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LONG BLOG

Wii REVIEWS: MadWorld

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For those reading one of my Wii review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

The Wii is often mocked for its game library, yet, it actually has a solid list of exclusives that are unavailable anywehere else. Though only Nintendo games were avilable where I am from, I was always intrested on other games. Hence, I decided to play the top 50 Wii games as chose by Gamesradar in this list:

http://www.gamesradar.com/best-wii-games-all-time/

I decided to go back and play those 5o games and review them, atl least those that intrest me and those that I hae not played before. Origianlly, I post most of my stuff in a football forum "Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.

Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

45- MadWorld:
Year: 2009.
Genre: Action, Beat-em-up.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Platinum. 

 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

MadWorld is a game that strongly wants to stand out among its peers. With a bold black and white graphical style, accompanied by bright red splashes of color made frequent by its bloody premise. This is a game that stands out as not only one of the few rated-M titles on the Wii, but also as a unique Action game.

"Like Polo, with chainsaws"

Before talking about anything, the readers should be aware of how different this game is from the usual Action games designed by Platinum and others. MadWorld's action is not as much in combat as it is in the simple actions of murdering your enemies. Your main character, Jack, is not usually bothered by the pawns he has to kill. In fact, they offer very little resistance, and Jack himself has a limited repertoire of moves in which to deal with them.

These pawns exist for Jack to kill and rake in points depending on how he killed them. Simply using your chainsaw to slice and dice around will do the job, but it only counts for little points. Better still, you can beat the fodder up before executing them with some pretty graphic attacks for more points.

However, for the high scores, you will need to be more creative and use both your skills and the environment. For example, you can slam a barrel on top of someone's head, stick in 2 signs and a candle, and then throw them into a grinder. Or, you can stick some pumpkin heads into a few idiots, line them up, and then launch them into a spike wall with a baseball bat.

As Jack, you are asked to be creative with your kills, and you are scored accordingly. Which is why the action is not in subjecting the pawns as much as in killing them. In fact, the combat is very basic and is only used to push enemies around and stun them. Which is okay because combat is not the goal of the game, execution is.

Unfortunately, the game does not prove to be as varied as it should be. While both execution animations and environmental hazards are varied, the actual mechanics are not. Sure, signs, candles, poles, and fans are different, but all of them are stuck into pawns heads in the same way. Similarly, most of the environmental hazards are either activated by the same push of a button or by throwing some pug into them. Its like if Mortal Kombat's entire gameplay is the fatalities. Sure, they look cool, but its becomes repetitive after a while.

Unique Gameplay: +3
Its Repetitive: -7

There Will Be Blood

"It's either kill or be killed "

I can seriously imagine the guys at Platinum first coming up with both the gameplay idea and the graphical style. At that point, they probably realized they needed a plot to go along with it. Which is why the plot in MadWorld feels both forced and it fits really well.

Take the gameplay for instance, kills are allocated points depending on how gruesome the kill is. In the game, you are a participants in the Death Watch games, which grade players based on how creatively they kill the competition.

This might seem like a violent game then, but the violence is ramped up to such an extreme it became more slapstick comedy than gritty murder. Sure, you split a guy in half with a chainsaw, but that is equal to Tom getting chopped in half by Jerry (which happened a few times).

Whoever is in charge of Death Watch has trapped an island resembling Manhattan and forced them to take part in the games. As Jack, you are a participant in these games, but there is more to you than meets the eye. The Death Watch games serve as both the creative thrust for both the gameplay and the plot, which manages to be cool in its cliche.

Like with many Platinum games, the overall plot is ridiculous and over-the-top. Yet, it is carried out in such a way as to make it exciting. Not only are the characters interesting and fun, but the entire presentation as well. Take the two game announcers for example, they hammer in the idea that this is some sort of game for the masses to watch.

Cool Story: +3
Excellent Presentation: +4

I have a chainsaw for a right arm, no need to worry about me

"Just throw a Motherfucker into this jet engine and watch his ass accelerate to hell"

Each level in MadWorld is structured around gaining enough points to meet the boss of that level. You usually get points by murdering pawns, but each level has a mini-game of sort that helps you get to the end total faster. Those mini-games, dubbed Bloodbath Challenges, usually require you to murder cannon fodder in specifically hilarious ways.

For instance, one of these challenges require you to launch some worthless hooligans into a large dartboard, and it scores it as if in a real dartboard game. Another asks you to run over aliens with your pimped up motorcycle.

Generally, these are not deep affairs, but they add a little variety to each stage.

The boss battles however, are dull an unimaginative, as opposed to their excellent design. These battles usually devolve into Wii specific quick time events, meaning you will need to swing the Wii mote or shake it violently. Ironically, the actual swinging around with the Wii is not problematic in the actual gameplay, and is intuitively integrated.

However, in the boss battles, where sometimes you get the same QTE for 4 times in a battle, the swings get annoyingly repetitive, and the vigorous shaking downright offensive. I think each boss battle required me to shake my hands like a madman at least twice. I had to remove my watch because it started hurting my wrist.

