Wii

North America

Shrek the Third

by Karl Castaneda - July 18, 2007, 12:26 am PDT
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4.5

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
3.5 7 6 5 3 4.5
Graphics
3.5

What do you get when you throw burning glow on crap? Glowing crap.

Sound
7

Though the actors from the film aren’t present, what’s here isn’t too bad. The accompanying soundtrack is par for the course on a licensed game – the themes from the movie are here, and everything else is completely forgettable.

Control
6

The motion controls work on a technical level, but they’re still uncomfortable and lack any semblance of intuitiveness.

Gameplay
5

Generic platforming + generic action = generic game.

Lastability
3

Shrek the Third is a game that not many people will want to replay, and it’s already pretty short on its first play-through.

Final
4.5

As I mentioned in the review, the Wii’s current library is littered with half-baked games that offer little else than volume to the release list. Shrek the Third is one of those games.

Summary

Pros
  • Sound-alikes generally go a good job of emulating the film’s actors.
Cons
  • Generic gameplay
  • Sub-par visuals
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Shrek the Third Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Amaze Entertainment
Players1 - 4
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Shrek the Third
Release May 2007
PublisherActivision
RatingEveryone 10+
eu: Shrek the Third
Release Jun 22, 2007
PublisherActivision
Rating7+
aus: Shrek the Third
Release Jun 13, 2007
PublisherActivision
RatingGeneral

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