Madagascar 3: The Video Game (Wii) - First Impressions

posted 13 Jun 2012, 20:16 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 13 Jun 2012, 20:16 ]
In line with the release of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted which, little did I know, has been in theaters for a week already as of today, Madagascar 3: The Video Game sees the familiar cast of eclectic, talking animals as they try to find their way back home to New York City -- yes, still after all this time. In keeping with the prevailing circus theme, how is the game doing at putting on a show of its own?

Well, one of the first things I observed about it that I wasn't made clear on before was that this is actually designed to be a two-player co-op experience by the looks of things. That doesn't stop solo players from enjoying what this game has to offer; using the 1 and 2 Buttons you can switch between the two active characters for a specific mission. I have yet to encounter a mission where I've been able to go the whole way with just one character, which led me to the conclusion just described. Each of the playable characters -- Melman, Gloria, Alex, and Marty -- have their own special abilities, though I'd hardly refer to them as anything substantial. Melman can sneeze at enemies and, in the process, produce a stomp that can open up closed-up compartments, while Gloria's specialties are hip bumping and diving underwater.

The game's Story Mode is a mission-based affair where, after completing the training missions, the wise-cracking penguins will take the team to European locations to seek out items and accomplish assorted tasks. Within these environments, you'll find Animal Control officers who will try to bring you in if you draw too much attention to yourself. To lay low, you can press the C Button to whip out a disguise, but I am currently on the fence as to the value of this feature. As an aside from the standard fetch-quest-type missions, I've encountered a few of the additional activities the development team has thrown in to vary the pace a bit. One of these tasks you with escaping the clutches of Captain DuBois -- yet another belonging to the Animal Control team -- by running down the streets of Rome, collecting balloons and jumping over crates like hurdles on an Olympic race track. 

So far, nothing out of the ordinary has popped up yet. What has popped up has left me with a few concerns that reside on multiple ends of the spectrum, but I am by no means taking an early stance on the quality of the game just yet. As the game continues to takes me back and forth through hoops, I'm interested to see if these hoops are then set ablaze later on in the experience. I'm cautiously hopeful for reasons I will not disclose just yet. For more details on that and more, stay tuned for my full review later this month.