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Butt-Ugly Martians B.K.M. Battles Review
game: Butt-Ugly Martians B.K.M. Battles
two star
posted by: Jason Frank
publisher: Vivendi Universal
date posted: 09:10 AM Sun Nov 17th, 2002
last revision: 05:18 AM Fri Sep 23rd, 2005

Mediocre, average, common, passable. There are probably a few other synonyms I could use if I had a bigger thesaurus on my desk. I have never played a game that felt so unispired or so derivative. There is absolutely nothing about this game that would cause it to spark even the slightest memory of having played it. I played the game a couple of days ago and I\'m having a hard time remembering the fact that I actually spent enough time with it to render a severe and harsh judgement. In fact, I keep finding myself picking up the game and saying, \"I need to get around to playing that game. Shawn\'s going to need a review soon.\" I put the game in my Game Boy, and after a few minutes, I realize that it\'s not the first time I\'ve played it. This is especially confusing because the first time I played the game, it felt like I had played it before. Unfortunately, we live a world that rewards mediocrity (just look at ABC\'s Tuesday night line-up). We spend millions of dollars to read stories we\'ve already read, watch movies that we\'ve already seen and play games that we\'ve already played. For those who like comforting routines, Butt Ugly Martians: B.K.M (Butt Kicking Mode) Battles will be like coming home.

I am not very familiar with the actual franchise, but I know that anything with a title like Butt Ugly Martians must be wildly popular. Perhaps it is because the franchise is so successful that the developers felt little need to create a game that was barely passable in the annals of gamedom. The game basically consists of flying one of three Butt Ugly Martians through caverns, blowing up turrets and enemy robots along the way. There\'s nothing the least bit compelling about the gameplay. Eventually you will have a bigger boss at the end of a level that you\'ll have to shoot a bunch of times to blow up. You\'re able to alternate between the Martians on the fly-one has more firepower, one is quicker, and one has better defenses.

The work of developing a game seems to fall into two categories. In the one category we have developers striving to develop interactive experiences that cause us to reevaluate what video gaming is all about. These developers are responsible for games like Tony Hawk, Seaman, Shenmue and Mario. The other category of developers takes the ideas of the originators and puts their own characters/franchise into them. I like to call them the cut and paste masters of game development. They ask questions like, \"What if we did a game like Super Mario, but with a crocodile?\" Like most TV producers, they want to spoon feed audiences exactly what they know they want.

BUMBKMB is the epitome of the cut-and-paste mentality. Everything about this game from the controls, to the caverns, to the generic turrets seems to come out of other, much better games. For someone who hasn\'t played many videogames before, this might not be very noticeable, but I\'ve been playing videogames for nearly a quarter of a century now and it\'s hard not to see just how unoriginal and uninspired this product is.

Even though the game is incredibly derivative, it accomplishes all that it sets out to do. It\'s not quite as fast or furious a side scrolling shooter as we\'ve come to expect, but it should prove mildly entertaining for most gamers. Fans of the series will probably be more than content over the prospect of being able to play as one of their favorite little Martians. And for those who think that there can never be enough versions of Pac-Man, this game will be Nirvana.