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Monsters vs Aliens on 360, PS3 and Wii is a fun, but simple game. Easy-peasy controls, interesting levels and funny dialogue. Although I don't like to admit it, this ticks all my kid-like boxes.
Monsters vs Aliens is one of those movie-adaptation games, so it follows a kind of plot-led game style I've seen, and enjoyed, in games like Bolt. This whole pre-determined plot thing means that Activision have been able to focus on making the game as fun and engaging as possible.
Monsters vs Aliens lets you play a few different types of characters; a huge giant woman called Gigantica, a green-skinned mutant called The Missing Link and a blob of goo called B.O.B. Naturally, each character offers very different game styles - fighting, puzzle solving or just running and jumping around in a half race half assault course kind of level.
I had a problem with the tutorial though. The game uses a character called Professor Cockroach communicating over a radio to guide you though the levels. However, in tutorials for each character, I felt as if I was having controls and instructions bombarded at me from every direction. For such a simple-to-play game, the tutorial should have been an easy-going step-by-step process. If I, being the gamer-addict, found it rushed, I dread to thing what kids of five or six would think of it.
Playing with my brother though, the multiplayer did seem to add to the game.
The game at large was generally nice to play though, the combination of puzzle solving and all-out mad robot combat (who look a lot like those nodding head figurines you can buy) worked really really well. The game comes into its own when you start to get further in - running of walls as if you were a ninja as Gigantica or slowing down time to co-ordinate your attacks as The Missing Link.
A fun, though slightly limited, multiplayer feature means that a friend can play along, though I must admit my friends didn't leap at the chance to join in with the robot-smashing fun. It must be a taste thing.
Playing with my brother though, the multiplayer did seem to add to the game - it's also really a handy thing to do if someone younger is stuck on a particular part of a level. It offers a nice opportunity for drop-in drop-out play. It's this kind of touch that shows how the developers have taken care over the game.
Another one of those touches is the B.O.B levels. Here you can jump onto different walls, and even the ceiling, to solve puzzles and hit switches reminded me of the 360 rotation of Super Mario Galaxy Wii, something I loved. He also had a cool ability to turn himself into a turret, and shoot at anything nearby, turning the puzzle levels into an arcade-style shooter like Asteroids.
Although I'd like to think I'm a bit too old for these sorts of games now, I actually really enjoyed it.
My main problem with the game is that it's just to short! I felt like levels went by in the blink of an eye, and, by the time I’d finished it, I didn't really get a feeling of really getting my money's worth. However, this lack of gameplay didn't really effect my opinion of the game overall- the lack of length doesn't dampen the entertainment of the game.
It all makes Monsters vs Aliens a fun game. And since fun is what kids game are all about, Monsters vs Aliens ticks most boxes. Although I didn't want to play it again once I'd finished it once, there was still plenty to keep me entertained for a good few hours. And although I'd like to think I'm a bit too old for these sorts of games now, I actually really enjoyed it.
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