So similar to my reasoning for picking up Okami for the Nintendo Wii, I was very excited over the release of Madworld and ran to my local store excited like the bloodthirsty schoolgirl that I am to pick up my copy on its release. My approach to the Wii and its games is I’m really only interested in games that approach its hardware limitations from a different perspective. Rather than making games that simply fall short of their competitors but instead choose to use those limitations to produce a unique experience, which Madworld does as deftly as its use of the word “fuck.”
Madworld is a perfect example of a game that exists on one layer but does it very well. Don’t bother looking under the surface of Madworld for a deeper meaning because frankly it isn’t there. Not only does the game exist on one layer but it celebrates it in all of its blood stained glory. Never once in the course of this game will you enter a new level (and yes there are “levels” so if you’re a whiney open world fan boy keep on moving) do you wonder “well I wonder what I’ll have to do here?” Every level is the same, kill everything, earn points and then go kill a boss. Not to say that’s not an enjoyable time, but there’s not a lot of mystery involved either. However, in every level I found myself, dare I say, giddy over the mini-game which takes a classic element and adds a level of comedic violence to it that I’ll more than likely laugh at no matter how old I get. There’s just something genuinely pleasing on a primitive level about hitting people with a bat into a giant dart board. Unfortunately as the game progresses you repeat several of these games and it really hindered what would have otherwise been the best element of the game.
Combat however, is nothing special. Button mash and wiggle your Wiimote like you were a 14 year old home alone on a Saturday night and then you get to engage in a series of constantly repeating sequenced events where you mash buttons and wiggle your controller to perform “finishing” moves that are funny the first 2 dozen times but then seem to lose their flavor by the time you’ve broken the neck of the same looking steam punk hooligan 80 times in a row. The game does reward your imagination when it comes to slaughter by providing you with an abnormal assortment of items in which to dispatch your mute opponents. For the first few levels I indulged my inner pain artist side and tried to invent the most elaborate methods possible of destroying my enemies and eagerly looked forward to the new methods that the game would surely introduce as it progressed. I looked and looked and looked and eventually the credits started rolling. Basically, the tricks of the trade that you get in the first level are 90% of what you’ll get right up until the end. However, I don’t think any of us will ever look at dumpsters the same way again after playing this game.
Ok… I’ve stalled long enough, time to talk about the visuals. It’s a black and white comic book style of animation with an abundance of red mixed in. It’s very engaging at first and then you realize that the flat style of animation coupled with a lot of colors and shading makes it very hard to distinguish between objects. However like most things you get acclimated to it relatively quickly, or at least I did because I’m Captain Super-Gamer Awesome Man.
My favorite element was the commentators. Two foul mouthed broadcasters watch your every move and talk about you and your blood sport of choice using every possible conception of curse word pairings imaginable. Unfortunately for longer fights you end up hearing the same loop of lines over and over again to the point where you mute them until it’s finished.
All in all I enjoyed Madworld. I don’t really know what it has for replay value yet to be honest but I think it’s a great foot in the door for Nintendo to get into the more mature market.