Greetings, all! Last week, I talked about an old NES game that's one of my favorites.
Today brings us to a Wii game noteworthy for being violent as hell, but it's also a little more than that.
Madworld was developed by the awesome and underappreciated Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish-soon to be Games of The Week). You play as Jack Cayman, a big, hulking dude (voiced by Steve Blum) who participates in a game show called "DeathWatch", whereby people kill one another in order to win a huge sum of money. In reality, Jack has an ulterior motive for entering the game, and he's working with someone on the outside.
The game therefore has a much deeper plot than the box would have you believe. There are conspiracies and double-crosses throughout. It's quite entertaining on it's own, but the story is wrapped up in a thick candy coating of comical insanity.
So right off the bat, you'll notice Madworld's visuals. They're in stark black and white. Always, not just in cutscenes. This is my (and I imagine many others') favorite part of the game, because you don't really see games that look like comics. And I mean, really look like comics. Like Sin City is playing out on your TV.
Not everything is in black and white, though. Notably, blood pours out of your enemies in a deep red, contrasting the monochrome visuals. Some HUD elements and such are in yellow, too.
And you'll be seeing a lot of that red stuff, too. Madworld, putting it lightly, is violent.
Like stupidly, insanely, ludicrously violent.
That's Jack hurling an enemy into a crazy, Mortal Kombat-style spiked-wheel-masher thing.
The actual idea of MadWorld is to be as violent as you can, not just killing dudes, but doing so with style. Largely, this comes down to doing combos. For example, instead of just sawing a guy in half with your trusty chainsaw arm (!) you can try to wrap a tire around the guy, jam a street sign into his throat, and throw him into a "rosebush," which is Madworld's term for spike-wall.
Doing this yields more points, which in turn opens up new portions of the level you're in. You're required to not only score enough points to make it all the way through a level, but you need to do it within a time limit. Fail, or die, and you lose a life. Lose all your lives, and it's Game Over.
Let that sink in for a minute. Game Over.
And that's really why I like Madworld so much. It's deliciously old-school. We haven't played a game with high-scores or limited lives in forever. It's a refreshing change of pace and a much deeper challenge to boot, because you can't rely on endless checkpoints (Call of Duty) or magical healing (Call of Duty again). And you'll find yourself going back to completed levels, replaying them for a higher score.
Further adding to the beat-em-up insanity is a collection of delightfully absurd mini-games that pop up throughout the campaign. Introduced by a pimp-like character (who is routinely killed by his silent, um, companion) these games serve to break up the flow a bit. And they're ridiculous.
From Man Darts (you hurl hapless enemies into a massive dartboard) to Man Golf (knock bad guys through floating rings with a trusty driver), each of these is insane, though some are better than others. Still, it's a neat, funny way to get away from the usual gameplay for a while.
Almost forgot, the proceedings are narrated by two commentators, Howard "Buckshot" Holmes (voiced by Greg Proops of Whose Line Is Is Anyway fame) and Kreese Kreeley (voiced by the awesome John DiMaggio, of Futurama and Adventure Time) You'll never stop laughing at these two, though they repeat the occasional line here and there. It's perfect, because it gives you the feeling that you're really on an extremely violent, Running Man-esque game show. The duo is vulgar, crass, and hilarious.
I guess that pretty much sums up how I feel about MadWorld. Dust off the Wii (or Wii U) and give it a go. You can pick it up at GameStop used for a big three dollars, since no one really bought it when it came out. It's a shame, because those of us who did play it know what everyone else is missing.
Thanks to IGN for the images
Hit the comments! Let's chat, I'll answer questions, and you can suggest future articles too!
Next week, I revisit one of my favorite DS games. One that has a lot to do with...numbers.