Thursday, April 9, 2009
While games based on movies are almost universally terrible, Monsters vs. Aliens is surprisingly competent. It won't be winning any awards, but the overall package features some solid visuals and voice acting, decent gameplay, and some varied environments. You'll be playing as three characters - the giant Ginormica, the blob B.O.B., and the reptilian Missing Link. Each character features completely different level types to ensure things don't get repetitive too fast. None of the level types are developed enough to carry an entire game, but the constant switching makes for a tolerable experience.
Ginormica's levels feature her skating on trucks as you jump and wall-ride over obstacles and through enemies. The Missing Link's areas are more of a standard beat-em-up, as you'll be taking out countless enemies via use of the X and Y buttons. All of the levels featuring B.O.B. are more puzzle-based with a hint of platforming. If any one of these three gameplay styles was stretched out to the length of a full-game, it would be pretty awful and mind-bendingly repetitive. However, they're broken up and differ from each other enough to make it a decent experience.
I haven't seen the movie, but based on trailers I've seen, the game does a great job of reproducing its visual style. Everything is bright and vivid, and instances of slowdown are few and far between. All of the voice acting is done well, and various sound effects and music are fitting.
Considering its demographic, Monsters vs. Aliens does a perfectly good job of being what it needed to be - a simple, enjoyable title aimed at younger gamers that liked the film. It won't win any awards for innovation, but it's better than the (many) other CG movie-to-game translations.
First Play: 7.0
Replay Value: 6.5