Dreamworks Animation has made some pretty good animated movies over the years, and a fan favorite is the Madagascar series. With nearly every movie comes a video game based on the film, and Madagascar 3: The Video Game is now available for Wii, 3DS, DS, Xbox 360, and PS3. Yeah, that’s a handful. D3Publiser has given us the privileged of reviewing both the Wii and 3DS versions. Get ready for some 3D circus action from your favorite Madagascar 3 characters as they try to find their way home. What were our thoughts? You’ll have to click after the break to find out. Continue reading for the review! -Greg Boe (admin)
If you’ve done as much as seen the trailer to Madagascar 3, then you already know the basic plot to its game; The gang must travel across Europe by way of a traveling circus and must put on the show of their lives if they ever want to make their way home to New York. While each version is pretty similar, my favorite is probably the Nintendo 3DS version, seeing that you can bring it anywhere with you.
Once of the biggest things about Madagascar 3: The Video Game is the fact that you can play as all of your favorite characters from the movie, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo. Each character has his/her own special abilities. For example, Gloria is the only one who can swim, while others sink when in contact with large sums of water. While there are plenty of lackluster platforming levels, the main attraction on this game are the circus-themed mini-games.
The mini games range from tightrope acts to motorcycle courses, but sadly, this game lacks solid controls and clever level design, making me hungry for more after I had done all there was to do. On the positive side, you’ll be able to get through the game pretty easily, so it wasn’t an overall bad experience for us to play through. Without a definite sense of direction in gameplay, I began to wonder if the developers spent enough time on this title, or if they just released it for the sole reason of making some cash before their next project.
In the Wii version of Madagascar 3: The Video Game, you play in a 3D world as the main characters of the movie. Each character can jump, walk, and use a special ability to help get you through the level. But wait, it gets better; you can even wear sunglasses! You can choose from the game’s story and Circus modes. Story mode takes you through the tragically simple plot and is narrated by two characters from the movie. In story mode, you’re challenged to use the various abilities of the four animals friends to progress in the game, sometime the only way to get across is to use a character that can walk across tight ropes or swim, so you’ll have to flip through the characters very now and then. Circus mode has you using the core gameplay elements in various mini games. Each game focuses on one of the animals’ ability types, and challenges you to utilize these abilities to complete some task. Simple enough.
The 3DS version of this game seems half-baked at best to me, mainly because of its presentation. The graphics are barely above that of the Nintendo DS, and menus and maps are extremely hard to look at. Even though this game is in glasses-free 3D, it is not implemented well, so you’ll be better off playing with the 3D Slider all the way down. I wish deeply that I could give a better review on this game, but we have chosen to be completely honest with all of our reviews.
While playing through this game, I had to remind myself that since the movie was geared towards children, so was the game. And if any of you know children, as long as they see a familiar face on their screen, they’ll be happy with the game. Some developers really go out of their way to make an excellent game that ties right in with the movie it’s based on but unfortunately, there’s nothing that stands out to us in this game that would convince us to fully recommend it. Unless you’re buying this game for your kids, I would save my money for a better game published by D3Publisher (possibly Adventure Time for 3DS).
Madagascar 3: The Video Game is quite ambitious in what it tries to do, but in the end, it both looks an plays poorly. While the idea of switching between characters to use different abilities is really cool, it just wasn’t done well in this game. The cut scenes are kind of intriguing… kind of. What grabbed my attention was the fact that the characters made reference to the fact that I was playing the game. What made me cringe was the poor animation quality, slow reaction time between characters, and the script itself. I understand that movie game developers have a limited amount of time to make a game, but seriously, if the companies producing movie games were given more time to finish their games, maybe they wouldn’t suck quite so much.