Unfortunately, MadWorld's bosses only offer spectacle in their design and in the cut-scenes. Yet in the actual battle itself, they are simply pedestrian.

Bloodbath Challenges: +2
Boring Boss Battles: -4

Go pick on somone your own size, or I will cut you down to size

"Whatever makes the audience happy"

After finishing the game, I asked myself the question: can this game work without the visual style?

I seriously doubt it could. Everything in the game from its plot presentation, to its gameplay elements, is enhanced by the Sin City inspired graphics. I decry the gameplay for being a little repetitive, but the visual style kept it from being unbearably so. I loved the plot presentation and style, but that owes as much to the graphics as to the writing itself.

Through its use of the two contrasting colors, the game world devolves into a unique perspective not encountered much in videogames. It immediately becomes something unique and its flaws are therefore more easily forgiven.

Similarly, we see the game's soundtrack being influenced by its graphical presentation. With a number of original rap songs, the game has an energetic style to its music that helps you around while dismantling hapless foes. I do wish however, that you could switch around the songs as if in a radio, because it makes it less repetitive in the longer stages.

Of special not is the Voice Acting, which delivers a top-notch performance in all its roles, especially the two bickering announcers who manage to make Death Watch a believable dude-bro sport.

Excellent Visual Presentation: +6
Good Sound Design: +3

Would you mind getting reamed by her?

In Conclusion:

By many standards, MadWorld is among the weakest of Platinum's games. Which is not saying much knowing how well regarded Platinum is. I find myself agreeing with that sentiment, while acknowledging that even at their worst, Platinum still made a damn fun game.

Perhaps lacking the usual depth of Platinum's games, MadWorld nevertheless still retains their trademark fun and exciting style.

Final: 35/50

*****************************************************************

"Looking Back at Destructoid's Review:"

Destructoid's review of MadWorld was one of their two reviews experiments in 03.24.2009, featuring a review by former Editor-in-cheif Jonathan Holmes who gave it an 8.5 and a nother by former Dtoid writer Anthony Burch who gave it a 6.5; averaging a total score of 7.5.

Holmes sums it up: "It was only after playing it for about a half hour that I figured out that MadWorld isn't a beat-'em-up; it's a "kill-'em-up." Not judging it against prior beat-'em-ups really went a long way towards helping me appreciate the game. It was also at about the half-hour mark that the game went from being "sort of weird" to "totally batshit insane," which also did a lot to win me over."

While Burch offers an alternate tak: "MadWorld is an odd beast. Its violence and core controls are remarkably pleasing on a visceral level and its sense of humor is so startlingly unpretentious that it's difficult not to admire, but its over-the-top premise is rarely exploited to its fullest potential."

For some weird reason, there are no comments at all on the review, which probably means they were not ported from whatever comment system Dtoid used before.

"Sales Data:"

I am generally not intrested in the sales of the games I like, and I don't measure my penis size through the sucess of games I like. However, sales data is intresting in studying market trends, people's general intrest, marketing strategy, genre effect, and other factors. Which is why I am going to check the sales data of every modern game I review (Gen 4 and beyond).

This one game that I am actually intrested on the history of its sales. MadWorld is infamously used as one of the Mature titles that do not sell on the Wii by Sega, who even went on record by saying it might have done better on the PS3. After the dust settled on this tale, we find that MadWorld sold 770K units world-wide, performing noticably bad in Japan. When compared to other Sega-Platinum titles, MadWorld actually sold more on one console than any other game besides Bayonetta.

In fact, MadWorld is among the best selling 100 for Sega despite being on one consol only, and in fact outselled similar games in its genre.

Frankly, given how Sega operates, their complaint against the performance of MadWorld is just them being full of shit, especially when it outsold both Aliens Colonial Marines and Aliens Isolation (in one Consol) despite having a divisive art style and no known brand to back it up.

"Tips"

1- Each stage has some unique objective that is not necessary to win, but gives a lot of points.
2- If you are surrounded by enemies, dispatching them with the chainsaw is an easy exit strategy.
3- Try and save the weapons you get for the bosses, instead of breaking them.
4- Explore around the stages to find some more killing traps.
5- Some enemies always drop some health, know which do that and look for them when low on health.
6- The game's visuals are not problematic at all, everything is clear and fine.

"Next Game"

I am still surprised by how good Platinum are at making games. Even their worst titles are enjoyable to play, and highly polished as well. The next game in the list is going to be something very different from the mindless violence of MadWorld. At #37, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon promises to be a deep and emotional story.

Usually, I found almost all videogame's "emotional and deep" stories to be largely inferior to their counterparts in all other media. However, I am hoping to be proven wrong here.

Stay Tuned

For Previous Wii game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

Screenshots

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Thanks to the excellent work of community member Dango, now I have a cool infographic of my top 20 games. This list is not my final one, but what I thought off at the moment. If you notice, they are presented in chronological order:





Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
My Blogs