|System: X360, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sidhe Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Move It! Move It! Mode is a lot more forgiving, however. This mode works like a reverse game of hot potato. The goal is to pick up a disco ball and drive with it hovering around your head. Once you have the disco ball, you can run through special party gates to rack up points. But you'll have to drive very defensively when you have the ball, because other racers can steal it from you by knocking into you. The racer with the most points at the end wins. The Move it! Move it! mode is not the most endearing, but it is fun for a little while and helps Madagascar Kartz stand out from all the other Kart Racers out there.
Visuals in Madagascar Kartz aren't the best, but for what this title aims to be (and its intended audience) the game looks perfectly fine. The tracks feature varied environments that match the look and locales of the Madagascar, Shrek, and Monsters vs. Aliens films, and there are plenty of interactive and animated elements in the tracks. The characters themselves are not incredibly detailed, but they each have fun kart designs that little kids are sure to love.
Sound in the game is not as good, however. One thing you'll notice right off the bat is that the mixing is way off if you keep the default setting. Character voices are muted and the background music blares at first, so before starting the game you should probably head over to the options section and change the sound mixing options. Other than this initial issue, the sound is good. All the characters are voiced with sound-alike voice actors of varying quality. The voiceovers can be a touch repetitive, but since this is a kart racer, some repeated catchphrases are expected. The background music is a little more annoying, and I found myself simply turning the background music off after awhile and just keeping the sound effects and voiceovers on.
Madagascar Katz is a perfectly solid kart racer, and it is definitely not the "cash-in" that I was expecting it to be. Though parents and young kids will probably pick this title up based on its name alone, they are actually in for a treat, as the game behind the license is actually quite good. Although the game's difficulty may be a turn-off for some younger or inexperienced players, I found the game as a whole to be very refreshing. With plenty of modes and unlockable content, there is plenty for franchise fans to enjoy with Madagascar Kartz.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor