|Posted on September 8, 2009 at 10:50 AM|
MadWord for the Nintendo Wii, is a glorious mess of a game. The awesome comic book-style visuals, the insanely gory violence, the engaging control-scheme, the solid hip-hop soundtrack, and the obscenely hilarious (if sometimes repetitive) commentators, all gel together for a surprisingly satisfying beat 'em up experience. I'm shocked that this title didn't get more attention when it was released (at least here in Australia), as it is by far the most explicit game of this generation (and a Wii game at that!). Had it been in colour there's no way it would have passed classification. However, it seems to have slipped by unnoticed and the cheap price, at which I picked it up, indicates poor sale numbers.
Presentation-wise, the title boasts engaging cut scenes, and deep, engrossing plot that will draw you into a stylish black and white metropolis, punctuated by splashes of red blood and yellow comic text. This is as close to walking the streets of Sin City as you can get. Visually, this art-style is very impressive and does a great job of working around the Wii's technical short-comings. No progressive scan is a shame though. The game also sports a very solid rap soundtrack that perfectly compliments the onscreen carnage. Meanwhile, the hilariously juvenile commentary will have you doubled over at times, but gets repetitive. Voice-work is top-notch. Above all, though, the gameplay is an absolute joy. Unlike Wii Sports, this game will actually have you up off your couch swinging that chainsaw with mad delight. Boss battles will leave you gasping for air.
I've heard criticism regarding the games awkward camera system and short play-length (both justified), and the game is by no means a masterpiece, but more akin to a trashy, popcorn grindhouse flick, with Frank Miller-esque underpinnings. The game is only 5 to 6 hours in length (which isn't all that different to more critically and commercially acclaimed games; cough*Call of Duty 4*cough), but your heart will be racing by the final credits. Overall, I found MadWorld satisfying more for the gameplay and visuals, rather than completing any specific objectives; a game that is fun to play, rather than beat.
Anyway, I doubt my opinion for this game will be shared by many, since the Wii tends to be despised by hardcore gamers, and hardcore games tend to be shunned by the Wii's huge, newly acquired demographic, but for anyone who own's the Wii as a second console or Nintendo fans looking for a solid title to hold them over during the current drought, I highly recommend MadWorld, at least for a rental. It's probably my favourite Wii game of 2009.