Madagascar Review

The movie Madagascar came out late last month and I honestly haven’t seen it yet. To be honest the movie doesn’t look good at all and I have yet to watch my DVD version of Shark Tales, another movie I am afraid of not being good. It was quite odd to see the GameBoy Advance version of the game drop on my doorstep to review, but being the diligent worker I am I fired it up.

I figured the game would be geared toward children since the movie is. In some ways I’m right and in some I’m wrong. It is geared toward children early on as you go through with each character and learn their moves, but as the game goes on the platforming elements become more difficult and feel like they wouldn’t be too manageable for a child, however that is just a guess on my part. Let’s get to the scores.

The graphics aren’t the best in this game and from what I hear they duplicated these graphics on the DS version for the most part. Every character has jumpy animations and the levels aren’t all that exciting to look at. There are better looking platform games out there for the GameBoy Advance such as any of the Super Mario game GBA upgrades, any of the Castlevania games and many others.

The graphics are obviously the bare minimum they can be to keep children occupied, but my statement in the opening kind of goes against that thought simply because the game gets really hard toward the end.

Much like the graphics, there have been better music selections in other platform games. The GBA has always been hindered on the sound side of things (or so people say). There’s a good bit of sound in this game, but nothing that is going to make you stand up and take notice.

The music seems to repeat itself a lot and it gets tiring after a while. The songs aren’t really very catchy and you may just end up turning off the sound in order to play the game.

The controls are actually pretty easy and the game lays out the moves early on as you go through training missions with each playable character. The lion can do a roar attack and jump/double-jump; the zebra can run fast and do a kick attack; the giraffe can hide when enemies come by putting his head in the ground and looking like a tree and the hippo can swim. As you go along in the game you will be able to switch characters via the shoulder buttons and they’ve made the game so that each character gets some gameplay in. There are obvious parts of levels where only one of the characters (usually the useless ones: giraffe and hippo) can get across the current plight facing the team. The lion and zebra are the offensive minded characters and you’ll want to play them most of the time, but if anyone other than the hippo hits water you’re dead and you start over at the beginning of the area.

Madagascar isn’t the best GBA platform game I’ve ever played, but it is a competent one. The game consists of about 20 missions (I could be off, I wasn’t counting) for the gang to go through. This makes the game a long one and as you go on the difficulty can become quite high, which makes this game almost seem out of reach of the intended audience which is children.

Once you get through the game once you probably won’t want to play this game again unless the little one wants to play a little here and there. This certainly isn’t a game an adult is going to enjoy playing, but I hope plenty of children out there can handle the need to change to characters they feel are not useful later in the game.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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