To Jump the Gu… Chainsaw
It’s difficult to begin playing a game like MadWorld without having heard something about it in various other places, and while it hasn’t necessarily been critically lauded, MadWorld has received respectable reviews despite it’s bloody nature on what is predominantly a console aimed at the younger and older audience. Just because this is true, hardcore gamers don’t have to suffer thanks to a rise of “adult” games that are actually fun, and not just exercises in torture porn. Yes, I’m looking at you Manhunt 2.
It would be precocious of me to suggest that we may be moving past mini-game collection on the Wii. But with three consecutive, and above average, Wii games not aimed at your grandparents (i.e. Deadly Creatures, House of the Dead: Overkill, and of course MadWorld), we may be at the tail end of what was indeed a dark, and far too long chapter in the Wii’s history. We will always have some level of first party Nintendo support to look forward to from Nintendo, and very rarely does one of their game come even close to being a disappointment. Now, third party support is beginning to surpass Nintendo, especially with the advent of hardcore/ casual games like Boom Blox. The Big N will most certainly have to once again begin catering to their fans soon, before they all jump ship to a console with quite a few less Babyz games.
Now on to the review.
You Don’t Know Jack
The story is an uncomplicated one. Varrigan City has been taken over by people who want to use it to play a game. A game of death and destruction. The police have blocked off access to the island that is Varrigan City, and no one gets in or out. The city is a mad house where the inmates rule, and you’re stuck in the middle of it all, and loving every minute of it.
You are, of course, Jack. A man who doesn’t have a problem doing what needs to be done. Shortly after the opening cutscene, he comes upon a giant TV screen talking with one of his “employees”. After dispatching of said employee, Jack has found himself a sponsor. 13 is his name, and his spokesman will be your guide through the wonderful Mad World that is Varrigan City. Enjoy your stay, just don’t take the subway.
What if All You Saw Was Black and White… and Red?
Of course the first thing I noticed once I’d booted up MadWorld was the black & white graphic novel style. I had seen this before in previews, and I was immediately worried that due to the lack of color difference, I would face the trouble of telling my enemies apart from the environment. As I began to play the tutorial, this problem was non-existent, my fears remained though due to the fact that I was in an enclosed area consisting mostly of white.
Later, my fears were elated once I’d entered a larger play area past the enclosed tutorial. The enemies are a dark black that stands out despite the small color palette. This kind of graphical approach makes for a game that looks terrific despite the Wii’s graphical limitations. It just goes to show that you don’t have to rely on processing power to have a game look stunning, sometimes an uncommon art style will suffice. The enemies are all throw-away thugs with maniacal senses of humor. After throwing one of them onto some spikes on the wall, a thug nearby began laughing at his fallen ally/ foe. I felt it was a nice touch.
If you’re a gorehound unlike myself, a person who finds themselves at the movies watching Saw and Hostel, you’ll probably get a kick out of all of the violence that is MadWorld’s gameplay. As I found increasingly creative ways to dispatch of my foes, the blood would satisfyingly ramp up. Just because I’m not a fan of the torture porn genre, doesn’t mean I don’t a appreciate a nice and violent video game every once in a while. And MadWorld is indeed a very violent game, not intended for the feint of heart. Oh, or children. Probably not your kids
How Does That Make You Feel?
To throw a powerful punch, you swing the Wii remote (of course), and to dodge via backflip a flick of the nunchuck served very nicely. At first, it was a simple game of “beat em’ up”. A genre which I’m not too keen about. I quickly learned that by holding down the B button, I would take out a chainsaw that would make quick work of my foes. Of course, if all you had to do was kill random enemies with your chainsaw and fists, then this wouldn’t be a very original game. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Every level starts you off with one goal in mind. Rack up as many points as you can without going over the time limit, and beat the boss. As you play, you’ll find increasingly violent ways to kill. I don’t want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that the combination of trashcans, street signs, and spikes can make for a very fun time. Each level also features mini challenges ranging from throwing people in front of trains, to human darts.
Even just the first two boss fights illustrate how varied they can be. The first one had me fighting a gigantic lummox with an equally gigantic mace. The second one featured a cowboy who was, “The brokest back in the west” (not my own words). The first was slow and uncoordinated, the second was fast and precise. The first couple of boss fights are not too difficult, and to say I had much trouble with any of them would be a lie, but they do get increasingly harder as you continue.
I don’t honestly have many qualms with MadWorld. It features no online modes, but it does have local multiplayer for the various mini-challenges found in each level that can extend its replay value. Other than that, the levels don’t change. How much game time you find in MadWorld really depends on how much you can replay the same levels for a higher score, and how much you like an added challenge. MadWorld on Hard is HAAAARRRD. I gave it a whirl and the game had me begging forgivness within the first two levels. Thankfully I had some new weapons to use, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.
More than once I found myself rushing through the levels, thinking that the time of 30 minutes was running out, to find out that I had spent only 10 minutes in the level. So for myself, I know that I can most definitely do better, and possibly get 3 times as much as some of my scores, but once I’ve done that, I think I’ll be pretty much done with MadWorld. My main qualm with MadWorld would be that the journey ends much to soon (around 7 hours for me), and the replay value is fairly low beyond what’s previously mentioned.
Recommendation: Buy It – As far as Wii games go, let’s be honest, the excellent game pickings are slim. We’re fed shovel after shovel of mini game collections and children’s game, and when a game comes along that is both fun, and wholly original for the console, hell, all consoles, one should take notice. Don’t let MadWorld fall to the wayside, pick it up, play it, and enjoy what the Wii hath wrought.