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Wii Game Review

Monsters vs Aliens


Format: Wii
RRP: £39.99
Age Restrictions: U
Available 27 March 2009

Based on the DreamWorks 3D feature film, Monsters vs Aliens puts the fate of the planet in players' hands, to save the world as only a monster can. Bash, skate, and ooze as the macho half-ape, half-fish The Missing Link, the 49’11" tall woman, Ginormica, and the gelatinous, indestructible, and brainless B.O.B, with the help of the monstrous 350’ tall grub Insectosaurus. Plus, team up with the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. in co-op mode, to save the earth from the megalomaniacal alien Gallaxhar. Unleash unique powers as all your favourite monsters from the film...

Monsters vs Aliens is a pretty engaging game that will definitely appeal to younger players (whether they've seen the movie or not). Of course, for young fans of the film, getting the chance to play as their favourite characters is an opportunity too good to miss. And, unlike the majority of movie to game conversions, Monsters vs Aliens is actually pretty good.

Throughout the course of the game you can play as various monsters from the film - each of which have their own special abilities - including The Missing Link (Bash, bounce, swing, tail whip, and climb as this prehistoric brawler), B.O.B (Ooze through cracks, stick to ceilings, and absorb and spit out enemies as this gooey blob), Ginormica (Tower over the landscape, test your strength, and use cars as roller-skates as this battling behemoth).

There are 20 different levels which are set in locations from the film as well as new environments created especially for the game. Levels include the streets of San Francisco, Gallaxhar’s gargantuan spaceship, and the government’s super-secret monster containment facility.

You can also play with a friend via the game's co-op mode. At any time a second player can join the action as Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. As the most brilliant scientist in the world, players can blast apart robots, toss away enemies, plus grab hard-to-reach upgrades and other rewards. As you run through the levels you can collect points - which can then be redeemed in the lab to unlock additional content.

My only real complaint (and this is a niggle I have with quite a few Wii games) is that while the general controls are fairly straightforward, when you have to wave the Wii controller or nunchuk around it's not always obvious what you're supposed to do (even with the onscreen help). Towards the end of the first level you have to help Ginormica raise a large door. This you are supposed to do by waving the controller left/right or up/down depending on what action you're shown on the screen. The first time I played this I got the first section right and couldn't work out how to move the controller for the second segment. It took me several more attempts to pass this level - and in the end I've no idea what I did right, but it let me through. I wasn't sure whether to wave the controller frantically or in time with the onscreen instruction - neither of which seemed to work.

While older gamers will probably tire of this game very quickly, younger players will enjoy this - as will their parents if they plan on turning over an evening to competing in a family game.


Nick Smithson

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