Shrek the Third Review
With the release of a new Shrek movie comes the inevitable release of a new Shrek game, and inevitably it’s a platform game. Shrek’s debut on the Wii comes with all of the usual old jump and bash gameplay, but now you can shake your controllers. All of this is not really surprising in a sad sort of way, but what is mildly so is that Shrek the Third is not as abysmal as your typical game based on a kiddie movie.
Shrek the Third closely follows the plot of the movie as you must guide Shrek and friends to find Fiona’s brother Arthur and bring him back to Far, Far Away so that the reluctant ogre does not have to become king. This involves a very linear trek through levels inspired by locations in the movie interspersed with some amusing cutscenes presented using paper cut-out puppets.
The basic gameplay follows the standard platform script of jump puzzles interspersed among long stretches of enemy thumping, although there is one slight twist. As you defeat enemies and bash objects, little blue glowing orbs will be released. These glowing orbs are fairy dust and are used to fill a special attack meter. The meter is divided into three segments, and you can unleash a special attack as soon as a segment is full or wait until the entire meter is filled and release an even better attack. Well, while you’re playing as Shrek or Fione that is; other characters only give you one level of their special power. The game puts you in control of different characters at various stages of the game, and each has their own special attack. Shrek and Fiona can use a full meter to slow time down ala The Matrix, Puss in Boots can distract enemies by looking cute, and Sleeping Beauty can make enemies fall for her and begin to fight each other for her love. The special attacks add a little variety to the game, but are not really all that necessary considering how easy most of the combat is in the game. You move from screen to screen, watch a few baddies appear and then shake the remote to hit them (or the nunchuck for a more powerful blow). The game is not terribly long, but only the most rabid Shrek fan will enjoy this sort of repetition for the entire course of the game.
The game also adds numerous side quests to each mission (the main quest being inevitably to bash your way from Point A to Point B), but accomplishing these are ridiculously easy. They invariably require you to collect items or bash things, and the items are either in plain sight or hidden in things you’d smash anyway. You could argue that this makes things nice and easy for the younger set, but this is an E10+ game due to all of the wanton cartoon violence.
If you’re on a Shrek high after seeing the movie, by all means go ahead and rent this game. Before your rental is due back you’ll probably have had your fill with it. However there’s just not enough enjoyable or challenging gameplay here to keep you going long enough to justify purchasing the game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 63%. Better than your average movie licensed platformer, but still not a great game by any means.