Review

Megamind: Ultimate Showdown Review (Xbox360)

Whenever there's a movie tie-in game up for review here at Strategy Informer, choosing who has the 'honours' of taking it for a spin feels a little like a round of Russian Roulette. This week I was the unlucky fellow with the bullet in the revolver, and hence I have the 'pleasure' of experiencing Megamind: Ultimate Showdown, the game of the movie. Oh and what a pleasure it is.

From the very beginning Megamind is the kind of dross that you wouldn't wish upon anyone, and it only gets worse, with sloppy voice acting (not provided by the actors from the film), irritating collectathons and poor level design. We don't think we've seen a movie cash-in game this bad in a while, and believe us - we've seen the very worst. It's this type of crap that actually puts us off going to see the film.

We don't know why he's looking so happy - we're definitely not

The plot in Megamind: Ultimate Showdown has absolutely nothing to do with the film. While Megamind is an evil genius in the film, he's actually playing the good guy here, taking on a nasty bunch of villains who we've completely forgotten the name of because they were just that memorable. Megamind then must travel to many exotic locations such as a museum, and do things such as shoot things and run around.

A gaming experience is meant to grip your attention from the start, so that you'll want to continue playing. Megamind goes in quite the opposite direction, opting instead for the most boring and confused opening to a game ever. After a quick cutscene that makes no sense in the context of the film, you're thrown into a central hub area and given no instructions. After manages to work out where to go, you're thrown into the first level, and then for the next 15 minutes, barely anything happens at all.

Megamind can shoot and punch things (both with the same button), and jump. Now and again, he can also pick up objects and place them down elsewhere. In fact, the entire game revolves around shooting people, and move objects around. All the while you'll be collecting glowing orbs which can be used to upgrade your weapons, and also wondering why you're playing this stinking pile of codswallop.

The controls are incredibly average, and jumping across platforms is made difficult by the fact that it's hard to distinguish depth in the game, with dodgy camera angles really not helping. The combat involves hammering a button every time bad guys appear, and well, that's about it. Progression is made by walking to wherever the game wants you to go. It's all very childlike, but even children won't like this game.

Megadull, more like

Especially bad is the dialogue, and the terrible voice-acting just rubs it in. The actors sound utterly, stupendously bored - the guy voicing Minion in particular gives off an aura of 'where did my life go wrong' and unfortunately he's the one you'll have to listen to for about 75% of the game. It all just comes across as forced and non-immersive, and that's quite the opposite of what spoken dialogue is meant to do.

Turning to the technical side of things, Megamind is a hopeless mess of a beast, and you have to wonder if any of the developers have actually played on a gaming console before. Press start and you get the most barren menu ever - it features QUIT, AUDIO and CONTROLS. Not even a CONTINUE - you have to press B for that. The game features no stats at all, no way to check your progress, no anything. It's an empty, lifeless vessel of misery.

How about this - within just fifteen minutes of play, we had earned ourselves over 200 Gamerscore. Who gives 50 points for completing the first level? Either the team are entirely inexperienced, or they just don't give a shit - and both are valid reasons to not go within ten metres of this monstrosity.

Perhaps the co-op mode can help Megamind redeem itself! Well no, sadly. Throwing a second player in to help manages to do the impossible, by making the experience even less fun. This part of the game was most definitely thrown in at the last second, and the second player will rather quickly ask 'do you have anything else we can play?'. Horrible, nasty, no.

I'm blue da-ba-de, da-ba-di..

If you've stuck with this review all the way up to this point, then note that you probably had more fun reading these words than you will have playing Megamind. That's not exactly a bold claim on our part, as Megamind is devoid of any fun whatsoever, like the black-hole of entertainment. Your kids will not thank you for buying them this, and you'll most likely end up taking the game back to the shop, asking for a refund, and suing the shop for emotional damage.

So that's Megamind: Ultimate Showdown then - the epitome of a terrible movie tie-in game. Some silly parents will no doubt still buy it for their children, because there's a Dreamworks logo on the cover and it's about that film what's at the pictures, innit. At least the rest of us can have a good laugh at their expense.

Megamind: Ultimate Showdown is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii.

Top Game Moment: Just no.

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