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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Off Topic: My Favorite Video Games Part 13: MadWorld

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and how can someone be more thankful than playing a game where you participate in a sport that is all about murder, it's time to enter into a mad mad world. This is the first game that was made by Platinum which is a company that has been getting stronger ever since. I talked about Metal Gear Rising before and now I look back to their first game. What was interesting when this game came out there was a little battle going on about this game. No More Heroes was out during this time and people were arguing which game is better, personally I am with No More Heroes, but there is no doubt that MadWorld is a great experience as well.
The reason major why the NMH and MW debate got started was because MadWorld had a very similar structure to how it played. There were several levels and a boss waited for you in the end. There are even rankings and it's not a battle, but a competition. Where MadWorld differs though is that the game Death Watch got very popular and actually broadcasts on television. It's a little messed up to think a blood sport would get out to the public like it did. Well the story of MadWorld is about Jack who gets himself into the games for an unknown reason. One thing for sure though he delivers a deadly punch along with his deadly chainsaw attached to his hand! The game show got started by a terrorist group called "The Organizers" who inform an island that a deadly virus had been released. The only way out is to kill one another for the vaccine and soon Death Watch started because of that. The terrorist group even severed their ties to society itself so they are completely stranded and left to only fight. Jack is actually an agent trying to stop "The Organizers," but there is still a lot of unknown things about the man. There are other reasons why he fights, he's not a man of justice at all. He appears in this game without any sponsor and just starts from the top and even though his foes start to realize who he is they cannot get rid of him so easily since he became a big icon for the audience. Throughout the whole game Jack starts to meet interesting characters like the many ranked fighters he has to fight and even civilians who are still around the area. The story does get a little confusing I will say that, but going back to it somethings do make more sense and other things are still left to be a mystery for a reason.
I really love the game's style with how it looks. It's a huge reminder to the movie Sin City as everything is black and white except for the blood. Thanks to the black and white look, the red blood really pops out and there will be a lot of it. What's great is that a lot of the blood stains will stay around in the environment so have fun painting the city red. The areas of the game are pretty interesting as well. The first part of the game has a ghetto look with small buildings, tons of trash, electrical plants, and full of thugs. The second part of the stages has an Asian motif to them, but it's more of a very stereotypical way of representing that with buses, restaurants, ninjas, samurais, and a sumo ring. In the third level of stages it takes a horror element into with zombies, reapers, and full of slaughter house items. The fourth level of stages is a very futuristic theme with many of the grunts looking like robots and there are even aliens around the area. The final stages of the game takes a casino theme with giant poker chips, casinos, and roulette wheels. Then you get to the final stage where it's a boxing ring and boy it's one hell of a match. Madworld takes all of these themes and adds a huge touch of craziness as there are spiked dumpsters and walls around each area. There is even a restroom that can suck people down when they get stuck in it. The whole point of the game is to kill, kill, and of course kill and this game gives you a lot of options on how to do it. You can even combo certain moves on people as you could  make the foe wear a trash can, skewer the same man with a sign post, and then bash his whole body to the spiked wall. Jack can even get different weapons to wield as these can help with performing new moves and finishers, these can range to a spiked bat to a magnet cannon that uses people as ammunition. Now these choices are limited to certain stages so you can only get the spear during the second levels which is sad because that weapon is way too much fun. Even when you beat the game you can get new unlock-able weapons like the double chainsaw and the deadly Katana. This game is very straight forward which can be a flaw as well since there aren't many secrets to find as you can easily complete the game after one play-through even if you don't realize where things are. Still this game chucks up a lot of content and the best parts are easily the blood bath challenges!
