Monsters Vs. Aliens
Fun, but sadly lacking in Insectosaurus.
Posted 4 years ago By - Zach R.
What really works for MvA is the fact that you have four different characters to play through with. This means that you’re never asked to do the same mind-numbing tedious tasks for very long. Essentially, what you’re given here is a chance to play through levels that are either taken straight from the movie, or supplemental material meant to compliment the film. The basic premise remains the same as the film, however: Stop the evil Gallaxhar from destroying the earth.
The levels themselves are well-designed, and while linear in nature, they’re still such a joy to play. The developers seem to have taken into account that their target audience can be easily thrown off by the sometimes confusing nature of open world games. As a result, rather than tossing players in and asking them to explore the world until they’re good and lost, this is a game that designs its levels to be as straight forward as possible, but still offers up a fair amount of challenge. This is most evident in B.O.B.’s levels, where you’ll need to evaluate the best ways to progress through levels, and some of the methods are indeed quite clever. Another refreshing aspect of the game is that none of the levels ever overstays its welcome. While most would say this is a detriment to the game, I have to say that I was ultimately impressed with this. Yes, they could have done plenty to make the levels longer, but in the end, that would have completely changed the dynamic of the game for the worse.
On the Wii, it’s not uncommon to see a dumbed down experience when it comes to multiplatform games. Thankfully that’s not the case here. The Wii version of MvA is quite capable of standing on its own two legs, thanks to some solid implementation in the controls. Nothing against the 360/PS3 versions, but the IR aiming feature really works best for this game, and gives it a more natural feel, especially during the Missing Link levels, or if you’ve got someone watching your back as Dr. Cockroach. My one complaint is the quick-time motion events that pop up every so often. They’re not overly prevelant throughout the game, but when they do come up, they can feel a little less responsive than they should here and can sometimes cause you to have to restart small sections over again. Like I say, these instances are uncommon, but they’re frustrating when they do come up.
On the Wii, MvA is a pretty slick looking title. Character models look fantastic, with the exception of B.O.B., who seems to stand out more, likely due to the difficult nature of animating a gelatinous blob. His attacks look fine, but the movement while he’s just oozing along the floors seem to be lacking something. Normally, when it comes to cutscenes, you’ll notice a huge difference between gameplay and the CG sequences in most games. That’s not the case here. Cutscenes are run on the in-game engine, and while it doesn’t look overly bad, it’s also not as crisp during these scenes as it could be. That’s not to say the game itself looks bad, though. On the contrary, the environments and character models do look great during gameplay, but it’s a bit jarring to see the characters up close during videos and not seeing them polished just a little more.
The games voice-overs are fairly decent, though considering some of the actors from the original movie voice their characters here (Rogen, Witherspoon, Arnett and Wilson), there are times when it sounds like they’re just phoning it in. It’s possible that the weaker writing for the game is the main culprit, though. There’s also a slight problem with one-liners being repeated ad naseaum. While far from perfect, it’s definitely a solid effort overall that fans of the movie will appreciate.
The game clocks in at around 8 - 10 hours, depending on how much time you spend on extra missions and perfecting your score for each level. There are also quite a few unlockables. While most consist of concept art and screens from the movie, the one unlockable that made it worth playing through levels more than once was the character commentary. While the commentary is short, they’re all done in character, and seem to have the best written dialogue in the game. The commentary isn’t necessarily a new thing to games, but the concept here was pretty neat and made me want to go back and replay the levels at least once. The overall package is definitely worth it if you or your little one loved the movie.
Monsters vs. Aliens is a solid game that really makes the most of its source material. While it’s relatively short, there’s a ton of fun packed into every minute of play time. Even if you weren’t a fan of the movie, the gameplay here is fun enough to recommend to anyone looking for a good action/platformer on the Wii. Beenox seem set to dispel the myth that all movie-licensed games need to be absolute crap, and I have to say, they’re doing an excellent job, so far.
+ Characters look great in-game.
+ Voice acting is solid for the most part.
+ Excellent level designs.
+ Extras galore!
- Minor control issues with quick-time motion events.
- Dialogue seems a bit weak here.
- Relatively short.
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Release Date : 2009/03/24
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Activision
Developer : Beenox Studios
Category : Family
ESRB : E10
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10