Madworld, wow… ok this is going to be a tricky review. This is Platinum games first title under their new label (originally Clover Studios). Having finished the game on normal in less then a day (which could be a new record for me) I’m ready to write up my review.
Madworld is a stylistic gory beatemup and Sega’s 2nd wave of mature content for the Wii. You play as Jack, a bad ass with a chainsaw on his arm who has entered the game “Death Watch” which is basically “The Running Man” on steroids. Just about everything in the game is over the top, from the violence to the commentary presented on every level. The black and white visuals are impressive and I would be surprised if MadWorld didn’t win the award for most stylish game of the year. So with all that said why do I not love this game?
The gameplay in Madworld is simply lacking and the game doesn’t feel like an action title in the same way God of War or Ninja Gaiden were. Each level follows the same pattern; kill enough enemies in a stylish manner to get a big enough score to fight the boss. There is one gruesome mini game per level and a unique baddie at the end waiting for you. The problem is that I never felt that I was doing anything cool on the same level as Ninja Gaiden or feeling like a bad ass like in God Hand. Enemies are dumb down to give you plenty of supposed options to finish them. However you can only really deal with one enemy at a time (an issue last seen in God Hand) meaning that there aren’t a lot of different ways of execution. Even when weapons and environmental objects are thrown into the mix, you’re still doing the same thing just with a different backdrop. I will give the designers credit for developing a great control scheme making excellent use of the Wii mote. I will say that the QTEs in Mad World felt very natural, which is the first time I’m saying that about them. This is such a shame as I feel like the designers really thrown away an amazing prospect.
I loved God Hand; it is my favorite action title behind Ninja Gaiden Black. I’m not too much of a fan boy to avoid the problems it had. However with some refining God Hand could have been an amazing game and the designers had a chance to do that with MadWorld. The setting, cast of characters and the story are wonderful and they feel too good to be put into such a simplified game. A refined God Hand in this setting would have been a dream to me; the designers missed it. Don’t be mislead by the reviews, this is not a 5 star game or worth $50 period. I’m just really disappointed that they were given the chance to fix the mistakes in God Hand but instead just swept it all under the rug.
Madworld is a stylish, brutal and unfortunately simple game. This is why it gets 3 caution signs impaled to the head, a trash can over it, and then thrown into a turbine.