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Madworld is an unusual Wii game. Not only an 18 but also playfully gleeful in its use of violence that is central to its premise.
Fighting games revolve around the interaction of two or more characters in some form of physical combat. Players learn to control characters through either memorisation of button combinations to access more advance moves, or by their reactions and accurate timing.
Madworld is unique because of its black and white high-art style, and central use of violence. The game focuses around a televised third person killing game show. Talk show hosts egg on the contestants to kill, mame and dismember their opponents. Brawlers place players in a rolling environment and task them with killing the enemies to progress. Madworld, like others in the genre, retains this simplicity whilst accenting it with mindless massacre and mutilation rather than accuracy and finesse. The visual style of the game matches the starkness of its proposition. Black and white 3D characters and environments are accented only by blood and gore. Not only does this enable the developers to cram more action on screen, but adds to the impact of the frightening violence. At the same time though, the playful nature of the commentary and hyperbole of the combat combines with this look and feel to make things feel more cartoony. Although think more Itchy and Scratchy than Tom and Jerry. The game is level based and player by one or two players. Points are scored for performing particular chains of kills. Players may pick up a type, ram it down on an opponent, before shoving them in a barrel and chain sawing them in half. the Wii-mote and Nun-chuck are used to move and fight with gestures triggering attacks and throws.
Players will be attracted to the violent and 'mature' rating of the game, although in actual fact it is the juvenile execution of said violence that makes the game fun. The shock of the first chainsaw severing soon wears off, as players acclimatise to a world where enemies are treated more like meat than people.
At it's best Madworld caricatures over the top violence so common in other games and puts it to use for simple unashamed fun. Players experience the hallowed blood quenched arenas of gladiatorial Rome as they dispatch of all comers no holes barred. It's hard to not smile as you slice an enemy literally in two, to be great with roars of approval from commentators come crowd.
Some time is required to get used to both the controls and blood thirsty-ness. The tutorial takes around 20 minutes and serves as a good introduction to the finer points of the game. Thereafter each section needs around 15-20 minutes to get through, although a little longer is sometimes needed before you can save.
The nature of this game make it the preserve of those old enough to stomach the action. This is a game for those who love the brash shocks and scares of horror films, rather than those looking for some greater good.
Those looking for a brawlers with less blood may get more fun from Castle Crashers 360. Younger players may find the simpler more direct play of Super Smash Brothers Brawl more to their taste.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: