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Monsters vs. Aliens Review

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Developer: Beenox Studios Publisher: Activision
Release Date: March 24, 2009 Available On: PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

Activision and Dreamworks have teamed up for another video game based on an animated movie by Dreamworks. Monsters vs. Aliens is a game based on the movie of the same name where a team of monsters held by the U.S. government have to fend off an invasion from alien invaders. Does this platformer stack up well against its next-gen counterparts?

Monsters vs. Aliens is a fairly standard platformer. There is a lot of collection, smashing of objects and enemies, as well as some puzzle solving elements. The game supports drop in and out co-op. Each level gives you a score in order to measure how well you did. Throughout each level you will be collecting something called monster DNA which allows you to upgrade your characters and buy things such as concept art and commentary. This is where the DNA chain comes in. You have to purchase these upgrades sequentially along a linear line that branches off into different parts.

You play as three characters: Ginormica, the Missing Link and B.O.B. Ginormica’s (aka Susan) levels are fairly straightforward. All you do is skate around trying to avoid objects such as lasers, grind on rails and along the side of walls while collecting monster DNA. You button mash to open doors, knock out robots and try to avoid pitfalls. There’s nothing terribly inventive here and once you play one of her levels, you have basically played them all.

B.O.B.’s levels are slightly more interesting, although barely. B.O.B. is a blob that can absorb both objects and enemies. You can then throw them at buttons and other enemies to incapacitate them. Since being a blob means you are not a solid, walking on grates means falling through. To ensure your survival you will have to absorb other objects to become a solid. The emphasis here is on light puzzle solving. These missions are straightforward as well and take a minimal amount of brain power to figure out. Almost everything in this game is horribly obvious.

The most entertaining of the three characters is the Missing Link, who is a half-ape/half-fish hybrid. This character is more of a brawler with a heavy emphasis on melee attacks, disabling turrets and basically doing lots of damage to anything that gets in his way. You can also take control of these missile turrets to destroy enemies and objects in your way. The Missing Link’s levels feel a lot like Ratchet and Clank in their execution. Even the crates that you destroy look like they were pulled directly from the Ratchet and Clank games.

As far as graphics are concerned, this game looks fairly good on an HDTV. Certainly not as good as an animated movie, but both crisp and clean. The characters reflect themselves well with true to life voicework done by the actors in the film. There isn’t anything special about the soundtrack or the lines they spit out, though. This is fairly generic stuff as far as the audio is concerned. The graphics, on the other hand, are better than I expected.

Fans of the movie are almost sure to enjoy the video game. It is clearly intended for a younger audience with its difficulty being minimal at best. The only time you will die is from cheap deaths falling off the level or the game glitching. This is a good buy if you want your kids to have safe fun. Most adults should avoid this as it is just too easy and repetitive to find interesting compared to the likes of Ratchet and Clank, Super Mario Galaxy, etc.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 6.5
Written by Kyle Write a User Review