It’s funny how sometimes the word “mature” can really mean “immature.” Such is the case with Apocalypse: Party’s Over, an action beat-em’-up game that’s light on wit and heavy on sophomoric references. More specifically, penises. This game seems to think that the very idea of a penis is hilarious, so it throws as many at you as possible, in all kinds of different ways, usually lacking any kind of context. To commemorate and illustrate the experience, I wrote this little poem:
There are penis statues and penis hats,
Penis emblems, coins, and staffs,
The penis building stands tall and proud,
While penis shaped guns shoot bright and loud
The menu shows penises made out of gold,
By the end of the game, it sure starts to get old.
The same level of “humor” persists throughout the game, always lacking subtlety or nuance. There’s a mall in the game called the “Butthole Mall.” It’s not a double entendre, misunderstanding, or anything else that could be construed as a joke. It’s just a crudely named mall, no more or less clever than giving vulgar names to your RPG characters.
It’s a shame that the presentation takes away from what is otherwise a pretty solid game. There are three distinct characters to choose from, all of which can be leveled up and upgraded with more powerful weapons. Each character has their own list of attacks to use, as well as a screen-clearing special attack that must be charged through combat. Items such as temporary weapons and health powerups can be found scattered throughout the levels, and can also be purchased at an in-game store.
The levels and enemies are nicely varied, with locations taking you from cosplay conventions, to dance clubs, to government headquarters.These areas are vividly colored with distinct backdrops and level mechanics. While the game is mostly a beat-’em-up, there are also sections where you have to ride around on a skateboard dodging incoming obstacles. The game is rounded out by local co-op, which is also a lot of fun. Everything functions pretty well, and there are distinct boss fights throughout, each of which provides a pretty tough challenge.
The graphics are bright and pleasing to the eye, with a distinct style and lots of variety. There are plenty of enemy types to meet and fight, each of which behaves and animates differently. There’s a lot to like about Apocalypse: Party’s Over, and at times, I genuinely enjoyed playing it.
But it always comes back to the humor and presentation, and the sound design is a constant reminder of Apocalypse’s immaturity. While the battle effects are okay, the repeating sounds of farts and screams get old fast, while the music is muted, indistinct, and barely noticeable.
Finally, the voice acting is horrendous, partially due to the awkward and seemingly poorly translated dialogue. Like the rest of the game, the dialogue attempts to be humorous, but it feels like watching a class presentation by that one kid who thinks he’s funny.
In a few cases though, the issues go beyond humor. As an example, take this quote, which is said by a boss character as you enter her office:
“I am the Presidyke, corrupt and gaylike.”
Yep. That’s a thing, and there’s nothing to indicate that it’s satire or some other kind of meta-humor. It’s possible that the in-game president could be a reference to the actual Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, who was recently impeached for corruption. But does topical relevance make the quote any more excusable?
As a reviewer, I’m not interested in discussing right and wrong, or in pushing any specific set of beliefs. There are too many people who do that already. But objectively speaking, quotes that couple homosexuality and corruption are going to offend a lot of people, and are far from socially acceptable. Some people might find that refreshing, and that’s for the individual to decide. Either way, potential gamers have a right to know what they’re getting into before they purchase a game. This specific type of content isn’t extremely common in Apocalypse: Party’s Over, but it’s there.
It’s impossible to separate the gameplay of Apocalypse: Party’s Over from its humor and presentation. From a strict gameplay standpoint, it’s a fun game, and at only $4.99, its value is impressive. There’s enough high quality content to easily justify the purchase, but that’s only if you can get beyond the rest of it. The awful, juvenile humor feels like putting vinegar on a strawberry. But hey, we all have different tastes.