I am one of those college students that still doesn’t mind being a kid at times, and one thing I still love are great animated movies like Shrek and Finding Nemo. Well, now here is another animated movie from DreamWorks - Madagascar - that I haven’t seen yet but has already been made into a video game. The unfortunate thing about this is that these sorts of games have had a bad reputation over the years of being rushed to capitalize on the movie’s popularity. So do these furry animals end up taking me by surprise, or can this game be lumped into the same category as all of the other cartoon movie games that have been less then memorable? Read our full review to find out.
So now we know that Madagascar is a movie about animals but what exactly is the premise behind the movie? Well actually I really like the idea behind it, which features a group of animals that are all residents of the New York City Zoo. The main guy out of the group is Marty (seems like a popular cartoon name) who is a Zebra and with him and the help of quite a few of his friends they are attempting to leave the zoo, and when they do they find themselves in Madagascar. The story in the game from what I can tell seems to follow the movie plot line pretty well and the humor in this game is pretty good if you like the childish sort of feel to it.
What I was happy to find was that Madagascar isn’t one of those cartoon games that tries to do too much in the game, but really goes after its prime audience, the younger one. With this they created a very accessible platforming adventure that lets you take control of four of the main characters in the movie, which includes Marty himself, Gloria the hippo, the scared giraffe Melman, and then of course the fierce lion Alex. All of these characters have their own unique abilities, but beyond that they all control just about the same on the field.
The game as a whole really isn’t going to surprise any diehard platforming fan, but even for these fans this game still has a lot to offer. It is a solid game across the board that has great controls and just that real laid back feel that we used to get with some of the older platforming games. I really though the developers did a great job of creating a game that was accessible to the young ones but still could be enjoyed by the older ones.
The overall game is not very long and doesn’t do much in terms of diversifying the game, but as a whole it is still impressive. This game is not going to compare to some of the great platformers of the recent years, but it is one of the finer children’s movie games that have been made and one that I actually found enjoyable compared to the many despicable attempts in years past.
One thing I can honestly say I was disappointed with in Madagascar was the visuals, which in my opinion needed a lot more work then they had put on them. First off, the character models in the game to me look very choppy and were really lacking a significant amount of detail. When you compare the character on the movie screen to the one on the game you can see that there was plenty of room for improvement in this category.
The environments are on the same boat as the character models, but in this case the problems are luckily not as plentiful. The use of detail was better in the environments but the diversity just was nowhere to be seen in the game. All of the levels began to look alike, and this made the game seem even more repetitive then it really was. Overall the visuals are nothing to write home about, and for me I really thought there could have been more work done on all aspects of the graphics in the game.
What I did enjoy in Madagascar was the light hearted approach the game had from start to finish. When you play this game you just get that feeling like this is a game where you can really just have a good time and not have to constantly be on the lookout for anything. The game is going to be extremely easy for experienced platforming gamers but for the younger genre this game is really going to be a blast and a perfect blend of challenge and fun.
Madagascar is one of the more impressive children’s movie to be made into a game because of how well the game plays, and not how deep nor how well it looks. It’s not going to be the best Platformer out on the market, but its good enough for its intended audience. If I had a kid right now I would definitely at least rent them the game and make it a purchase game if they enjoyed the movie.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.