Shaba Games brings you the Shrek universe and combines that with an arena combat style that resembles Capcom’s Powerstone. In story mode you are focused on trying to put the entire Dragon’s Dronkey’s (half dragon and half donkey if you haven’t seen the film) and Donkey to sleep because they are running around the house and creating all kinds of ruckus. As Shrek starts to read a fairytale one of the Dronkeys sneezes a puff of fire and turns the storybook to ash.
Shrek and his friends now need to come up with a way to put everyone to sleep. They decide to tell their own magical tales and this is where the game begins. You will listen to outrageous and sometimes humorous tales of adventure or homages like Gingy’s Pimp my Ride and Cribs via Casa de Gingerbread.
Shrek SuperSlam is based on one thing, slammin’. You beat up your opponents in an effort to unlock more storylines, which will also unlock Mega Challenges. Mega Challenges are mini-games that will help unlock different outfits and many other surprises, for all of the Shrek universe characters as well as the ones that Shaba Games invented for the game like G-nome and the Black Knight.
Graphics are a mixture of Hollywood style backdrops and 3D destructible items. The walls will blow apart, but it is pre-sequenced to do so. Some items you can pick up like pottery pots, which break apart nicely via the Havok engine. Everything in the arenas is very detailed and very colorful. The colors are very vivid, and will remind you quickly of the films.
The character animations are very well done. Gingy has that half stiff look to him where he bends in awkward ways in an effort to be human-like. Shrek’s hand enlarges as he performs his slap attack, and Puss in Boots has many acrobatic moves to couple with his outstanding fencing ability. Prince Charming’s swordplay would make Conan whimper, well maybe not, but it looked cool.
The cut-scene and CGI videos will take you right back to the movies. Of course they are not the same caliber, but they look really good. The graphics make you feel like you are playing the movie. Frame rate was rock solid while using high detail and a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. The characters can move pretty fast with many of the special moves and slam attacks so this was really important to help show the devastating effects.
Let’s start off with the outstanding voice talent this game has to offer. Michael Gough, who has numerous voice acting credits for video games such as Everquest II, Vampire the Bloodlines, and CoD 2: Big Red One as well as the voice of Shrek in Shrek 2, adds the voices for Shrek and the Wolf. Holly Fields, who did the voice for Fiona in Shrek 2, repeats her role in the game. Mark Mosley also repeats his role as Donkey from Shrek 2, and has the voice of one of the Terminators to his credit from T3 as well as voice work on Everquest II and most recently True Crime: New York City. As you can see the talent is of high caliber, which is why the storyline, narrative, and comedic commentary is so wonderfully accomplished. I received conflicting information on this after I wrote it. ( Ed.The credits in the game manual give credit to those actors specifically. If this is wrong, the sound alikes do an awesome job, and you won’t notice the difference.)
There are numerous sound effects to be heard in Shrek SuperSlam. You are treated to all the cartoon sound effects you would here in any mainstream cartoon. Cuckoo birds and bird “tweets” are heard when you are stunned or dazed. Earth rumbles and pounding noises can be heard as you slam a big hammer down on your opponent, and wall crumbling crashes as you power slam your foe into and through walls. All of the effects can be heard in brilliant detail.
The background music also has an epic feeling to it. The music is often heard as intro music for each combatant coming into the arena area as well as when going through the menu system. Overall, the numerous sound effects and music were very polished and timed perfectly with the actions.
Shrek SuperSlam was made and designed for consoles, and it shows in the carry over to the PC. You don’t use a mouse at all. The game is completely keyboard driven. This creates a slightly higher learning curve, as the mouse hand has to get use to performing attacks with the keyboard.
There are two schemes preset to control player 1 and player 2. Yeah, I’m really going to squeeze two people together on one keyboard to play multi-player. All I can say is, “What were you thinking?” Even though they did a poor job of implementing multi-player, the single player mappings work fairly well once you get used to it. Controls cannot be customized for the keyboard, but they do offer controller mappings. This game would be better suited for a gamepad if you have one. Feedback gamepads are supported as well.
Shrek SuperSlam offers many base combo moves that all characters can pull off as well as advanced combo moves that are character specific. Shrek has Green Storm, Puss in Boots has Hypno-Puss where he charms or stuns you, and Gingy uses Peppermint Fury via ninja skills just to name a few. All of these can be executed fairly easily with the default keyboard scheme. You use a combination of left and right side keystrokes to create different combos. The game is very responsive to what you want to accomplish and when.
The options menu lets you configure video options, music and sound effects, and the ability to turn subtitles on and off. There are also a few extras here as well. This is your basic options menu. You will want to go in here for at least the video options as the default is set to 640 X 480. Shrek SuperSlam offers many resolution choices from 640 x 480 all the way up to 1600 X 1200.
Like I stated earlier in the review Shrek SuperSlam is all about slammin’. The key to the gameplay is to build up your slam points by using different basic attacks as well as pulling off combo attacks from each character’s combo tree. Combo attacks are not a new concept as this has been around since the Mortal Combat and Street Fighter days.
Each Character has the word “SLAM” underneath their portrait and it starts off colored in green. As you pull off more attacks it “fills” up with red. Once you have it completely filled it glows and pulses to let you know your slam is ready. This isn’t your pro wrestling type of slam either. When you slam another character they go flying around the screen and through the destructible environments. It is very devastating!
Shaba also added various random weapon drops that you can pick up and use to crush your opponents. You get to choose when to use the weapon as you can “holster” it by slinging it around your back. All weapons have a limited use. Once it is used up it disappears. Blocking is very important as well. When you block it creates a force field bubble around you, which can be used strategically to deny your opponents their slam points.
Well, that’s it. This is what you do over and over again, but in different arenas. Your progress helps you to unlock Mega Challenges. Mega Challenges are mini-games that you can get to via a Super Mario Brothers type menu screen. It is basically dots and points along a game board screen. These challenges are just more arena battles disguised as something different. It does bring one added element, as this is the way you are able to unlock new characters to play as well as new arenas to fight in.
I would avoid purchasing the PC version of this game if at all possible. The game is definitely designed for consoles, and you would probably be more entertained playing this on a console with friends. The real value in this game would be the multi-player aspect. Sure it is fun to beat up on computer-controlled characters, but you would have infinitely more fun playing it with friends.
The multi-player is basically not available in my opinion as the thought of trying to squeeze even two kids on the same keyboard is mind-boggling. If you had the ability to hook up two gamepads to a PC it may be possible to enjoy multi-player. I have never tried that, and I am almost positive it would probably create system stability issues if you tried. Even so, why would you want to? That’s what consoles are for.
There is still some fun to be had, except extremely repetitive, playing through the Story mode and Mega Challenges, but I would only do so if you absolutely have to play a Shrek title and only have a PC as a vehicle to do so.
I didn’t run into any glitches or crashes so there is something to be said for that. With all that in mind I wouldn’t spend more than twenty bucks on the PC version. Oh, what a coincidence, that’s what Shrek SuperSlam for the PC retails for. I guess we see eye-to-eye on that.