Madagascar review
The Escape of the Mediocre Zoo Freaks

The good:

-Creative cheats system
-Fun minigames
-Nice music
-Good controls
-Great game for kids

The bad:

-Ugly graphics
-Awful camera
-Way too easy
-Tons of tasks have a pointless time limit
-Very short
-Gets boring quickly


How on Earth did I convince myself to buy this waste of a disc? It's just so unbelievably weak. The fact that it's based on a second-rate movie doesn't make it any better. Stay away from this one.

Graphics: 6.2 -- As you would expect from a movie-based game, the graphics aren't satisfying to everyone. The character models, although accurate in comparison to the movie, are not that great. The necessary details like hair look stiff. The animations aren't too great, either. The words almost match their mouths, but their other movements look limp, and they just feel too slow. When they attack, they look so clumsy, as if they're about to knock themselves over because they can't handle their own strength. The enemies and bosses are even worse. They have no facial movements, they jerk slightly, and they look terribly arthritic. Even though the level designs look better than everything else in the game, they're still not that great. Well, I sort of like how detailed the water is, especially the fluid animations. The sand and grass are good, too, but everything else just sucks. The trees look like cardboard with paper leaves, the rocks look like they're made from Styrofoam and acrylic paint, and the cityscape is just flat and boring, like it's all made of wood. Even the key environmental items look like a rushed sixth grade science project. But the overall background looks pretty good. It has details and somewhat good textures, so it makes up for the crappy scenery. The effects suck just as badly. Of all the stuff that goes on in this game, only walking on sand and grass really does something. The water doesn't even splash; you just walk right under it as if it's not there. There isn't even anything tropical like wind or fire. So, other than good flying sand and okay bits of grass, you won't find any graphical effects. I really wish movie-based games weren't so rushed; then they wouldn't look so faulty.

Sound: 5.5 -- The game sounds a little worse than it looks. I liked the music; some of it's very pretty, and a lot of it suits the levels, mood and all. The only problem is that it can get annoying after a while, so you'll want to turn it down. But the sound effects are something else. Every little thing you do just sounds wrong. Like, if you hit something like trash or a hay bale, it sound more like crumpled cellophane. Running is either exaggerated or understated. Thrown objects were given too much effort and therefore sound upclose when they're distant. And when you activate machinery, it sounds kind of like a 30-year-old pickup truck. Bouncing off of certain platforms is terribly overstated as well. All the other noises sound so rusted and annoying. It's enough to give you a nasty headache. But the dialog is some of the worst I've ever heard. No one sounds like they mean anything; they're all just saying words with no emotion. And I hate it when your characters randomly say stuff during gameplay, especially remarks about being controlled. It's some of the most nagging, obnoxious speech you could ever hear. If they have the same voice cast from the movie, I don't understand why they were so bad with the game when they sounded brilliant in the film. The background characters are even worse. They sound sarcastic, whiny, tired, or insane. The only thing worth listening to is the music; turn everything else OFF!

Handling: 4.8 -- It's impossible to find a movie-based title with decent gameplay these days. The camera is just awful. It jerks in the wrong direction, and it has a difficult time focusing on your character. Sometimes it will go out too far, or else it strains more than a snail in a desert. Every so often, you'll find it hard to see when you're in the middle of open space! Plus, if you're airborne, it's very difficult to aim your landings. The controls, however, aren't bad. They're very easy to use and remember. But what I don't like is collecting cards to use certain movies. Where's the logic in that? Because you can only get one move per every couple of levels, you may not be able to get the aid you need for a certain obstacle. And it's really stupid that you have to collect the cards again and again every time you redo the level. But once you actually have the move, it's such a breeze to use. Additionally, the lack of difficulty makes it perfectly clear this game is for kids. I mean, I beat the whole thing in one day; it lacks every bit of challenge. Even the final stages were a piece of cake. Plus, the health system, constant supply of extra health, and few enemies greatly reduces the difficulty. Ironically, some of the levels are equipped with numerous, pointless time limits. Almost every little obstacle has a short time limit to add to the difficulty. Some of them are understandable, like collecting food before it spoils, but most of it is just stupid. At one point you need to rush through a cave, and the timing is absolutely unnecessary, especially because there are tons of coins you need to collect. Later on, you need to gather some fruit for a gluttonous boar, but it stupidly has a time limit, and it doesn't help that it's easy to lose your fruit. When you run out of time, that stupid boar goes "No, no, you're doing it all wrong! You're supposed to grab the fruit," and that's pretty much how the whole game goes. Despite the demanding timed obstacles, even a newborn could complete the game in a matter of hours. This game is so poorly set up I'm ashamed to play it.

Entertainment: 6 -- I couldn't believe how disappointing this game really is, but I shouldn't be surprised. This is obviously meant for kids, even though the movie isn't completely kid-friendly. Running around through the levels, solving puzzles and smashing stuff is kind of fun at first, but it gets old in no time. Still, there are a few good levels that I wouldn't mind playing. How I was motivated to get to the end, I'll never know. Worse still, the whole plot of the game isn't true to the movie. The ending is basically the same, but the rest is a whole different story. if it were slightly more like the movie, it would be more fun. In addition to the ho-hum main storyline, there are a few minigames, and some of them are quite fun. There's a DDR-inspired lemur game, some mini-golf courses, and shuffle-board, my personal favorite. Though the appeal doesn't always last, these minigames are a great way to unwind. This game may be ideal for kids, and even though the more mature crowd won't like it, it's okay at first.

Features: 5.3 -- I know kiddy games aren't meant to have a lot, but this is just pathetic. There are only eleven short levels, and together they could be completed in just a day. Each level only has a few objectives, each of which are too simple. And compared to almost every game on the market, this is far from acceptable. It's all the bells and whistles of other games. Collect a number of objects for no real reason. Help the locals who are too lazy to do their own work. Outwit the bad guy and move on to the next level. But the extras system is pretty creative. In every level is 100 Monkey Coins, which you use to buy extras from a chimpanzee's shop on the map screen. Here, you can purchase minigames, accessories for your characters (which can be toggled on and off), and a few others like extra health. You can also replay each level fully, but that's about it. I wish they could have at least put in more than three minigames and eight accessories, but hey, it's a kids' game. If you're looking for a game with decent content, this isn't where you'll find it.

Replay Value: Moderately Low

Overall: 5.5 -- Some of you may think that I'm being to critical about this game. If you played it for yourself, you'd agree, so don't play it in the first place. It's not worth your time.

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