Sunday, March 22, 2009

MadWorld Review

Let me just start this off by saying that MadWorld is mad fun. I mean, sure, you’ve played games like this before (Beat people up, eat floating food to heal yourself, fight end boss, repeat) but never quite like this, which brings me to the question—did Nintendo REALLY allow this game to be made on their, “Ooh, it’s Grandma’s turn now,” console? Are you serious? We’re talking about the same Nintendo, right? The one that once made the blood look like gray guck in the original Mortal Kombat for the SNES? We’re talking about that Nintendo, right? Because MadWorld is, without a doubt, THE most violent and vulgar video game I have ever played in my entire life, and I applaud Nintendo for being ballsy enough to allow their former rival, Sega, to make a game like this on their family friendly system, because as I said before, you’ve never played a game quite like this.

First off, though, let me get my gripes out of the way first, as there’s so much to like about this game that I don’t want to bog down my review with where it faultered. My first complaint is that the storyline really sucks, even though you KNOW Sega tried really hard to make all this carnage make sense. You take on the role of Jack, a mechanic with a chainsaw on his arm, who is much more than he appears to be. He enters a televised competition called Death Watch—think Rockstar's Manhunt but played for laughs and full of action—where your rewards sky rocket the more creative you are with the way you kill people. Makes sense, right? But then, the story throws in a political plot and starts talking about history always having some variation of Death Watch, and yada yada yada, you get my drift. It’s too overwrought for its own good. I mean, really, if this is supposed to be an arcade style action game, then keep it like that, Sega. Back in the day, you didn’t need a story for Altered Beast. All you needed was Zeus to say, “Wise fwom your gwave,” and you were off kicking zombie ass and not asking questions about it. MadWorld could have been just as simple, as the action speaks for itself, but it isn’t, and that’s a problem that I have with this game, a big one.
Aside from the story, though, the other thing that bothers me about this game is the wonky camera, which might just make you barf if you’re not careful. It works just fine when you’re out in open spaces, but when you get into some of those close call boss battles, you’re sometimes running in circles around them and you don’t even know it. The camera spins around ridiculously and you’re only the dizzier for it.

But that’s where my complaints end, as the rest of the game is better than I could have ever hoped for. What’s great about MadWorld is that aside from the storyline and camera, it’s the complete package, really. You’ve already seen the still screens online, but it’s not until you’ve seen this game in motion that it really feels like the graphic novel Sin City brought to life. I’ll admit that it’s sometimes difficult to see certain objects you need to pick up with the monochronistic tones, but once you start letting the blood fly, the bright red splotches will clear up that problem immediately. Also of note is the music, which is to die for (No pun intended…okay, you’re right, it was intended). Not since Street Fighter III have I heard rap music used so effectively. Much like the game itself, it’s light-hearted and silly, with lines like, “Jack is a psycho maniac,” and other oddball lyrics accompanying the varied stages, that range from a train station (You already know what to do, I’m sure, when the trains start flying by) to a haunted villa, with zombies and everything that you have to cut in two to make sure they don’t come back to life.
Now, this would get old REAL fast if not for the wicked combo point system, where your score skyrockets the more creative you are with your fatalities. Chainsaw a ninja in half? Yeah, that’s kinda cool. Drop a vase on a ninja’s head, skewer him with a pole, punch him a few times for good measure, and then throw him into a deep fryer to melt to death? Much better! This is made even more fun though with the Wii-Mote/Nunchuk combination, where you’re forced to do God of War-esque button tap scenerios, but with surprisingly bitchin’ results. Instead of just tapping, A, B, Z, and then A again, to stab somebody in the face, you’re forced to spin the Wii-mote around, raise it up and down, shake it left and right, and a lot of other weird motions to rip your foes in half, throw them into fans, and even catapault them into the moon (with blood splattering results). You would think that this would get repetitive fast but you’d be wrong.

I also really like the split-screen multi-player mode, too. It’s simple, and it’s fun. And while you’re not going to be playing it until the end of time, it’s still a nice diversion from the game, which is pretty darn short to boot, I might add. Don’t worry though, it’s short for a reason. It’s to keep it from getting boring.

The final touch though definitely comes from the play-by-play commentary by Bender (Well, not REALLY Bender, but John DiMaggio, the guy who voices him) from Futurama, and the improv comedian, Greg Propos, who both spew the most vulgar lines in the history of video games. They never let up in their comments, which never steer off the course to being annoying and always stay on the road to being hilarious. It really adds that added bonus to an already stellar title.

MadWorld isn’t perfect, and I think a sequel for it would be a damn shame, as the gimmick could only really work once. All the same, it’s a damn great game and a must-own title if you own a Wii and are mature enough to play it. It’s funny, it’s bloody, and it’s freaking hilarious. What else could you want from a Wii title? And yes, I checked the box twice, and this really IS a Nintnedo game. Who knew? I didn’t know they had it in them.

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