Game Reviews

DreamWorks Megamind

Star onStar halfStar offStar offStar off
Get
DreamWorks Megamind

When you consider the humble nature of many iPhone developers – some of whom don’t seem to have two beans to rub together - it seems ironic that some of the biggest crimes against gaming have been perpetrated by publishers with a considerable amount of financial means.

DreamWorks Megamind is a prime example.

Based on the computer animated movie, this interactive adaption is a train wreck of epic proportions, devoid of playability, enjoyment and charm, despite the resources of publisher THQ Wireless.

Hardly a stroke of genius

The movie itself is your typical family-focused crowd-pleaser featuring an evil genius who is reluctantly forced to become a hero and - as decreed by Hollywood’s feel good rulebook - discovers a little something about himself. None of this has bearing on the game, which is good thing as the movie is wise to distance itself from this horrid game.

Essentially a 3D fighter spread thin across 30 levels, Megamind takes repetition to hitherto uncharted extremes. Your character is blessed with an attack button and jump command and throughout the course of the adventure you can unlock different weapons.

The attack button is context-sensitive, so tap it when you’re close to an enemy and you initiate a close-quarters move, such as a punch or a whirlwind pirouette. At range, Megamind fires his equipped gun.

Hit and miss

This setup presents massive problems right from the word go. There’s no lock-on for your long distance attacks, so hitting an enemy is entirely a matter of luck. The only way to be sure of a landing successful shot is to get as close to your foe as possible, which causes you to issue a melee attack instead.

These occur as painfully drawn-out animations and you have to wait for them to finish before you can perform another move. These delays cause headaches in missions where you’re tasked with collecting a certain number of objects under a strict time limit.

Although 30 levels sounds like an impressive amount of content, the core gameplay doesn’t change throughout. You’re moving from one totally linear level to another, taking out identical enemies, avoiding environmental hazards, and occasionally picking up hearts to replenish health and blue bottles to top-up your weapon power.

Mega-moronic

The stupefying lack of original ideas is also worrying; there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done a billion times already over the past three decades of game design.

Perhaps the biggest crime of this dire iPhone brawler is the criminal misuse of a lucrative licence. There’s no humour or comedy to speak of, and aside from the design of the main character, there’s little to suggest this has any connection with Dreamworks’s multi-million dollar cinematic effort. Even the presentation is a mess. The 3D graphics are unforgivably primitive.

Games based on movies hardly have a sterling reputation, but Megamind is a particularly flagrant example of how it shouldn’t be done. It doesn’t take an evil genius to know that repetitive gameplay combined with terrible presentation and a general lack of excitement is not a formula for a hit piece of portable entertainment.

DreamWorks Megamind

Generic licensed tosh of the highest order, DreamWorks Megamind takes what could have been an interesting concept and squanders it on an abysmally repetitive action title
Score