Golf, racing, combat: Three game genres that you might not think would go together are being combined in the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am. The game combines the three disparate game elements into a single whole that, like the show upon which it's based, isn't always cohesive but still manages to have its moments. We last saw the game at E3 2007 but thought we'd take a closer look here at Comic-Con to see if this game really is as strange as it seems. Our findings: Yes, it is.
Zombie Ninja Pro-Am doesn't really involve zombies or ninjas (at least, not in the demo levels we played) but the pro-am side of the equation is represented both in the game's story and in its rudimentary golf mechanics. The story goes like this: Frylock is invited to join the Jersey Pines golf club and Master Shake is furious about it. Determined to beat Frylock at his own game, Master Shake takes to the links with Fry (and Meatwad) to show him who really has the skills with the sticks.
From a mechanics standpoint, Zombie Ninja Pro-Am is as basic as it gets--a three-click system based on a horizontal scrolling meter determines power and shot accuracy. But how well you hit your ball barely matters in the game. That's because the twist to the golfing action in Pro-Am is that as Frylock and Shake walk to their next shot, they have to take on hordes of enemies, battling their way until they reach the ball and set up for the next shot. Frylock's eye bolts make him the ranged attacker, while Shake can use his clubs as a melee weapon or pick up weapons strewn across the courses along the way. You can also use Meatwad as a substitute for the ball, giving you some extra control over your lie.
The demo version on hand at Comic-Con let us check out two golf levels (one of which featured an amusing boss battle against ATHF's sweatpantsed neighbor Carl), as well as a golf cart race that had the boys racing along the fairways in a one-on-one race. Pickups along the way gave the golf cart brief boosts of speed or mounted rocket-launchers on the roof for use against the other teams, but it was easy to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition.
The demo version we played suffered from some fairly significant slowdown in spots, and the placeholder voice-over will eventually be replaced by the voices of actual ATHF cast. Nonetheless, it's easy to see the bizarre sense of humor that has made the show an underground hit at play in the game as well. There won't be zombies or ninjas, but the ATHF Pro-Am is set to tee off this October.