What we liked:

+ Beautiful
+ Easy to learn controls
+ Extremely fun
+ Breaks the Wii's "kiddy" image
+ More blood and violence than you can shake a stick at

What we didn't like:

- Some camera issues
- Terrible background music
- Hard to put down

DEVELOPER: Platinum Games   |   PUBLISHER: Sega   |   RELEASE: 03/10/2009

The soccer moms will not approve of this one.

Ever since I bought my Wii, I have only turned it on to play games like Mario Kart and Wii Sports. Honestly, the Wii is only being used by my girlfriend to play the MySims games. Well, I am about to take the Wii back thanks to Sega’s latest game, MadWorld. This game isn’t something you typically find on the Wii. There are a few M-rated games for the system, but MadWorld is the hardest “M” you will probably ever find on Nintendo’s system. So parents, take note, MadWorld is for mature audiences only.

MadWorld takes place in the fictional city named Varrigan which has been taken over by a terrorist group known as the Organizers, and they have enslaved the population to play a twisted game they call Death Watch. There is only one rule in Death Watch: kill or be killed. You play as Jack, an unknown participant in these games, who may become an unlikely hero for the city. MadWorld makes full use of the Wii-mote to perform vicious attacks, dodge moves and to deliver over the top finishing moves. The look of the gameplay is an interesting and stunning choice. The game has the look of a black and white graphic novel. The only other color you see during gameplay is red; and you see a lot of it. This is probably one of the most violent games I have ever played-at least on the Wii. I mean, what other game lets you grab an enemy, throw him down ass first onto a spike? None come to mind. That’s just a little taste of the violence you get with MadWorld.

The whole point of MadWorld is to cause as much violence and spill the most blood as possible and do it in different creative ways. As you go through the levels, there are multiple ways to dispose of your foes. You can use quite a few different items on the street you are fighting on as weapons. The streets in the neighborhood have been altered a bit in the way of having beds of spikes and spinning blades coming out of the walls. One of my favorite ways to end an enemy’s life is to stick a tire around him (which incapacitates the baddie), then go over to a street sign, yank it out of the ground and stick it through his neck. Then to finish him off, grab and drag him to the previously mentioned wall of spikes, called The Rose Bush, and slam him onto it and continue to slam him onto to it for up to four times.

The more creative you get with your killing, the more points you get. Like I said, there are multiple ways to kill a foe. Just let your imagination go to town. At the very least, you can just punch your enemy until he finally kicks it, or if you want to dispose of him quickly, just use your chainsaw. Our hero has a mechanical arm that houses a chainsaw. However, nothing is more satisfying then pulling off a finishing move when the enemy is stunned. These finishers are the most violent moves I have ever seen. These moves will be talked about for sometime by those who have either played the game or by someone who saw one of these finishers. One of my favorites is when Jack takes the hands of an enemy, pushes him down to his knees, and continues to push the enemy back until his back is broken, which interestingly enough is one of the more tame executions.

Jack has a few moves to use to fight his way through Varrigan City, and pulling those moves off is really quite simple. Your basic moves are executed with the A button. Tapping it causes Jack to punch while holding it down will instigate a grab move. The Z-button allows you to jump and the C-button resets the camera, hold it down to lock onto a target. MadWorld also uses the Wii-mote rather well. For instance, if you want to use your chainsaw, hit the B-button to unsheathe it, to actually hack an enemy with it, just swing the Wii-mote. If you want to cut someone in half horizontally, swing it left, and if you want to cut someone vertically, swing it down.

Finishing moves are done in a similar fashion. When an enemy is stunned and an icon comes up that says “Finisher” hit either the A or B-button and follow the directions on the screen on how to use the Wii-mote to pull of the finisher. If you want to pull off a simple uppercut, just swing up on the Wii-mote, although, I find this move getting lost in the frenzy of trying to find the coolest way to kill my opponent.

Speaking of cool, the boss battles are amazing. There’s a wide array of boss characters in MadWorld and every last encounter is awesome, from the opening sequence to the final, gory death animation. The deeper you progress through the title, the less it clings to any sort of reality and the stranger the bosses become. The bosses all have their strengths and weaknesses and there’s some good strategy to be had in finding those out, and that’s the hardest thing about the boss fights. I often find myself just running up to the boss and just punching and hacking away. This isn’t the best way to fight a boss, but it is ok to do considering how the game controls and how Jack moves.

You move Jack with the analog stick on the nunchuk, and he controls amazingly well. As you move Jack through the city, you will need to utilize all the moves and finishers you learned to rack up a high score. During your killing spree, if you rack up enough points, you get to participate in a mini-game called the Blood Bath Challenge. These challenges have you killing as many enemies in a certain amount of time in different ways. For example, the first Blood Bath Challenge you encounter has you throwing enemies into a jet engine. Each challenge is introduced by the self proclaimed pimp, The Black Baron and he is one of the funniest characters in this game.

That is until you hear some of the commentary. It is some of the funniest banter I have heard in a video game. Sometimes I find myself playing just to hear what they will say. The only draw back is that it suffers form the Smackdown vs. Raw syndrome; the commentary will repeat. Nonetheless, on the plus side, Sega contracted celebrity voice actors Greg Proops (Whose Line is it, Anyway?) and John DiMaggio (Bender from Futurama) to play those wacky commentators.

The only real problem I had with MadWorld is the soundtrack, which consists of rap music that doesn’t fit the game at all. The good news on that front is that the music is mostly covered up by the other sounds of the game, so you will only hear it when there is nothing going on-and that’s rare. The last problem I had was the camera. While it’s not terrible, it can hinder the gameplay, and the only way you control it is by resetting it with the C-button. Other than that you are at its mercy.

The art style of MadWorld is pretty amazing. The game was developed by Platinum Games, formerly Clover Studios, which was behind the artistically stunning Okami. So there is no doubt about it, MadWorld looks amazing, even if it is only in black and white. I am glad they chose to go down that route though because this game probably wouldn’t be as appealing in color. The look just adds to the gritty feel to the violent-laced city.

MadWorld is way too violent, has way too much cursing, and the gore factor is off the chart, and boy am I glad it is. MadWorld is an amazing game that you have to experience yourself. With a solid story and simplistic and easy to learn controls, the game offers more than just shock value. This is one of the best games I have played or seen for the Wii. If Nintendo is trying to ditch the kiddy feel of the Wii, then releasing MadWorld is a step in the right direction. If you own a Wii and are looking to escape form all the Mario, sports, and “gimmicky” games that the Wii has to offer, then MadWorld is just the game you are looking for. It will be the best $40 you spend on a game for the Wii this year.

Justin is a quiet fellow who spends most of his time working on things in the back-end of the site. Every now and then he comes forward throwing a controller, but he is attending anger management for that.

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