The lights are on
Hey, what's that little white box in the corner of your closet tucked behind the Dyson vacuum cleaner and your high school yearbook? Is that your Wii? Grab it, I have a game to share with you – if you can find your sensor bar.
The Nintendo Wii has a reputation as a family friendly system so inoffensive that even your luddite grandparents can enjoy its many pleasantries. But underneath the avalanche of Kirby yarn, Pikachus, and bowling Miis is a rare M-rated gem that's equal parts Itchy & Scratchy, Running Man, and Sin City.
Welcome to Platinum Games' MadWorld, an ultraviolent exploration of our culture's fascination with violence. During this five hour game, you will treat combat like the Bloodletting Olympics, trying to find new and innovative ways for extracting your opponents' hemoglobin from their bodies. Since the blood red of your victims is the only color introduced to the black and white backdrop, it's easy to track your success.
MadWorld puts you in the role of Jack, a bruising contestant on a reality show broadcast across the world. His objective? Stay alive against waves of killer robots, vampires, zombies, werewolves, and whatever else the sadistic executive producer throws your way. The tools at your disposal that allow you to stay alive are as diverse as the cast of enemies – you could dismember them with chainsaws, sling signposts through their skulls, toss them into a jet's afterburners, or even catapult them to the moon.
The creativeness of the combat is impressive. At first it makes you question the mental health of the game designers Atsushi Inaba (Viewtiful Joe) and Shigenori Nishikawa (Resident Evil 4), but as you continue to revel in cartoonish violence you start to think about why we're so fascinated and drawn to these types of experiences. Whatever conclusion you reach, MadWorld is worth the price of admission.
How this game never found new life on other consoles with more mature audiences is a brain scratcher. If you haven't played it, it's definitely worth dusting off the Wii for a day.
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