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Violence and the Wii; two things rarely ever combined. Even Nintendo executives would probably agree that the Wii is not necessarily geared to the more blood-hungry, arguably more mature, gamers. However, eager to fill the void, developer Platinum Games and publisher Sega released the action packed Madworld on March 29, 2009.
To start with, Madworld‘s story is equally confusing and mysterious. First we are greeted with scenes of Varrigan City in crisis and the Mayor giving an urgent press conference. Terrorists have simultaneously released a deadly virus and usurped the transportation and television facilities. Soon thereafter, the screen cuts to our protagonist Jack as he confronts a masked assailant. Immediately after Jack dispatches the foe, the mysterious Agent XIII contacts Jack and acts as his sponsor for the terrorist-created show Death Watch. Finally after a confusing beginning, we are thrust into Madworld.
Instantly, the most attention grabbing feature of Madworld is the graphic art styling. Inspired by graphic novels and comic books, the game is beautifully drawn in black, white and buckets of red. Further adding to the ambience is a constantly playing soundtrack of addictive Hip-Hop, Rap and Rock. If that wasn’t enough, the announcers in charge of hilariously telecasting your extremely violent killing spree are voiced by none other than comedy legend Greg Proops and veteran voice actor John DiMaggio. Needless to say, your eyes and ears will be attentive at all times soaking in the games ambiance.
Though strong, the game's presentation is not the only unique aspect. Created with fun in mind, Madworld’s gameplay borrows from yesteryear's beat-em ups and puts a spin on them. Much like those games from way back when, the point of every level is to fight your way through onslaughts of enemies, amass a certain number of points and ultimately vanquish each level’s boss. In order to achieve all of the mentioned goals, gamers will have to to earn points to advance the game. In order to do so, enemies must be defeated in as creative of a manner as possible leading to deaths via impalement, catapulting, and alien abduction.
As fun as Madworld sounds, it is not without it’s flaws. First of all, the combo’s that often yield the most points become repetitive rather quickly until later levels. On the subject of levels, while they vary greatly in look and theme, there exists only a handful of levels to play through, making Madworld very short. Even worse are the disparate difficulty settings. Played on normal Madworld is an absolute breeze, on the other hand, upping the difficulty by one notch creates a game that is immensely more difficult.
Stylistically, Madworld is a marvel of a game that manages to make every gush of blood look like a piece of art. Adding to the style are top-notch voiceovers, ad-libbing and a solid soundtrack. Furthermore, the gameplay is fun, different and pretty easy to pick up and play. Unfortunately, with a short lifespan and little to no replay value, it’s hard for me to recommend anyone to buy Madworld. Instead, I think everyone should play through it at least once given the opportunity.