MadWorld Review

By on May 14, 2009

An extremely stylistic, gritty, stress relief of a game.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

For the most part, Nintendo consoles have always been “family” systems with relatively nonviolent games. Exceptions to this are rare; therefore almost all mature-rated Wii games are highly anticipated. I mean, the gruesome violence and man-beastliness found in UFC is absent in Pokémon battles, or am I missing something? If Pokémon gym fights excite you, then MadWorld is sure to give you an epileptic seizure.

http://www.megamers.com/downloads/MadWorld/12422758622.jpg

The first thing that screams at you (other than your mother grounding you for playing such a disgusting [read: badass] game) when you insert your testosterone reinforced disk (a.k.a. MadWorld game) into your Wii, is the amazingly stylistic design of the world and characters you are about to control. Wii games, in general, are noticeably crappier in the graphics department when compared to other consoles of the same generation. However, the brilliant developers at Platinum Games (or color blind) have created a purely black and white world where the crimson color of blood is the only exception. The style of the game makes aliasing less noticeable and really at a glance doesn’t look like a Wii game, or any game for that matter. Unlike the black and white photos of a boy with a bright red rose kissing a girl, MadWorld is downright badass.

You are located in Varrigan City; the entire city has become part of a murderous game show, DeathWatch, where the inhabitants are the participants. The rules for the game are relatively simple, it’s basically kill everything in sight till you reach the top ranked position for a large cash prize. You are Jack with a chain saw on your arm, other than that, the game doesn’t reveal much about you in the beginning, a lot is left in question for a reason.  How Jack appeared, his motives, along with the creation of DeathWatch are all topics slowly uncovered as the game plays out. Surprisingly enough such a violent and absurd title has a pretty intriguing storyline..

The game throws you right into the action from the get-go, and it stays that way for the rest of the game (which is about 4-5 hours?). When first playing you are given a very brief tutorial, which actually takes place in the first level, on how to… um… kill your opponents gruesomely. Yeah, one major aspect of the game is a point system given to killing baddies. For example, if you take your chain saw and slice someone in half, you will get around less than 10,000 points and the phrase “Regular Violence” flashes on the corner of your screen. However if your punch someone senseless, then shove him into a tire, then take the nearest sign post and impale him with it, and bring him over to the delicately titled “rose bush” (spikes on a wall) and slam him into it multiple times, you get 30,000+ points and a pat on the back! Controls are pretty simple, but the movement of the nun-chuck and Wii-mote take a little time to master, as with all Wii-mote swinging games. There are no instances of the Wii-pointer, which is a good sign as through my experience it’s usually a sign of failure. Although you should be warned, I got a little into the brutality of the game, and when I received the prompt to move the nun-chuck away from the Wii-mote in order to rip apart someone, I accidentally ripped out the Nun-chuck plug from the Wii-mote. (Lesson here is that you don’t actually need to use as much force as Mr. Jack) But within the first hour of playing you will no longer need the in-game prompts to move the Wii-mote. The animations of attack are very brutal, I had my stomach churn a couple times when Jack cut open and extracted a guy’s heart only to crush it, spattering blood everywhere. There are actually a large number of these animations so they don’t get too stale, and when new weapons such as spiked baseball bats and knives become accessible, they come with brand new action sequences as well. (Not to mention that the weapons turn more and more red from blood as you bash enemies’ skulls)  The use of the environment as a weapon is also another major aspect of the game, and almost every object that you run into can be used to kill, even a trash bin closes on a victim cutting him in half.

http://www.megamers.com/downloads/MadWorld/12422758624.jpg

Levels follow a simple yet effective design, taking into account that people may simply just like killing people in the game, bosses are “unlocked” after you gain enough kill points. You can hack and slash through 200 people to get the points, or brutally murder 50; it’s all up to the player. Furthermore killing enemies also unlocks mini-games known as Bloodbath Challenges. These mini-games are pretty fun (after you get around the fact that those aren’t really people with feelings, they are pixels with electricity), for example in one you must knock as many people as you can onto the railway tracks and wait for a train to run over them, or take a baseball bat and launch people into a giant dart-board etc. They are also hilariously introduced by a pimp, who is always killed by one of his hoes in order to show how the mini-game is played.  Each level is also non-linear; Jack can run around all he wants. Although it’s not very expansive such as in the instances of GTA, it’s pretty much: go wherever you want and kill people as you see fit. Boss fights are extremely fun and require different strategies, also each boss is drastically different from the other, and very carefully thought out and designed. Throughout almost all of the game you will hear the two incessant voices of the commentators of DeathWatch. They themselves often say pretty damned funny things and are very crude about it. To put it shortly, if you gave Duck Hunt these commentators, you’d have another mature rated Nintendo title.

There are a couple of drawbacks however that prevents this game from reaching perfection. The first major disappointment was the length of the game; although it was fun, it was too short. While one can go back and get higher scores on previous levels, the incentives for doing so are lackluster. Furthermore the multiplayer facet of the game is only the Bloodbath challenges. There is no real vs. mode nor is there co-op, two things that could have made this game great. Not to mention the lack of multiplayer modes indicates there is no online play either. So for the few hours I played this game, it was great, but coming back to it isn’t really on my lists unless I want to show it off or really am in the mood to kill people (the Wii is not your local shrink). If you have a Wii and are comfortable with sexual reproduction and violence, please by all means don’t shrug this game off. It is undoubtedly one of a kind. There are very few Wii-games where I can say, “Whoa, I enjoyed that.” This is one of them.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
9
Fun and intuitive killing!
GRAPHICS
10
It’s beautiful! I’m kidding, but its well done and a work of art regardless of the violence.
SOUND
8
Commentators may piss some off, but are downright hilarious at times. Blood gushing sounds... are well done? I wish there was catchy hard rock music to go along with the game.
VALUE
7
Good game first time through, but no online and a pretty bad multiplayer with an extremely short single player… if you think about it there’s not much outside replay value at all.
FUN FACTOR
8
I usually get tired of hack and slash games but this keeps you going for the most part.
OVERALL
8.5
An extremely stylistic, violent game, but short and friends will get bored watching you play.

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