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FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Madworld Review

KevinS By:
KevinS
03/26/09
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Fighting 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Sega 
DEVELOPER Platinum Games 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

Mad AND crazy.


D'ya ever really feel the need to just take out all of your anger and violent tendencies at once? Ever felt like you were pinned in a corner and had to fight your way out? Ever just wanted to see somebody die?

click to enlargeThen you're a bit messed up. And you'll probably enjoy Madworld as much as I did.

Madworld is the type of game that you tell your friends about: more violent than a Quentin Tarantino film with just as much casual swearing, and a greater variety of murder methods than a serial killer handbook. The whole presentation is very reminiscent of No More Heroes, another overly-crazy bloodbath to drench the Wii, but in an an attempt to outdo everything that has come before, MW tries to slide under the limbo bar even further. I don't think I've ever seen so much blood come out of a three-dimensional figure before!

The story (not that it really matters too much, the game is a pure “kill anything that moves” affair) focuses on the character Jack – just Jack – on a mission of unknown goal. All that's known about him in the beginning is that a) he HAS a mission and 2) he really, really enjoys killing people (which is good, because he's very good at it; do what you know and all that...). Along the the floods of enemies (filled with their own floods of life-juice), plus there are crazy mid-round games (like “Man Golf,” pinning a faceless drone to the ground and using a golf club to send their head flying through targets) and boss battles.

Each boss is not really more or less tough than any other, but each takes a different tactic which gives him a different flavor and keeps the play interesting... for a short while, at least, then it starts to repeat itself by throwing another wave of the same enemies at you again. But this might be alright, as the game also throws into the fray different weapons to use at your pleasure: a nail-studded baseball bat, a golf club, dual knives, even plates of buns to hurl at opponents are strewn throughout each stage.

click to enlargeBy FAR the striking feature from the onlooker's perspective is the graphical style: the whole thing is in slightly grainy, outlined, classic-but-not-classy black-and-white (with the occasional yellow and prominent red) grit that makes the game seem even darker. The black and white style actually makes the game look more clean because instead of watching two textures not entirely meet (think of video game walking), the lined effect looks more natural, more like an actual person might walk across a flat surface. That, and the faces of every enemy are made vivid and detailed (especially when you're sticking a street sign through their throat).

That being said, it really is the repitition that brings this game down. When every stage is essentially “earn enough points to unlock” and the only ways to do that are a single mini-game and the same enemies over and over again, it's difficult to stay amped up for the boss fights.

The dialog is visciously amusing, especially with certain bosses (“She's a viscious bitch. And she's gota HUGE rack!”), but even during the bulk of the level and as funny as they might be, having the same sayings repeat as often as they do is a bit disappointing. The sheer absurdity of the whole thing though manages to keep this game interesting through the slayings of the thousands of baddies.

click to enlargeAs disturbing and disgusting as this game might be (remember, don't play it in the same room as your mother... unless she's into this sort of thing, or you're willing to hear her repeat “WHAT THE HELL” over and over again), there is a real beauty to the experience.

I haven't seen something like this really come along for the Wii very often, or for a Nintendo console in general. I hope this changes the thought process of Nintendo consoles being considered just for “casual” players and kids, like No More Heroes, Killer 7 (for the Gamecube) and Conker's Bad Fur Day (for the N64) have tried before. There is some potential here to show the world that the big N has changed with the times, and while wants everybody to be able to have fun with their little white box, that it really can be a mature gaming platform, and able to show the competition some grown-up fight.

Especially when you can grab a guy, cut him in half, and they're all bloody and screaming and painting the world red as the street sign sticks outta their throat and they're stuck pinned in a barrel and they're thrown into a wall with spikes sticking out of it... reminds me of my own days roaming the streets of the death match. * sigh *
B+ Revolution report card
  • Black and white hasn\'t been so gorgeous
  • Dialog is free-wheeling and unpredictable
  • Controls are easy and engaging
  • Wave after wave of enemies
  • That are pretty much all the same

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More information about Madworld
Also known as: Mad World, mad world