Alan Smithee

Agent Moo Maximum Overdeath – Review

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One of MediaWhoreNetwork’s good buddies, Ben Bovine(aka Agent Moo) has been creating games for the better part of this century and a few weeks ago, was lucky enough to have his own creation Agent Moo Maximum Overdeath, which from this point on we’ll be referring to as AMMO, put on the Xbox Live Community Games roster.

First off, I have to be completely honest here. The game has a whole bunch of inside jokes that will be completely glossed over by the gaming community neophyte unless there is somebody like me or Moo around to explain. For instance, everytime you hear a pistol shoot, it makes a ‘pew pew’ sound that is obviously someone saying ‘pew’ into a microphone…not a gunshot register like you’d expect.

With that being said, let me get into the real meat of the game.

The game is a side-scrolling shooter that plays much like a platformer…but with guns. I know that doesn’t make much sense so let me clarify. Your character, much like how it would be in an FPS, is controlled with both analog sticks. Biggest difference is that this isn’t an FPS, I wouldn’t even go as far to say that this is a 3rd person shooter either, it’s best described as a shmup cleverly combined with the same elements you’d see in a FPS.

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I think I just broke my brain trying to describe what could be considered a side-scrolling shooter, yeah let’s go with that, it’s an SSS.

You start each level off with a full bar of health, a pistol, and a sack of oranges (your melee weapon). From here it is your sole duty to get a higher score than everyone else in the game. Score is accumulated through the slaying of your fellow competitors or bots when playing the free-for-all or team-deathmatch modes, getting damaged by your own vehicle in the ghost-ride-the-whip, or through surviving the hippie infestation in the ‘Hippietitis’ mode.

I did check out all 4 game types and I did enjoy all of them, however for the purposes of writing this review, I spendt the majority of my time playing mostly free-for-all. I’m not kidding when I say that I spent about 2.5 hours on my first playthrough of this game just dicking around with all the weapon types, vehicles, and learning all of the weapon spawning points.

The gameplay is fun, and can get hectic when you start adding more and more players into the mix, just imagine all of the players congregating into one area of the map all with their guns going ‘pew pew pew’, it’s pretty fucking hilarious. Ben also managed to add in a variety of vehicles from the Pimplepig (think Halo’s Warthog) to the helicopter which takes an inordinate amount of time to master.

The controls for the game are simple, you use the left analog to get around, while the right stick is used to control your character’s aiming arm (patent pending). It’s all pretty much the standard faire when it comes to dethmatches…so that’s all you’re going to get as far as controls go. They work well compared to 99% of the other community games out there, which is saying a lot.

The graphics, are simplistic and the textures used for the level maps are as well, but the game isn’t about how pretty it looks, its the amount of fun that can be had with all of your online buddies by clobbering the shit outta each other with the sack o’ oranges. The characters are varied from the crew at Cheap Ass Gamer to Destructoid and a few of Ben’s buddies and his own creation Agent Moo.

There is so much in this game to enjoy for the un-lofty price tag that comes with it. For $3 (240 MSP) you get a game that has multiple selectable characters, built in achievements (not real achievements mind you, but game specific ones), a fully functioning portal gun that actually has the proper physics worked out, and the best part in my opinion, perks. That’s right when you level up in the game enough, you unlock perks that give you a leg-up on the competition when you start the round or every subsequent time you spawn.

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I would be remiss if I made it through this entire review without touching on the soundtrack. The music for the game is from one of the more awesome people that I met at PAX this year, Guitar Atomik who is modern day renaissance man. He provides delicious chip tune music for the backdrop to the chaos that is Agent Moo: Maximum Overdeath.

Is AMMO for everyone? Absolutely not. Did I enjoy this game more than some other people who aren’t in on the jokes? You bet your ass I did. Would I recommend this game to my friends? Without a doubt. For $3 you just can’t go wrong. I mean, if you can avoid that cheap bag of tacos this week, you can have quite possibly one of the best multiplayer indie games out there for the 360. I’ve bought iPhone games that didn’t give me as much fun as this game did, and for twice the price.

Bottom Line: Go out and spend that 240 MSP on this instead of the Mass Effect t-shirt that you were going to get for you avatar, guys like Ben deserve all the love that should be coming their way.

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