Video Game Review: Madworld

Ever since it’s introduction, the Wii has been saddled with the label of being a “kiddie system.” While the system has made strides towards reversing this image, it has still lacked an “M” rated title that could change the perception of the system. Until now……

Madworld, from SEGA and Platinum Games, is, without a doubt, the Grand Theft Auto of the Wii. It is a game with so much adult themed material in it, it is almost unbelievable that it is a Wii exclusive. It is developed by the same people responsible for the absolutely beautiful Okami, which is amazing in and of itself, considering how far apart from that game this one is. The one thing that this game does share, is the cel-shaded art style, but this game takes it to a whole new level.

Madworld is the story of Jack, a man who happens to have a chainsaw for a prosthetic arm. Jack is thrust into the violent world of the depraved, voyeuristic game show “Death Watch”. jack must proceed through Varrigan City and it’s outlying areas. As Jack passes though each zone, he encounters several different types of “grunt enemies” called killseekers. At the end of each area is a boss. Each boss has a unique gimmick, which carries over to their attacks and dialogue. The story is given an extra level of depth in the persons of Jack’s mysterious sponsor, known only as XII, and a mysterious woman who Jack also seems to be working with. I’m not going to spoil the story here, as there are a few twists and turns.

But, you’re not interested in the story anyway really. In all likelihood, you’re interested in this game for the blood and violence. And, this game is more than prepared to indulge you there. This is one of the most mindless, visceral games I have ever played on any system and there was definitely more than one time I had to do a double-take at the fact I was using a Wiimote and Nunchuk to play it. The game uses an entirely black and white color palette, except, of course, for the bright, vibrant red of the aforementioned blood which gushes from your foes when you cleave them in half with your chainsaw arm. The blood gushing ante is upped by “Bloodbath Challenges.” These have awesome names like “Death Press” and “Man Darts” and are designed as timed challenges where your aim to dispatch as many foes as possible in the time allowed. in addition, the bosses are varied and the encounters with them are white knuckle affairs. Each of the bosses has their own particular quirks. The opportunity exists with every enemy for a finishing move. Though the effect is satisfying for normal enemies, it is spectacularly gruesome for bosses. PLEASE NOTE: THIS GAME IS RATED “M”, AND WITH VERY GOOD REASON! The game features an astounding amount of violence, fountains of blood and profuse persistent profanity. IT SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED BY ANYONE UNDER 17!

The controls are simplistic and have a very short learning curve. The Nunchuk is used for movement the A and B buttons are used for attack, and a swing of the Wiimote while holding the B Button activates the chainsaw. The Z Button is used to jump.

The level design is varied somewhat by the inclusion of vehicle levels in which Jack dispatches foes while riding his trusty mortocycle. This are actually pretty cool to play and make for a nice change of pace.

The sound is the game is fairly basic, there’s some death metal music that plays int he background of every level and the comforting chainsaw effect. But, the real highlight of the audio is the hilarious commentary provided by John DiMaggio, who is probably best known as the voice of Bender on Futurama, and who was encouraged to adopt the same attitude here and Gregg Proops, a comedian best known for his work on the improv show Who’s Line is it Anyway? Here, however, Proops is allowed to use language that was definitely not allowed on Who’s Line.

In the end, this game is a mindless excercise is ruthless aggression. It is a great stress reliever and it serves to absolutely change your perception of the Wii. It is a brutal masterpiece, gorgeous and visceral. It’s only drawback is it’s length, but with multiplayer options and “Deathwatch Challeneges” in every level, the replay value is high. If you have a Wii and are into blood, violence and profanity, pick up this game. You won’t be disappointed.

Madworld gets a 4 out of 5.

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