surrounded if I didn’t deal with them right away. There were many pickups to find on my trek to the ball. Many were Enchiladitos, restoring my health, with many being more weapon pickups, and less often mulligans and pickups aiding in my golfing.
The final genre Zombie Ninja Pro-Am tackled was kart racing. At three points in the game, the frat aliens D.P. (his dad owns a dealership) and Skeeter would challenge Master Shake to a race. Boarding their run down golf cart, the gang raced the frat aliens around a few holes in the game. During these sections we did three laps around the hole, hitting checkpoints along the way, and trying to get speed boosts and bazooka pickups. The golf cart’s handling was a little floaty, but I was able to conquer these sections on my first attempt. In fact they’re probably the best gameplay portions of the game.
The game’s twelve stages went by at a fast clip; I completed the game in two or three sessions. The golfing portion of the game was competent enough to get by, but I always questioned why my ball landed where it did. And full disclosure, I never made par, at best I made bogey with the assistance of mulligans. The combat was easily the worst part of the game. I only died a few times during these sections, but they weren’t fun. And finally the kart racing; I looked forward to these sections because I knew they’d be short and get me to the end of the game a little quicker.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am was a very poor game that just so happened to be based around one of my favorite TV shows. The game played out like an episode of the show and was just as funny. In each stage there was a popular character from the TV show, putting a smile on my face with the ridiculous cutscenes, but the gameplay wasn’t fun. It’s recommendable only for those who are ate up with the TV show, and it’s pretty cheap anymore; I picked up a new copy for fewer than ten dollars.