Posted February 21, 2010 by Jallen (129)
Ladies and Gentlemen, boy and girls of all ages, I give you the most deadly sport known to man, no not Pakistan’s Kite festival, but DeathWatch. MadWorld is focused around DeathWatch, a reality TV show sponsored by the super rich; which pits contestants together in a brutal fight for life. We follow Jack, a mysterious man that ticks all the anti-hero boxes. He’s gruff, surly, takes pleasure in causing pain, he smokes, he does excellent one-liners and he occasionally saves people but he’s more about the killing. The story isn’t going to win any awards but it does have a couple of surprising twists and has a depth you just wouldn’t think a game of this type would have.
What type of game is that, you may ask? Well MadWorld is a fighter anyway you cut it (and Jack certainty does cut). To control Jack we have a simple, but effective, control scheme: press A for a punch, press B for a Chainsaw, swing the controller side-to-side for a horizontal swipe with the chainsaw or swing the controller downwards for a vertical chainsaw strike, press Z to turn the camera and shake the nunchuck to dodge. There isn’t a series of complex motions you need to perform combos it’s just a simple punch people to death and then chainsaw them combo, with the minimum amount of arm-flailing. Punch an enemy enough times and you’ll get a finish move, much like Mortal Combat finishes these are completely brutal and over the top, simply follow the simple on-screen prompts and watch Jack do his thing.
Just using your fists and chainsaw will get boring though, and you won’t get many points for it. To get extra points and to make things a bit more interesting Jack must use the environment to take out his foes. Grab a pole and shove it through an opponent’s neck, stick him in a barrel and then impale him a spike. Do this and you’ll rack up a massive amount of points. Each level has its own unique hazards you can use, but most of the time you’ll be performing the same old actions. There are three types of environment to use; impale (sign-posts, candleholders, torches), constraint (barrels, large cogs, model planets) and then some sort of hazard (spikes, fire, catapults). So you’ll often just impale the unfortunate enemies a couple of times, put him in something then slam him into something deadly.
Taking place over a series of missions the formula of the game works out like this, enter the hub with loads of enemies that act as cannon fodder, a new weapon appears, mini-game, tougher enemies enter the ring, then the boss fight. To unlock the next section of a mission you need to gain points using the above methods, while novel at first if you’re not very good on gaining points levels seem to drag and later sections just fail to impress. The mini-game sections are fun (and very funny) seeing you throw men under a bus, or bat them into a giant dartboard but it seems Platinum Games ran out of ideas as the mini-games start to repeat themselves. The bosses are the main draw for the game, each one having an interesting gimmick and are truly an impressive sight to behold. While the difficulty of the bosses can be a bit off they’re sure to bring a smile to your face, especially when you perform the finishing move on them.
The major problem with the game is the camera, you can’t directly control the camera only centre it behind Jack so you’ll often be running at odd angles where you can’t see anything and it can be hard to get it to point in the correct direction. The lock-feature doesn’t work very well either, needing you to hold down the camera button for a couple of seconds for it to lock on, it’s a bit buggy and occasionally the lock will be lost, Zelda OoT did a good job of this, should we still be having this problem?
As you may have noticed by now MadWorld is in Black and White, the only colour present in the game is Crimson Red, and you’ll see a lot of red in this game. The art style is truly wonderful; while it may be present just to make up for the Wii’s graphical shortcomings it adds a lot to the game. In the same way that Okami benefited from its watercolour style or Jet Set Radio from its Cel Shading MadWorld’s flair makes this an interesting sight to behold. It’s like you’re playing as a character from a Manga and I just can’t help but think of Marv from Sin City being a spitting image of Jack.
The Sountrack is really well done, featuring 20 original tracks made by professional artists like Bandy Leggz, Wordsmith and S.O.U.L Purpose. On top of that you have brilliant commentary throughout the game with crude, violent voiceovers done by Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyway) and John DiMaggio (Futurama, Gears of War). Shame then that the game often repeats the same lines by the commentators over and over again so that you’ll often want to take a bat to them rather than the opponents.
MadWorld in short, is short. Will last you about 6-8 hours in one playthrough, the lack of online leaderboards means you don’t have much call to play through levels again unless you want to try out a couple of new weapons or play through hard mode. The game is good fun, the violence funny and beautiful at the same time, yet it does tend to drag on towards the end. The ideas in this game do seem to run out of steam towards the end in general and the last level is nothing but rehashing of previous levels. The commentators are the best thing in the game and even that is ruined somewhat by the constant repetition of the same phrases. This is a throw away title, get it for cheap or rent it but I recommend you do play it once just for the experience.
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