|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, DS, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Aspyr||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Theres also an item shop that holds some goodies for the characters as well. There are a few apparel items that you can stick on the characters that will make fans of certain looks for the characters happy. The item shop is, of course, run by King Julien in all his comedic lemur fashion. I wish there was more to the item shop, but it serves its purpose in the end.
Graphically, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa blew me away. I was half expecting the traditional thrown together graphics we are usually treated with movie-themed games. Thankfully, I was surprised. The definition in the characters matched very nicely to the cinematic counterparts. While not perfect, there was a stronger resemblance to the full on character models from the film than the first title; the environments are equally colorful and wonderfully rendered. However, I do have to point out that in some cases the landscape is flat and bland and could have used a little more use of the color wheel, but this is supposed to be Africa after all. There was a small issue with lag, especially when racing as Marty, but nothing too distracting from the game.
An animated movie without the original voice actors reprising their roles for the game usually hurts in the long run. However, there are some great impersonators that make it difficult to discern them from the actual voice actors. Alex is probably the worst though; the voice actor tries to be Ben Stiller to no avail. Other than those few annoyances with the voice acting, they all do a decent enough job. The music is very catchy and makes you immediately think of the film, which is good considering it is supposed to be about the movie.
There are, of course, issues with the title, but they are so small that it wont matter to the player it is designed for. Heck, even those that are an older audience will have a hard time faulting the game, for its presentation and scope of gameplay are quite nice. As a general rule, movie-based games have been surprising me a lot lately with actually paying attention to what makes the films enjoyable and allowing the player to have fun as well. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a perfect example of a game that is designed for kids and plays nicely for the adults that love the film franchise. Could Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa change the way these types of games are handled in development? I certainly hope so, as long as they get the original voice actors in future titles.
CCC Project Coordinator