Economy got you raging? MadWorld is the ultimate stress toy.

What do you get when you take No More Heroes and add a measure of Manhunt, a dash of Running Man, sprinkle with dialog from Grand Theft Auto, and wrap it all in the stunning graphics from Sin City? It’s called MadWorld and it is definitely a world like no other on the Nintendo Wii.

Developed by PlatinumGames and produced by Sega, this third person ultra-violent bloodbath mayhem literally looks like you are playing a hardcore graphic novel. Completely over-the-top, this game is a very adult exercise in ultra-violence, excessive blood, and profanity in nearly every single scene. You play Jack, a beefed up bruiser who stars in an underground bloodsport show and the more creative and interesting his kills become, the more cash prizes he earns. Though simple and straightforward seeming at first, the game continues to evolve and unfold as you progress.

The game initially consists of a third person melee mode where you control Jack and attack all foes in various ways with your primary weapon being a retractable chainsaw modification for Jack’s right arm. Picture it as an upgraded Army of Darkness weapon. Each new area in the city has a point requirement that must be met before the area boss will appear, and of course all the area bosses must be defeated before you can progress to the next area. Various weapons are accessible as you move through the city if you search for them and lots of the scattered debris can be put to good offensive use as well. Later levels include a simple arcade attack motorcycle mode among other things.

Wii motion integration is excellent throughout this game with on-screen prompts directing various specific motions with the right or left hand control triggering different attack stages and on-screen movements that correspond to the controller movement that was asked for.

The audio score is a combination of repetitive hip pop loops and crass comedy by program hosts providing obscene color commentary as you play (I recognized comedian Greg Proops as one of the voices). The lack of depth and constant repetition made the audio rather boring, but fortunately each audio element is controlled separately in the settings so any particular undesirable element can be eliminated without having to mute the whole game. Others have commented on how much they appreciate the music in this game, however I was not impressed. Just coming off of the exceptional score that the RZA put together for the Afro Samurai game I felt this audio suffered greatly by the comparison.

All in all, this is exactly the kind of game I reach for when I get home from a stressful day and simply want to unwind. Bad economy? Throw a henchman into a spinning blade! Boss giving me grief? Impale a baddie on some gigantic spikes! Someone cut me off in traffic? Throw a old tire on a guy and ram a street sign through his head! Very cathartic. Not having to think too much is a big part of MadWorld’s charm. Things seem simple and straightforward. While Manhunt‘s violence was realistic and gritty, MadWorld’s violence is presented in a much more simplified comic way than a literal one and this helps game play tremendously. See bad guys, kill bad guys in creative ways, reap rewards. The game’s evolution as the levels progress give this game enough dimension to keep players engaged and entertained.

Most of the big sites have given this game a rating of about nine out of ten. I would have to agree. This is an exceptional game and well worth both your time and money.

[tags]video games, madworld[/tags]

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