Megamind: Ultimate Showdown Review

Gaming

Publisher: THQ
Developer: THQ Studios
Genre: Action, Family
Format: PS3, Xbox 360
Release: Out Now
Price: $30.00 (US), £34.99 (UK), $79.99 (AU)

Story

Continuing where the hit movie left off, Megamind: Ultimate Showdown aims to provide platforming fun for all the family…

Following the events of the movie Megamind is now a reformed character and do-gooder whose main goal, instead of global domination, is to uphold peace in his city. Quite a turnaround for the former master villain and he was actually doing a surprisingly good job of upholding peace until his arch nemesis, Blue Titan, and the Doom Syndicate decided to start causing chaos across the city making Megamind look responsible! The Doom Syndicate has also gone and stolen Megamind’s DNA Tracking device and playing as the former/new bad guy/hero it’s down to you to reclaim all the parts of your DNA Tracking Device which are located at the end of each of the games levels and restore order and your reputation.

GamePlay

Scattered throughout the levels are collectible blue orbs known as B.I.N.K.E.Y’s ( ‘Blue Ion Nano-Kinectic Energ-y) which act as the game’s currency and gathering as many as you can will allow Megamind to upgrade his arsenal of weapons. Upgrades range from improving firepower and targeting range to destroying multiple enemies at the same time.

Eagle-eyed players will also find collectible and randomly placed ‘loot items’ scattered about. There appear to be just one of these per-level and finding them all is a tough ask made all the more difficult by an uninspiring trophy room which doesn’t reveal which loot items were picked up from which location. However, they are not essential to the competition of the game or the unlocking of any in-game achievements.

Mini-games unlock as you play through the story, but the two player modes on the mini-games (player & computer) don’t seem to work very well so i did not really explore them much, besides it’s more fun to play them with two real people then it is to plow through on your own.

During the one player play mode the game runs like a dream and the film tie-in story is great and the simplicity of the controls means pretty much anyone can pick up and play the game without issue. The levels have a few puzzles which mainly involve moving a objects to start a chain reaction or flicking switches or using different weapons to access otherwise inaccessible areas.

One thing I did find is that each level had very limited health pickups which can be frustrating when you are running low on energy. You only have one bar of health and when it’s gone it’s gone. It’s not too much of an issue though as when you die in-game your health gets restored and you only lose a little bit of B.I.N.K.E.Y. If you are playing on the PS3 or Xbox 360 and are low on health then try and die before the boss battle so you get a full health bar when you face the big bads as if you die during the boss battle then you won’t earn your extra achievements.

Megamind: Ultimate Showdown, can also be played as a two player cooperative adventure but this is buggy at best and riddled with silly little issues that make me wonder whether this was a last minute decision. In the two player co-op mode the second player plays as one of Megamind’s robot helpers and I assume that their main aim is to help pick up B.I.N.K.E.Y and provide additional firepower against enemies. You are lead to believe that there are certain areas that only two players working together can reach but I didn’t come across any in my travels.  In addition the in-game camera makes it next to impossible for your companion to play as it only ever tracks Megamind. So if you decide to wander off to fight crime you might find you disappear off screen only to re-spawn seconds later next to Megamind again which can be a little frustrating for those faithful number twos and not the friendly, cooperative experience as witnessed in Traveller’s Tales seminal Lego games. Another factor you might find annoying is that the robot character is so small on screen that sometimes you misplace yourself – especially when the screen is swarming with enemy robots. Whilst it is all too easy to lose track of yourself at times if ever in doubt just look for the red laser firing from your gun!

Controls, Graphics and Sound

The controls in Megamind: Ultimate Showdown are extremely easy to use and children will find this game very easy to pick and play.  On the Xbox 360 (version played) the analogue stick moves Megamind whilst the A button is used to jump (press it twice to double jump), B interacts with objects by moving or picking them up and the X button attacks. Simple!

The overall design of Megamind is a real visual delight. The backgrounds are well animated as are super-heroic, likable characters that inhabit them. Boss encounters are especially fun and memorable for the funny voice acting. Jonah Hill (as Titan) really shines here and it’s a shame that more of the movie’s actors did not sign on to do voice work for the game.

The game’s audio fits in well with the overall atmosphere and the soaring themes that are reminiscent of all the best super hero movies certainly do the game justice. Sound effects are uniformly great and well implemented and there are some truly amusing one liners from the henchmen of the Doom Syndicate.

Overall

I actually enjoyed the game very much and found it to be both very entertaining and also very amusing at times. One of the few let downs was that it was not really as much of an ‘Ultimate Showdown’ as the title suggests as the game felt too short and can be completed in just a few hours. In fact getting a full 1000 achievements points on this game was very easy and can actually be done on your first play through! As mentioned earlier, the disappointing two player option was also a letdown – particularly given the short length of the game otherwise.  I would have liked some two player achievements as an incentive to play the game in the otherwise broken co-op mode but don’t let a few minor gripes put you off especially if you are a fan of ‘old school’ platforming titles as there is much to enjoy here even if only in the short-term.

Pros

  • Decent single-player game.
  • Great animation and beautiful vistas
  • Upgradable weapons make looking for B.I.N.K.E.Y fun.
  • Easy 1000 achievement points on a single play through
  • Jonah Hill and some great voice over work

Cons

  • The two player co-op mode can be a little too frustrating at times
  • No health pick-ups.
  • Too short
  • Other actors did not sign up to do the voice acting

I give Megamind:

8-0-capsules-out-of-10

Loves games i work for a Game store for the last ten years too so i am a all game girl

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