Sunday, May 31, 2009

Angry Barry Review


I love it when developers let there imaginations loose. This loony, mature, political satire beat-em-up granted me a very enjoyable Sunday morning.

This is the second community games release from Arrogancy Games and I believe this one is the hotter ticket. The premise is a twisted take on all of the current notable political figures/events and despite the nickname/name changes, I don't think anyone will be confused as to who the characters are supposed to be (unless you live in a van down by the river).

This first element that struck me was the very crisp, cartoony art style. It allows for a good deal of exaggeration and makes for some satisfying over-the-top effects. There is also an opening sequence that I could have sworn was a shot of a female's butt walking, but the pan out revealed it to be our protagonist's (Barry's) rear end. I am not sure what that says about me, or potentially the developer's sick imagination. Moving along...

The reason for the 3 emblem score is that there is a great degree of polish beyond the impressive graphics. Also included are special moves, a variety of attacks/combos, varied enemy AI, several unique bosses, storyboard style interludes, a 'hard' mode - and most notably, the ability to play 2 player co-op (awesome). This is the kind of effort that deserves a round of applause.

Small spoiler here, but I really want to mention it. You can pick up a cow and smash enemies with it. Yep, that's right.

So time to get beefy. There are two related issues I had with Angry Barry. First, the endless droves of enemies can be mind-numbing. Sometimes there are so many packed on the screen that I actually was having trouble finding Barry. It's not unusual to go 5 minutes just fighting the same one or two enemies over and over in repetitive fashion. I believe this could have been balanced better by making each enemy tougher to take down (seems that they all take 1 or 2 hits max, besides bosses). On a related front, this repetition may have been an effort to extend the game time, which is understandable because I was able to play through on normal difficulty in about an hour, without dying.

So this, for me, is another example of quality over quantity. It can still sting when you realize that that you've nearly exhausted the playability in a single sitting, but it was a memorable experience. Angry Barry is appropriately priced at 400MP and the developer does make mention in the game that he struggled with that choice - which is something I actually found refreshingly honest, not arrogant.

Any old sckool beat-em-up fans should definitely have a look for a unique and current take on an old genre. Head over to the Arrogancy Games website, or the Xbox Live Community Games Catalog for more info.


  1. Thanks for the review and the positive (and constructive negative) comments. Yes, I would have liked to have made it longer and broken up the action a bit, but sadly, it came to be a time issue more than anything. Also, it sucks that your games have to be under 50mb to price them at 200 points; but thanks for understanding. Thanks again for the attention/press and I hope you're onboard for our next game.

  2. Aaron, I was a fanboy of yours on RT back in the day and will gladly buy all your crap. Keep up the good work.