A blog about casual gaming

1031
Upgrade Completer

Upgrade Completer

Some jokes are worth telling twice, as parody-cum-vertical shooter Upgrade Completer proves.

Bookmark and Share
Published by Andy Matthews on 15th April 2011

Ah, Upgrade Complete. If ever a game was crying out for a sequel, that wasn’t it. But that’s exactly where we find ourselves with Upgrade CompleterArmor Games’s follow-up to the highly amusing and original, um, original.

For those of you that may have missed the first game, Upgrade Complete was a simplistic vertically scrolling shooter tacked on the end of a well-observed parody of the modern day gamer’s thirst for meaningless achievements, trophies and unlockable content. Players were forced to purchase and upgrade literally EVERYTHING in the game, including menu items, background music and even copyright smallprint. It was very amusing, clever stuff… but surely a sequel would stretch the joke a little thin?

Upgrade Completer, Casual Girl Gamer
Upgrade Completer

The game graphics fully upgraded.

Cue Upgrade Completer, where nothing’s really changed. It’s a bit like George Lucas going back to tamper with the Star Wars movies to fit in all the bits he couldn’t manage the first time round - thankfully with much better results. The whole thing manages to engender such goodwill from the off that despite the sense that you’ve seen it all before, you’re quickly glad to be back along for the ride.

Whilst primarily the same joke you’ve already heard, with Upgrade Completer the dials have all been ramped up to 11 – this time you even have to buy the mouse cursor.

Upgrade Completer, Casual Girl Gamer
Upgrade Completer

You can upgrade your space ship to a ludicrous extent.

Graphics, menu items, sound effects - everything has to be purchased and upgraded. Driven by an utterly pointless sense of completism, it’s possible to obtain a strange sense of achievement as you unlock more and more items, accompanied by an urge to see all the game has to offer, even though the results can often be underwhelming (how interested are you in a slightly flashier Armor Games animated logo? Really?).

When you start working through the levels of the shooter itself, upgrading your ship (of course) and adding new weapons along the way, killing wave after wave of coin-dropping enemies becomes as much of an exercise in hoarding enough cash to purchase a new background image for the menu screen as the satisfaction of the task itself. And like the rest of the game, oddly satisfying it is. Once you’ve purchased and upgraded enough weapons, waving your mouse around to blast enemy ships with laser beams is about as energetic as it gets. Missiles and canons fire automatically so it’s barely worth even using the cursor keys to move. Yet somehow, the simplistic destruction is appealing, if not particularly challenging.

Upgrade Completer, Casual Girl Gamer
Upgrade Completer

The jokes on you, evil red skully thing.

Despite the variety of upgrades, the game itself remains essentially the same throughout. The action will gradually start to look and sound better as you progress, almost mirroring the progression of Flash games themselves, but the shooter side of things isn’t really the main pull here – it’s more of a vehicle to hang the joke on. It’s an experience rather than a game. Amusing rather than challenging. Zip through the upgrades too fast and you’ll miss some decent jokes.

Upgrade Completer isn’t a game you’ll necessarily want to return to, but it’s clever and distracting enough to be worth your time. Just don’t think too much about how it might be better spent.


Bookmark and Share

Add comment

Submit
Published by er on 1st June 2012
m,bgc,g
Published by A. on 23rd April 2011
I did enjoy this game until a scary face appeared and screamed at me. That is my least favorite Internet prank and has turned me off of the game - and Armor Games. Incredibly disappointed.
Published by Michelle on 16th April 2011
I loved the first one and this one was pretty good too. I spent way too much time playing and completing it yesterday. xD

Follow us

  • Twitter

    Be the first to hear about new posts by following us at @casualgirlgamer

  • Facebook

    Alternatively, you might want to become a fan of our facebook page, which you can find here.

  • RSS

    Subscribe to Casual Girl Gamer’s RSS feed here

  • Email

    Enter your email address below and we’ll keep you posted when we have new articles.

    Go

Game reviews

  • Lume

    State of Play's new puzzle adventure title Lume might be made out of cardboard cutouts but it is in no way a one-dimensional game.

    Read more
  • The Tiny Bang Story

    Beautiful hand-drawn graphics, nicely balanced and creative puzzles and a great sound track, The Tiny Bang Story delivers on all fronts.

    Read more
  • Castaway 2

    Robinson Crusoe had it lucky. He was only stranded on a desert island once. Things are not so easy for the hero of RPG adventure game series Castaway.

    Read more
  • ClubWorld

    If the idea of running your own nightclub gets you excited, then Tapulous's latest iOS game might have you dancing around with joy.

    Read more
  • Insectonator

    If the only good bug is a dead one, then you will be doing one helluva lot of good work in this cheery insect massacring game.

    Read more
> More game reviews

Popular articles

  • Top Ten Platform Adventure Games

    Turn off the TV, put down your book, stop whatever you are doing, and come play the ten best platform adventure games we could find on the web.

    Read more
  • Another 20 games that make you think about life

    Fans of philosophical games rejoice. We have a further 20 thought-provoking games for you to play.

    Read more
  • New Game Round-up

    Yet another crop of great new games, including a sequel to one of 2009's best point-and-click games, an underwater game based loosely on Herman Melville's legendary novel Moby Dick and an unusual game that aims to unleash your poetic potential.

    Read more
  • Five games that make you think about life

    Not all games involve mindless shooting the shit out of stuff. Some can even make you think a bit.

    Read more
  • Amea

    A nicely illustrated dash and slash RPG with an intriguing storyline, loads of weapons and spells and great locations. What more could you want?

    Read more
> More popular articles

Developer spotlights

  • Jake Elliott

    You won't find any resource-management or mindless slash and dash games in Jake Elliott's portfolio. What you will find are thought-provoking games that encourage you to ponder on the human experience.

    Read more
  • Con Artist Games

    Chris Condon of Con Artist Games has a reputation for developing some of the most polished games on the web. Casual Girl Gamer speaks to him about his gaming philosophy.

    Read more
  • Gregory Weir

    By combining great story-telling with imaginative game worlds, Gregory Weir has created some of the most thought-provoking games on the internet.

    Read more
  • John Cooney

    Armor Games' head of game development John Cooney - or jmtb02, as he is better known - is one of the most prolific and imaginative game developers around.

    Read more
  • Evan Miller

    In ImmorTall, indie developer Evan Miller created one of the most emotionally moving games to grace the internet. We speak to him about his gaming philosophy and plans for the future.

    Read more
  • Mateusz Skutnik

    Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

    Read more
> More spotlights