MegaMind (is not an) Ultimate Showdown
|Earlier this month, I reviewed what I think is one of the very best kid-friendly co-op games, and certainly one of the best movie-based titles (not including the Lego series) — Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (CCM).
MegaMind: Ultimate Showdown reminds me of CCM in many ways because for everything CMM did right, MegaMind falls short.
On its own, as a single-player title, it is a mediocre button masher – meaning that you will spend nearly the entire game repeatedly tapping the (X) shoot button, with the only diversity being when you punch (A) to jump over something and then resume shooting.
You are MegaMind, the primary movie character, and you will go through roughly ten levels where you will find numerous goon henchmen that are themed after one of three villains â€“ Destruction Worker, Psycho-Delic and Hot Flash. For each of the three boss styles, the henchmen come in exactly two varieties and appear to bean endless number of clones — of either a wimpy baddie or a slightly-less wimpy/blimpy baddie. After three platforming levels of bad guys, with some very basic navigation, you’ll face that boss. Do that series three times and you’ll fight the final bad guy, which is loosely based on another character from the movie and has no other real tie-in to the story or the action.
MegaMind has four gadgets at his disposal:
There is some cool potential in the gadgets in that they are upgradable and have some different affects on the environment and the baddies. But THQ lets you down because you can only carry one at a time – and it is completely scripted. Right about when you need a different item (meaning you truly cannot progress further in the level), the item you need is floating right there in the path. Game play would have been sooooo much better (or at least seemed less monotonous) if all of the gadgets were available on the four-position D-pad or other menu.
Along the way, you’ll want to destroy everything in the area – since any destruction of people or items results in glowing ‘Blinky’ which is the currency of the game, to be spent on upgrading the various items. The upgrades do enhance gameplay slightly – but since you are stuck with whatever item the story gives you, it is negligible.
If you have a 6-8 year old who absolutely loves everything about the movie and must have/play with all MegaMind-themed item, then this game is for them. For almost everyone else, THQ disappoints.
MegaMind had a lot of potential for a solid co-op title. After all, in the movie, the primary character had a side-kick named Minion. Player 2 is not Minion. Minion appears via an off-screen voice and the occasional pop-up in the corner of the screen, constantly telling you what to do next or where to go. Instead, Player 2 who can drop in and out easily (one plus) is a nameless floating robotic fish.
The real disappointment comes in that Player 2 isn’t a legitimate partner player.
Again, this game had a great deal of potential for being a neat co-op title â€¦ but falls short due to what can only be described as poor design decisions by the developer.
If you have an game savvy player 1 (older sibling or parent) who wants to run a younger MegaMind fan (ages 6-8) through the game that you purchased in a bargain bin, preferably used at that, then play it for an easy set of achievement points and 4-5 hours of distraction. Otherwise, there are many better movie-related games available — most of which come from someplace other than THQ.
As always, thanks for reading â€¦ Have fun playing with your kids !