Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal

Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal

Looney Tunes: ACME Arsenal actually feels like one of the ill-fated devices the fictitious factory sells. It holds all the promise of a shiny, effective item and blows up in the faces of those who buy it.

In the game, you work alongside several familiar Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian and Daffy Duck. You must battle an evil scientist, portrayed here by a poorly misplaced Porky Pig. Seriously, it's hard to fear this villain when he repeatedly screams, "Impossible! It couldn't have happened! But it did."

That's the least of ACME Arsenal's problems. The gameplay, for example, is unspeakably horrible. Each character has a series of chained combo attacks, which grow old in a matter of button taps. Evil robots march around mindlessly, with their only real tactic being "let's surround you and eventually swing away". As you trudge through each level, you use glowing crystals to charge up a melee meter, although it really doesn't serve enough of a purpose to use it. Guns are also accessible, including mallets and Elmer's old-school shotgun. Unfortunately, their accuracy is beyond questionable. You can stand directly in front of something, such as a bullseye or a robot and completely miss the target.

ACME ArsenalAs for presentation, forget it—it's a joke without a punch line. The in-game graphics have that rushed PS2 quality, with disappearing textures, completely invisible platforms, a hideously bad camera system (sometimes there's nothing on the screen at all, just a solid wall) and zero lock-on capability, making it harder to attack larger enemies. Furthermore, the 3-D rendered characters look out of place in relation to their 2-D counterparts. Red Tribe should've taken the 2-D route or not done any at all. Yep, they're that bad.

On top of all this, ACME Arsenal invites—or should we say dares—you to bring a friend into the proceedings for co-op play. Forget trying to race ahead of a buddy or exploring other parts of the stage for hidden goodies. An invisible force field forces you to stay close to one another, ruining the exploration factor. (However, in levels as bad as these, who would want to explore in the first place?) As for multiplayer combat, it's just a battle in an arena with no point. It's not even supported by Xbox Live, although co-op is, for some inexplicable reason.

Aside from tons of Achievements (which are incredibly easy to unlock—you get ten just for trudging through the tutorial), Looney Tunes: ACME Arsenal has no justification for its existence. The Tunes deserve better than this—and for that matter, so does your family. Stick with Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and blast this garbage to Mars.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.