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Friday, April 17, 2009


I just finished playing through MadWorld.... Wow.

I've had mixed feelings about this game:

At first I loved it.

Then I hated it.

And now that I've finished it, I can say that I really like it. There are some frustrating elements to it, the controls + camera are not as tight as they should be.... but overall the look & style of the game is so impressive & unique (to me) that I can't help but love looking at this game.

Oddly enough, the Wii has a lot in common with the PSP: Aside from this (unfortunate?) trend developing where games are being created specifically to be ported from one system to the other... they both have only 1 analogue stick. Because of this, the camera is usually either automatic, or can be reset behind the character by using a button-- as is the case for MadWorld. You can hold the camera button to lock onto an enemy, useful for boss fights, but not really usable in normal situations.

MadWorld's controls are a bit sluggish. Luckily most of the enemies are also sluggish so it makes it a fairly even playing field... until they amp up the speed of the enemies. But it's also a little too picky about targeting an enemy. There are lots of times where I'll be standing in front of an enemy & missing them (with whatever) just because I was a little bit off from being directly in front of them or something. There should've been much more leeway about this since we don't have a 2nd analogue stick to line up our sights-- it shouldn't be so anal-retentive and exacting.

The onscreen text is INSANELY TINY.... grrrr. Clearly no one developing MadWorld thought to try the game on anything other than a large LCD tv. It reminds me of Star Wars Battlefront II, which has the same problem. Seriously, none of you guys could've thought to see how it'd look on a standard definition TV? It's nearly unreadable on my 27" 4:3 TV.

It's a short game too. My save file says 5 hours, but I know I've played more than that from dying & retrying levels. But by most standards, it is definitely shorter than average gameplay.

MadWorld has some elements that are a throwback to old-skool video games: points & lives. You start off with 3 lives each level, and you can find more in some of them. You need to rack up certain numbers of points to progress through the level. But what I find unessasary is that each level has a 30 minute time limit. What's the point of that? Time limits are one of the gameplay elements I really hate in general; I find it's an archaic & outdated gameplay mechanic. And it serves no purpose in MadWorld. 30 minutes may seem like a long time, but why even have a time limit on a game that's short by design?

The great parts of MadWorld is the look and feel of the game. I have to say, this is one of the best looking Wii games I've ever seen, and maybe one of the best looking games of ANY type I've ever played. The Sin City-influenced look is so distinctive from any other game I've played, and I'm a huge comics fan, so the comic book elements like the panels popping in for the cut scenes, and the words sound FX splashed across the screen... it's pure eye candy.

Hopefully most people interested in MadWorld know about it's over-the-top, ultra-violent gameplay, which is a lot of fun if you have a good sense of humour about it. There's tons of swearing too. But there's also a story going on, it's trying to be a bit deeper than just a simple blood-fest. I won't spoil anything, but sorta like the controls, it's a bit too ambitious for what it is. Still, because of the stylish look, it's great to take in all the visuals of the game so the cutscenes and story are still enjoyable.

Ultimately, MadWorld is a beat-em-up game, and like most (if not all) of the genre, it is repetitive. What sets MadWorld apart from other games is the unique look & style, and that it's on a platform that doesn't have any other game like this on it-- the Nintendo Wii. Because of that, I do want it to be successful & pave the way to expanding the Wii library beyond the mindset that "the Wii is only for kid games". But I also have to take issue with the faults of the game that keep it from truly shining as bright as it could. I've noticed the price dropping pretty quickly, and because it's so short, it probably is best as a budget-priced title. I think it's worth getting.


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