The blood bath challenges are mini-games you can activate when you get a certain amount of points on the levels. Now you do have to perform in them even if you do have enough points for the boss battle. Even if they are forced most of them are a lot of fun. First is how they are introduced, each time a new challenge is shown we get to see the Black Baron. He is a very stereotypical pimp who keeps popping up telling the audience about the challenge. Then to demonstrate it, his girl kills in those manors like swinging him with a spiked bat into a giant dart board. The first game is the Turbinator which is pretty simple as you toss people into a giant fan while trying to keep yourself save from being sucked in. Then comes Rocket Reamer where you throw people onto tracks as they get hit by fast moving trains. Coming up is the Death Press, where Jack has to throw people into a pit as they get crushed by a giant slate. Man Darts comes up which is where you have to swing at people and make sure their bodies hit the Bullseye on the giant dart board. Money Shot comes next where you jam bottles of pop into people's head and send them flying into very sexy targets with spikes on them. Hanbai is next where you get to shove ninjas into firework cannons and make a lovely show out of them. Man Golf comes up where you tear off heads with a golf club and hope to get through the flying rings. Death Press comes back, but this time you throw bodies into a giant hand as it will catch other bodies and crush them. Road Rampage comes up where Jack rides his motorcycle and run over some aliens while making them crash into other obstacles. Money Shot comes back, but with aliens and a bonus UFO you can hit. The final one is Man Darts once more, but it's a lot harder thanks to Jack having to send varying grunts flying to the board. These mini-games really showcase how crazy this game can get and it's done so well where you can always get a satisfying kill in each and every moment of the game and just laugh about it at many times. Along with the over the top mood, there are two announcers who narrate during each level and boss fight. These two are the great things about the game even if their dialogue can repeat a lot of times. The two announcers have great commentary where they make fun of themselves or just make great jokes, for example they keep talking about how deadly one boss is, but every sentence ends with, "Awesome rack on her, though," and "True that." Even the people voicing them do a great job with bring these two to live as Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyways) plays the sad man with marriage issues, Howard 'Buckshot' Holmes. While we also got John DiMaggio (Futurama) voicing the very vulgar and dumb announcer Kreese Kreely who used to be a Death Watch competitor.
The majority of the gameplay is the combat as I didn't really describe how Jack fights. He has his standard punches where he can stun people. Doing punches is not a bad thing as it can weaken an enemy so far that you can preform finishers on them. The chainsaw can be used as it can really help with clearing out a crowd of foes. The chainsaw is a very helpful weapon, but it won't help you gain points as it kills foes easily the best uses for it is easily for the boss fights, but watch out the chainsaw cannot be used forever as it can overheat. Jack can even grab people which is helpful as you can toss people into certain places to kill them, to keep a hold on them you can headbutt them so they are still stunned. There are so many finishers in this game considering you can perform certain stage finishers, weapon finishers, and each boss has their own finisher. You can even finish people off by throwing them in fires, slot machines, and toilets! There are even normal finishers where Jack can throw people or perform finishers with his chainsaw. This really helps keep the game feeling fresh as you would want to really test out the many different options you can do. There is a problem though with the combat. Jack is a big brute and he can be a bit slower compare to other characters in this genre. He does have a good dodge, but there are moments where you will get hit because you are being swarmed. Also there are fast enemies as you can trouble keeping an eye on them, there are even moments where the game can slow down when there is too much on the screen. It's not perfect as the motion controls can even become an issue, there are struggles where you need to preform certain motions with the Wiimote and they need to be very precise. Sometimes it can just bug out though and Jack could fail a struggle even if you did the right motion and those moments can be life or death. So even though it's not perfect, you can still do a lot with Jack and the many weapons he can wield.
It's the worst with the reaper as failing his struggle is an instant death.
I will easily talk about all the bosses for a later moment as I will say MadWorld does share this with No More Heroes. The bosses are a very important part of the game as each fight is very unique and like NMH there are some flops, but MadWorld contains some really major flops. Overall MadWorld is a very over the top bloody Character Action game that I would also recommend. It may be slower than some of the other games and the story is odd and confusing. The presentation is well done though as you can get a lot of laughs thanks to the commentary from the announcers, the very over the top deaths, and the Black Baron!

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