MadWorld, Wii - Review

Madworld, Wii - £17.99

Review by LewieP

Very cool.

Very very cool.

Fuck Mediawatch-UK, Fuck Anne Diamond, and fuck the Daily Mail. MadWorld is fun fun fun fun fun.

MadWorld makes an incredible first impression. It sucks you in and demands to be played. At it's heart beats an unrelenting combat engine that is as challenging to play as it is badass to watch. It manages to make QTEs feel fresh, which is an astounding achievement. The scoring system is hilarious, and if you want, there is a decent amount of depth to be found.

You only need to see the game for a few seconds to understand the visual appeal. Yes it looks like Sin City, and yes it works very well as a game. Not since Jet Set Radio have I played a game and had to just sit and stare thinking "what the hell is this? How have they made this?".

The Jet Set Radio comparison applies to the music too. It has similar, fantastic contemporary hip hop, although maybe a bit grittier. Some of the songs have lyrics about what is going on in the game too, which is cool.

At all times, you feel very very powerful. Jack can simply kick a lot of ass. You never feel completely overwhelmed, and you have always got the tools you need to put a violent end to anyone who gets in your way.

The genius of the game comes from the fact that you do not get points for just killing, but the way in which you kill. Throw someone in a fire, get a few points. Shove a signpost into someone's head, then throw them in a fire, get a few more points. Shove 3 signposts into someone's head, set them on fire, hold them up against a giant circular saw, head butt them a few times, and then throw them into a fire, and you get a hell of a lot of points.

I know, it is not big, it is not clever, and it certainly shouldn't be played by children, but they are very solid game mechanics. It is a violent game, but it never feels like it is just going for the cheap shocks for easy controversy marketing, unlike, say, the Manhunt games. More stylised than gore.

Some levels are small, some are big, but they are always interesting, and always have a huge variety of ways to use the environment to your advantage. It is a lot of fun experimenting ways to get the highest score, or just do badass things.

Controls are almost convoluted. To be honest, they took me quite a long time to get used to it, but it is worth it. It uses pretty much every function of the Wiimote + Nunchuck, but once you have gotten used to the set up, you have a lot of freedom over what Jack is doing. Simplifying the controls would have certainly been detrimental to the game.

The story starts off simple enough to completely avoid getting in the way of the rest of the game, and cut scenes provide just enough of a framework to hook the events of the game onto. As the game progresses however, the conspiracy storyline gets increasingly interesting, and the ending is pretty great.

It is not a game you are going to play solely for the story, but it is at worst inoffensive, and at best interesting. The in game announcers can be annoying, but only because they start to repeat pretty quickly, which is inexcusable in such a short game. It's a shame, because they can be pretty damn funny. They also respond to what you are doing in game, which can work really really well.

The whole package is presented phenomenally. Everything just works well as a game, there are some very funny, subtle references to other games. The cut scenes are wonderful, and from the moment you insert the disc, to the end credits, it feels like a game made by people who love video games as much as you do.

I am not going to lie, it has problems. The time limits seem like a bit of a lazy design crutch, and I've spotted a few graphical glitches that you might see too if you look hard. If I was forced to, I could come up with a few more flaws, but you can't force me to, so I am not going to. There are a few minor, inconsequential problems with the game, but nothing that is detrimental to the game overall.

Whatever the hell "Hardcore" even means, you will struggle to find a game that is more hardcore on any platform. MadWorld is like the best bits of several good games crammed into to one disgusting bloody orgy of fun, and that is more than enough for me. MadWorld is not just a standout title in the Wii's library, but a must play in every sense of the word.

If you liked God Hand, you will love Mad World. If you didn't like God Hand, piss off to IGN.