This one doesn't end happily ever after.
The Wii is currently suffering from a deluge of ports, usually of the less-than-stellar persuasion, and a great amount of those offenders are licensed games. Shrek the Third, to the surprise of perhaps no one, is such a game. Every aspect of the game is spotted with mediocrity, making for an experience that could only be enjoyed by someone of a very young age.
The plot follows the movie closely enough. The King of Far, Far Away is passing away, and his last wish is that Shrek (who’s married to his daughter, Princess Fiona, if you haven’t been keeping up with the preceding iterations) will succeed him. Not wanting to bear such a weighted responsibility, Shrek appeals for another candidate. What follows is the journey to find that last applicable heir (Arthur – yes, that Arthur) and the hardships to bring him back to the kingdom. Along the way, the player will find a host of fairy-tale spoofs and in-jokes of varying quality. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to play the game for its story, since you can just watch the movie for considerably less.
The gameplay can be likened to a mix between platforming and a beat-‘em-up. You’ll play as several characters, each with his own special abilities (Shrek is super-strong, Puss is agile, etc.). Your charater will switch out automatically when an obstacle arises that can only be overcome with a certain ability. Otherwise, you’ll default to Shrek. The paths are insanely linear, so it’s really just a matter of not dying and pressing forward on the analog stick.
Speaking of the controls, while they’re not terribly obtuse, it’s hard to call them innovative. Shaking the Wii Remote executes a simple attack, then doing the same with the nunchuk performs a strong attack. You’ll also be able to pull off a special move by pressing Z (a meter will fill depending on how many orbs you collect after defeating enemies). It’s a bit annoying to have to continually waggle around the remote just to throw a punch or slash a sword, but at least it’s responsive enough.
The presentation isn’t exactly top-notch, either. Sound-alikes are used for voice acting (with the exception of John Cleese), and while they generally do a good job, it’s difficult to really "believe" a character when his or her jaw is simply convulsing up and down. The visuals struggle to meet the bare minimum of a Wii game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the developer just turned up the bloom lighting really high on the PS2 version.
It would be fine enough if this was just a case of being for a younger audience, but there are games that fulfill that purpose better than this one. The only group I can recommend this game to would be extreme fans of the movie, and judging from the movie's reviews, there won’t be too many of those.