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Shrek the Third Box Art
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Amaze Entertainment
PUBLISHER
Activision
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1-2
WI-FI ENHANCED
No
DS COMPATIBLE
No
BUY NOW AT

Shrek the Third

If the success of a licensed video game is measured by how well it takes after its silver screen counterpart, Shrek the Third for Wii is quite an accomplishment -- too bad the game takes after the film's less admirable qualities of being too conventional and uninspired.

visuals

Developer Amaze Entertainment did a decent job of trying to match the art style of the film. All of the characters are faithfully recreated, with the exception of Gingy the gingerbread cookie man, who is oversized to the height of a small child. The problem with the graphics in Shrek the Third, however, is the lifelessness that pervades the characters and the environs they inhabit. Shrek's model has an eternal glassy-eyed look about him, as do the rest of the characters. A character like Donkey, portrayed as a hyperactive, energetic animal in the film, moves as if sedated by tranquilizers.

The in-game cutscenes also suffer from continued blandness. They usually consist of two or three characters standing six feet apart from each other, motionless save for poorly implemented lip-syncing. To the game's credit, the puppet show format utilized for extended story sequences is inventive, injecting some much needed life and humor into the title.

audio

The biggest gripe with the audio will be the title's failure to provide the celebrity talent that voiced all of the main characters in the film. The sound-alike actors sound close enough to their Hollywood counterparts, and in some cases you won't be able to tell the difference; but, especially in the cases of Shrek and Donkey, these voice actors can't quite manage to fully embody their characters the way Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy do.

The standard grunts and sound effects requisite to a fantasy-themed action game are all here, adding nothing new to the experience, but not detracting from it, either.

gameplay

Shrek the Third is a fairly by-the-numbers action title, basic enough for young gamers to sink their teeth into and bland enough to bore more experienced ones. Stages consist of Shrek moving from station to station, plowing through wave after wave of generic thugs, attacking the baddies with Wii Remote and Nunchuk shakes, on his way to the end. The Wii Remote handles all the standard attacks and jumping, while the Nunchuk allows gamers to charge up a strong attack as well as begin canned animations that lead to a quick enemy defeat, ranging from Shrek's noogie punch to Puss in Boot's cunning between-the-legs, kick-in-the-pants maneuver.

The game attempts to liven things up by allowing the player to take the reins of Donkey, Fiona, Artie, the aforementioned Puss in Boots and Sleeping Beauty from time to time. Players will soon discover that each character controls exactly the same, save for some minor speed and jump modifiers. All characters have the opportunity to utilize a special attack, which is enabled after the player collects enough blue orbs to fill up the special meter. Fill it up all the way and you can unleash a special bullet-time mode for Shrek and Fiona to beat up more thugs in slo-mo.

No action game would be complete without puzzles for gamers to solve, and Shrek the Third is no exception. These puzzles, however, might insult the intelligence of some children who would play through this title, with one of the more advanced puzzles requiring players to stomp on a set of tiles until they all match the pattern laid out in front of them -- a real brain buster.

multiplayer

Two players can duke it out in a number of minigames, ranging from Catacombs Leap -- a Frogger-inspired diversion -- to the more engaging Castle Capture mode, which pits gamers in a battle to knock down each other's castle with a catapult. All in all, the minigames are decent enough, just nothing that will replace Rayman Raving Rabbids as the definitive Wii minigame experience.

overall

The biggest problem with Shrek the Third is that everything lacks polish. The graphics lack the flair of the films, the voice actors can't match their Hollywood likenesses at times, and the gameplay doesn't inspire gamers to continue on.

Chalk this up as another lame attempt to cash in on a summer blockbuster film. Kids might enjoy it for a few hours after watching the film, but more experienced gamers will want to skip this for more polished efforts.



final score 5.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Marco Halili
Staff Profile | Email
"Half of this game is 90% mental."


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