Reviews by Ryan Genno

The Total Recall


Artist touch: Sorry, I will add the coverart once I fix my photoshop here. Cover art rating: NA/10
Month it won: May 2007

(Activision, April 28, 2004)
Special note: This game roughly came out the same time of the hit movie.

Introduction and Story:

Who didn’t love the original computer generated movie Shrek? John maybe? Anyway it was not only a great fantasy flick for the kids since it had a great list of fiary tale characters but many adults liked it for the smart comedy as well. Shrek was so good and so popular that the only real bad thing you could probably say about the franchise is the games. The Xbox already has a couple of duds bearing the Shrek name and the ones on the other systems aren’t winning any awards either. That isn’t stopping Activision from trying again though (hey, sometimes people will buy anything if it as a popular license I find) and before the movie would even be released here is Shrek 2 the video game. Can the mixture of the team game play and fun story line make for a good game? You never know, maybe this game will finally break Shrek’s long losing streak.

If you don’t know the story then here’s the deal: Shrek has just married his now follow ogre Fiona and the two were really starting to live happily ever after in Fairy-tale land. The problem with their happy little union there is that Fiona was once a beautiful human princess and her royal family isn’t too happy that she is marrying a big green ugly ogre. The king is so upset that he has set up a plan to get Shrek out of the picture for good.  Shrek, Fiona, and his friends are now under attack from many of the kingdom’s top henchmen.

Controls and Game Play:

Just like in the game Sonic Heroes, Shrek 2 works on the team system here.  You can easily switch between characters on the fly and each character has their own abilities needed for completing some in-game objectives.  For example: Shrek can pick up crates, Donkey can do powerful mule kicks, and Fiona can slow time.  As the game progresses there will be other members from the fairy-tale kingdom who join the team which adds a bit of variety to this title.

Unfortunately the A.I for your heroes is so bad it doesn’t take very long for your computer-controlled friends to get knocked out in the heat of an intense battle. This problem can be easily solved if you have some friends controlling the other characters but it’s hard to convince someone to play with you when you have to work as a team. My friends rather fight me in wrestling games and first person shooters -- not help me in some finish some boring level missions in some wussy kid’s game.

Graphics and Sounds:

If you are fans of the movie you notice all the different main and supporting characters making their appearance in this lame licensed game too. The constant overhead perspective gives the player or players a great view of the action and the background graphics are detailed and quite colourful. I wouldn't normally label a game like Shrek 2 a kid’s game because the movies usually have comedy geared for everyone, but the character's lines in the game here are filled with only silly fart jokes and corny one-liners. They are so bad and so cheesy that only young children will find this immature humour funny. The characters do sound like their movie counterparts but they are not played by the real Hollywood actors like Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy by the way.

The Bottomline:

As much as I disliked Shrek 2, the game does do a few things right. The multi-player aspect may be limited but it is a fun way to get your friend involved in the action and the presentation represents the movies well too. Unfortunately, what killed the experience for me were the constant back and forth mini games.  The worse part about these usually simple mini games is that they are no challenge at all.  Unless you really stink at video game you’ll breeze through this adventure in no time.  The game could have been a great title if there was a reason to play it after the game is completed.  The game does have a few bonus extras but I can’t find any replay value in the main game here. Maybe you should just see the movie instead.

overall rating: 46/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 6/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 2/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

See other Total Recall duds of the month