If Madworld sounds familiar it’s either due to the special graphical style or because of the over-the-top gameplay. Both aspect are also the biggest strong points of this unique action game for the mostly very serene Wii.
In the game you take on the role of Jack, a participant of the very violent and tasteless TV show DeathWatch in which the main lead gets encouraged to reduce opponents to lifeless pulp in ways as spectacular (and bloody) possible. In a world of black & white the red blood splatters are the figurative meter for the popularity with the viewers. The more red, the better, and the 18+ rating was clearly not given for one “fuck you” too many. Intensity and violence are key from beginning to end and the ideal variation between some fluffy mini-games and the making of a cute Mii of your grandma.
You would do best to send out grandma when you’re playing with Jack by the way. She could get nightmares from the many ways you end your enemies. A wall with giant spikes, chopping machines, traffic signs (ideal to penetrate heads with), or a roaring chainsaw: the idea is to use as many as quickly as possible. The result is a blood bath but one with a wink. The way of presenting, the comedy-drenched accompanying commentary (hilarious!), the fat soundtrack and the setting make that you’re never taking things seriously and can wave around your Wii remote with a clear conscience.
The normal gameplay of the short levels is often varied with appealing boss battles, and you can also try out some minigames. In my opinion the bosses are one of the stronger points in the game, at least if you’re not someone who believes that bosses should be obstacles that will cost you blood, sweat and tears. Of course you’ll have to press buttons quick-time-like after having softened them up with some punches, but the resulting animations and cut-scenes are really worthwhile and perfectly suit the comical and over-the-top atmosphere.
I already talked shortly about the mini-games but don’t expect crazy rabbits with cute “spray us down”-missions but games where you need to shoot off a bloody firework, Man Golf (indeed) or squishing bodies as fast as you can. That you can play it with friends makes it all just interesting enough to be more than… an appetizer.
For once we can’t complain about the controls. Craftly removing the necessary bodyparts from a person feels quite ‘realistic’ and you always have the impression that the game registers your movement well and that you’re not just doing whatever to get the correct move on screen. However, we did look often for a way to completely get the camera under control, a frustration that showed its head once too often and one that becomes quite annoying in combination with the sometimes smaller levels. If you have to replay an entire level due to this (only a limited amount of lives and time are available) you’ll start cursing almost as much as Jack. Almost!
MadWorld has all in all become a unique game. Not only due to the special presentation but mostly because of the hilarious ironic setting and the accompanying gameplay. The game is all but perfect though, and those that want to finish it just once will quickly see the end credits. But no matter how short your appearance will be, you’ll keep good memories of it.