Controlling the characters is straight forward. Gamers use the standard WASD FPS scheme to move the characters through out the world while the mouse is used to look around the world. The left mouse button is used to trigger the characters primary attack while the mouse button allows you to interact with other characters and objects in the game world. You can also hit the C button to activate each characters alternate attack and you can jump by pressing the space bar. It’s a pretty simple scheme but it’s complicated by the developers attempt to create a universal scheme with icons. It’s a bit frustrating and you can tell its their way of abstracting the key scheme so they don’t have to change the key setup for each platform the game is ported to.
Graphically Madagascar is a bit hit and miss. The four main characters are fairly well rendered but the rest of the characters in the game are a bit underwhelming. The rest of the characters in the game are basic skins stretched over basic models and seeing the more detailed models next to the lower end ones is a bit jarring. For some of the models (like the Foosa) they seem almost half done like the developers were forced to get the game out before it was done. The game does boost some nice backgrounds though and the different regions in the game are fun to explore.
While the graphics are a bit lacking the sound in the game is fairly solid. While the cast of the movie didn’t provide the voices for the game (although I’m not sure that David Schwimmer has something better to do) the voices in the game are pretty close to the ones in the movie. The voice behind Marty the Zebra is a dead ringer for Chris Rock and I was actually surprised to look at the credits and see that he didn’t do the voice. The rest of the cast sounds close enough to the movie cast that younger gamers aren’t going to notice a difference. I was a bit disappointed that the “Move it, move it” song from the movie didn’t make it into the rave scene but other than that it seems like the rest of the music from the movie made it over.
Like most third person games the camera system isn’t perfect and you’ll spend some time fighting it. The situation is compounded by the fact that the camera is fixed behind the character and you can adjust the tilt and zoom.. The game also carries over the typical console “save point” system which means that you’ll loose progress if you quit before reaching one of the save points, this always bugs me win a PC game and it’s just another one of those corners that developers cut when making a multi-platform game. For the most part they aren’t that far apart but there were a few times where it seemed like they were a bit far apart. This also isn’t a long game and most gamers will be able to finish it in three or four sittings (around six to seven hours total). There’s a bit of replay built in as you may want to go back and try and collect all of the coins that are sprinkled through out the game but that’s only entertaining for so long.
Overall this is something that children will enjoy but that adults will find a bit derivative. I will admit that there were portions of the game that I really did enjoy. There’s a nice sense of humor to the game that adults and children will enjoy and while the game does
While not exactly true to the movie the game is something that kids and pre-teens will probably enjoy but adults might find a bit lacking.
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