Shrek Superslam - Review
The Shrek movies have been a massive success for Dreamworks with the first movie taking in a massive $US484 million dollars worldwide (and a production budget of $US60 million) while the sequel took in a monstrous $US920 million worldwide (with a production budget of $US70 million). With a box office like that there was little chance there wouldn't be games to cash in and indeed Activision wisely (and probably expensively) picked up the rights. Despite the fact that there is no third movie yet (it's due out in May 2007) the games keep on coming and this third game promises to finally provide the entertainment that the license deserves following to previously mediocre games. Essentially this is a melee fighting game for up to four players so the story is a bit light on the ground, so let's look at what's in the game.
|Battle on the hilltop.|
This game includes a total of 20 characters including favourites from the movie such as Donkey, Puss-In-Boots, Princess Fiona, Prince Charming, and of course Shrek as well as several new characters not seen in the game such as a Unicorn. Each has his or her own signature moves such as Puss in Boots' Love Stun or Pinocchio's elongated nose! Shrek Superslam also includes 16 arenas all of which are littered with weapons, magic items and environmental hazards.
|Puss-in-Boots is a classic.|
While this is essentially a game for the younger audience there are some disturbing things. The first is the Story Mode. Now when you think about story modes you think about a lengthy single player game, hopefully with a story that either creates a universe, or in the case of a movie license elaborates with more background detail. Sadly the Story mode in this game is simply 8 missions with some amusing, but ultimately story-free cut scenes. Not quite up to what we expect these days. Fortunately the single player game is significantly lengthened by the inclusion of a series of over 30 challenges which are certain to keep you playing for a while longer.
Where this game does shine is the multiplayer modes for up to 4-players via multi-tap on PS2. This melee mode is tremendous fun and with lovable characters, a known world (if only from the movies) and plenty of pickups this is tremendous fun and a fantastic party game.
|Shrek goes for the body slam.|
It must also be said that the combat in this game has been kept rather simplistic, obviously to keep younger gamers playing. During the levels there are weapons to collect such as large club type weapons (such as a leg of ham etc) as well as guns which adds in a bit of variety. Being aimed at the younger market the game is a little too easy for seasoned gamers and the single player modes will be completed in fairly short time, but much like most multi-player centered titles the single player modes can be seen as the appetizer to much more fun.
As expected Shrek Superslam is very bright and colourful with some superb arenas taken straight from the movie (such as Poison Apple Inn and Dragonís Gate), or made up for this game. The characters themselves aren't overly detailed, and can be a little angular at times, but their animations are silky smooth and look wonderful on the screen. Each of the stages has destructible sections, be it tables, buildings or any other number of other objects. If, for instance, in the tavern a character is thrown through a window he will then re-enter the arena through the front door. Quite cool. The frame rate is fairly solid with plenty of effects evident during the battles.
|It's all mayhem.|
When it comes to the audio in Shrek Superslam the absolute highlight is the voice work. Now we're 99% certain that the voice actors aren't the same people used in the movie (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz), but they're damn close and gamers will be hard pressed to fault the voice work. What's more the dialogue, for the most part, is amusing - especially Donkey again - and will have you chuckling on more then one occasion. Sadly the music and effects are fairly generic so the game looses a few marks in that area.
|The unicorn in the game.|
I'll admit that I went into this game expecting nothing - perhaps a couple of fun moments here and there if I was lucky. What I discovered was one of the most amusing and entertaining titles on the market, and certainly the best Shrek game to date. Sure, it's aimed at kids, but the same could be said of the movies I guess and they entertained their fair share of adults too. Shrek Superslam is a fantastic Christmas gift for younger gamers.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
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|GRAPHICS||Simplistic but quite colourful, good frame rate and fun cut scenes.||79%|
|SOUND||Voice acting is superb but the music and effects are shallow.||73%|
|GAMEPLAY||It's simplistic, but really is quite fun especially in multiplayer.||82%|
|VALUE||Plenty of characters and stages, but needed a deeper story mode.||55%|
|OVERALL||Shrek Superslam is a game which both youngsters and older gamers will both enjoy. Single player is good but this game is much more fun when in multiplayer. All that at a bargain price of $69.95. ||76%|