Shift 2 is improved in just about every way possible
peej about Shift 2: Unleashed
Movie tie-ins are a hit and miss affair at best. For developers, it must feel like being handed the poisoned chalice to be given a major movie license to work with. Your creative hands are tied to a certain extent and you’ve somehow got to cobble together a game without upsetting the original source material or fans of the movie you’re basing your game on.
Megamind: Ultimate Showdown picks up where the movie left off with the megalomaniac braniac comfortable in his position as the new arch-defender of Metro City.A superhero’s life is not always a happy one, and just as soon as Megamind gets his feet firmly under the table, Metro City descends into chaos. Megamind’s lair is breached, and his secret genetic material and hoard of hi-tech gadgets are stolen.It’s up to Megamind, aided (or should that be hindered) by his faithful minion, er, Minion to get the gadgets back, steal back MetroMan’s DNA and stop the evil Doom Syndicate from taking over the city.
Megamind: Ultimate Showdown retains the quirky B-Movie visuals of the film, offering a hub-based action adventure playing out across several locations in Metro City. Megamind’s lair is the jump-off point for various missions, marked on a handy map.The lair is also the place to upgrade Megamind’s abilities and arsenal, track his achievements in the game and basically a place to get nagged at (very frequently) by Minion to get on with the next task in hand.
Each level comprises a mix of puzzle solving and combat. Kicking off in a local Museum, Megamind soon finds that a piffling hand-held death ray isn’t always enough to defeat wave after wave of neckless goons. Collecting power-ups and tokens in each level mean that Megamind can spend his spondulix on upgrades back at base.The main game can be played through in co-op mode, which is quite a cool feature. It’s also worth noting that the PS3 version (reviewed) had nice crisp visuals, no tearing and no slowdown during busy fights with a lot of on-screen action.
Megamind: Ultimate Showdown falls down on being pretty repetitive. Despite the varied locations and baddies you’ll find yourself fighting, it seems to take ages to feel like you’re getting anywhere and even when you recover a stolen item, you can guarantee that the next level in the game will just dish up more of the same button-mashing combat, the same “find the switch” type puzzling and the inevitable showdown with punishing bosses.Fair play to THQ for covering as many bases as possible when it comes to movie licences (the game goes out on just about any format currently available, and each version of the game is specifically tailored for the console it’s running on). The PS3 (and 360) versions are virtually identical.
Perhaps the problem lies with the subject matter. Picking up the movie action some time after the film is set means you’ve got to practically invent a Megamind sequel from scratch. Megamind: Ultimate Showdown’s storyline feels hackneyed and clichéd which does nothing to counteract the overall feeling of repetitiveness. It’s also ridiculously easy, so if you want some extra platinum trophies to decorate your PS3’s awards cabinet with, here’s a good game to grind through to get ‘em.
In summary then, the game’s aimed at a younger audience and die-hard fans of the movie will probably enjoy the game’s faithful reproduction of the movie heroes and villains, but it seriously lacks long-term appeal and it won’t be long before even the most dedicated player moves on to something better. The game is pitched at pocket-money prices so if your kids really couldn’t get enough of the movie, it’s at least a fairly cheap extra present to keep them out of your hair for a while on Christmas Day.