Sean W. Gibson / Jun 5th, 2005 No Comments
The popular CGI movie from Dreamworks comes to console gaming with all the fun and adventure of the hit film, Madagascar. The movie centers around Marty the Zebra (played in the film by Chris Rock, but in the game by a different voice actor), just before his daring escape from the zoo. Unlike many movie-to-game storylines, Madagascar does a great job keeping very tight with the big screen picture, and brings a great experience for young gamers looking to capture the same magic back at home.
The graphics and visuals of the game on both the XBox and PS2 are pretty solid and overall, are really nice. It’s a nice transport over from the big screen with some great animation and movement amongst the characters during the course of gameplay. Young gamers will definitely enjoy the graphics of the characters and more experienced gamers will enjoy the detail environments.
Toys 4 Bob, the developer of the title under Activision, has done a masterful job grabbing the script from Dreamworks and making it work into a highly accurate depiction of the actual film. There’s been tremendous care to grab all the big spots from the movie and make the levels and the mini-games hit the mark. All the skills that the characters show in the movie are also highlighted in the game, making the gameplay experience a familiar one.
Controlling your character and getting through levels are defintiely aimed more for young gamers in and around the target demographic of 10 to 13 years old. If you’re looking for a good title that won’t frustrate the little one at home, this is a great title to give as gift. It’s fairly easy to accomplish all the fetching, finding, fighting, puzzule solving, objective doing you do in this game.
Many mature gamers will find the game a bit simple, but you have to remember who the game was developed for – certainly not 35 year old die hards, but more for the young gamer that enjoyed the movie. The standard 3rd person perspective with camera control on the right stick makes for a nice familiar interface (Shrek 2) and each character in the game has their own special moves to perform.
What hits the mark with Madagascar is the comedy, the hilarious cut-scenes, the varied missions, and straight forward fun gameplay for young gamers. A nice job has been done for young demographic here.
The game should last young gamers anywhere from 15 to 25 hours, depending on their interest level and skill. Although mature gamers might wane and going through the somewhat child-like game, young gamers will definitely eat it all up and enjoy the movie experience on the console. The environments are so interactive, there’s actually a lot to interact with while going through the various levels, and the use of getting high scores in the mini-games makes for some replayability.
originality & overall impressions
This is one of the more fun and “close to the movie” games made from a film script we’ve seen in a little while, and we’re sure that young gamers in and around the 9 to 13 year old mark will love the game if they loved the film. The game can’t really be recommended too strongly for mature gamers, but that’s not what it’s about – more for the fun gameplay experience of the movie more than anything.